The best eLearning courses are very intentional about their design. It’s not enough to simply have a course that is visually appealing. In order for it to be engaging facilitate deep learning, the course must also be designed in a way that is functional and effective. Without this intention behind your design, it is much more challenging to communicate the information to your target audience.
eLearning design refers to the decision making process used to develop your course. This ensures your finished product is functional, effective, and easy to use. When this process is carried out in a thoughtful manner, it enables you to produce effective eLearning courses that achieve your goals.
Successful eLearning design takes a great deal of planning. The following steps will help you design courses that are highly engaging, convey the information in an effective way, and deliver the results your audience expects when they take your courses.
In order to design an effective eLearning course that is effective, engaging and relevant, you must first know your target audience’s needs and preferred learning style. This will help drive your planning of your key learning objectives.
Effective eLearning design must address the needs of your specific audience. Make sure to evaluate:
When determining the visual design of your course, keep it as simple as possible. Instead of overwhelming your audience with an abundance of information, focus on the essential points you need to get across. In addition, fewer choices and functionalities will reduce distractions as they work through the course materials.
This simplicity also applies to the visual layout of the course materials:
Visual imagery is an important component of an eLearning course. It makes the content more engaging, breaks up the text, and provides illustrations of the points you are trying to convey. But it’s important to strike a balance between the ratio of text and imagery in your course content. Too many images can make your course content feel cluttered, while sparse use of imagery may make the materials feel too text heavy.
In addition, all images used in your course should serve a purpose – they need to either provide a visual representation of the information contained in the text (to assist visual learners) or clarify a point being made by the text.
You should also choose images that resonate with your audience on an emotional level, since this will improve the engagement of your eLearning course. Your audience will experience a variety of benefits when they are more emotionally engaged in their learning experience, including:
Think back to your days of reading long textbook chapters filled with dense blocks of text. How easy was it to process this information? How fast were you able to move through the materials? How engaging did you find the materials? How motivated were you to read the content?
These issues are magnified in eLearning. No one wants to read through long blocks of text on a screen. Instead, online reading consists of skimming the information for the most important points.
To facilitate the skimming process:
Keep in mind that skimming doesn’t mean your audience won’t read all of the text. Instead, it facilitates a microlearning process that facilitates better retention of information. When your content is parsed into bite-sized parts, it will be easier for the learner to navigate the information.
The colors you choose for your content should do more than make your course look visually appealing. It should also work to enhance the information you’re presenting. Your color scheme can create psychological connections between your audience and the course content, allowing them to draw on prior associations with these colors to process the materials you’re presenting.
When thinking about your choice of color scheme, keep cultural associations in mind. Certain colors have a different significance in some cultures than others. When you understand your target audience, you can more easily determine the impact their culture will have on specific color associations.
As part of your eLearning design, identify the most effective instructional design software tools to improve the effectiveness of your course. Some of the most popular instructional design tools to elevate your course materials include:
There is a great deal that goes into eLearning design, and it can be overwhelming to address every aspect of the process. For this reason, it’s often helpful to work with a third party eLearning design professional who can ensure your courses achieve their desired results.
At Beyond Campus Innovations (BCI), we have extensive experience assisting organizations in a wide range of industries with their eLearning design needs. Our exclusive Learning Transformation Platform™ has been designed to help you achieve your goals today while maintaining the flexibility to execute and sustain into the future.
As part of this unique platform, we handle every aspect of your eLearning design. This includes:
Contact us today to learn how BCI can provide the eLearning design services your organization needs.
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