8 Tips To Create Digestible And Accessible eLearning Courses
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How To Create Digestible And Accessible eLearning Courses

The secret to creating effective eLearning experiences is to make the information memorable and meaningful. Online learners must be able to remember the key takeaways and then apply them in real-world situations. In order for this to happen, the online training resources have to be easily accessible and digestible for every member of your audience. But how do you create accessible eLearning courses that lead to long-term knowledge retention and recall?

1. Include Captions And Subtitles

A number of people benefit from captions and subtitles. That includes online learners who are hearing impaired, non-native speakers, as well as mobile users who are accessing the eLearning course in public spaces and aren't able to listen to the narration. In the case of eLearning localization, you might consider translated versions of the audio to improve understanding. Some LMS platforms even feature geolocation, which automatically displays suitable subtitles based on the online learner's region.

2. Use Visual Representations To Simplify Complex Topics

Visual representations help online learners dissect and digest the information. For example, an infographic allows them to break the task into manageable steps, while a timeline highlights important dates or the evolution of a trend. You can also use visual metaphors to simplify the topic or make it more relatable. However, you must consider the cultural significance of images and graphics, especially if your online learners hail from diverse backgrounds. A familiar symbol in one country may be unrecognizable or even offensive in other parts of the world.

3. Pair Images With Text

Images in eLearning improve knowledge retention and comprehension, as they illustrate key ideas and concepts. Our brains also remember images more effectively than text. However, visually impaired learners are unable to take advantage of these visual aids. In addition, others may misconstrue images, especially if they have different cultural backgrounds. It's wise to pair images with text captions to reinforce important details. Online learners with special needs can use screen reading software to get the information they need without relying on images, while the rest of your audience can still take advantage of graphics, photos, and charts.

4. Incorporate Familiar Navigation Icons

eLearning navigation design is the key to accessible eLearning. Online learners must be able to make their way through the eLearning course with minimal stress and frustration. As such, you should use eLearning navigation icons that are clear and recognizable, such as labeled buttons, arrows, and other symbols they're already familiar with. It's also wise to add social media buttons and links to helpful online training resources. Just be sure to include a brief description for each hyperlink so that online learners know what's in store. For instance, they must be able to access a video demo without having to scour the eLearning database.

5. Chunk Content To Prevent Cognitive Overload

Cognitive overload is one of the most common pitfalls of eLearning. There's such an abundance of information that it's easy to flood the memory banks. This prevents online learners from assimilating the data and using it in a real-world context. Fortunately, you can avoid cognitive overload by chunking content and breaking down text blocks. For example, turn a paragraph into a bullet list. Online learners are able to quickly refer to the list in order to improve their comprehension. They can focus on one step or idea at a time before moving onto the next. In addition, you might want to think about a microlearning online repository that features bite-size online training resources. Brief serious games, online training tutorials, demos, and simulations serve as ideal "just in time" online training resources.

6. Invest In A Responsive Design Tool

Responsive design tools give you the power to deploy multiplatform-friendly and accessible eLearning courses. You're able to develop a master layout that features distinct breakpoints. When online learners access the materials, they automatically receive the version that's suitable for their device. For example, PC and smartphone users may view different versions of the eLearning course, but they still get the same benefits from interactive online training activities, modules, and eLearning assessments. Everything is optimized for their device of choice. Do your research beforehand to find the best responsive design tool for your eLearning budget and design skills. You should also consider meeting with your eLearning team to get their input.

7. Provide Clear Instructions Up Front

Never automatically assume that online learners know how to access or navigate the online training resources. In fact, it's a good idea to provide clear instructions before each eLearning module or activity, such as how they are expected to participate, what they need to achieve, and how they can learn more about the topic. For example, recommend supplemental online training resources for those who need further clarification. You should also emphasize the benefits and real-world uses of the subject matter in advance. Tell online learners why they should actively participate in the eLearning course and how they can apply the knowledge or skills in real life.

8. Research Your Audience To Create Customized Online Training Resources

How do your online learners define "easily accessible eLearning"? How do they most effectively absorb and retain information? Which are their learning preferences? These are all questions that must be addressed before you create your eLearning course, as they will help you design customized online training resources based on your learners' preferences, and needs. For example, they shed light on learning disabilities or personal challenges which have a direct impact on their level of participation. Conduct surveys or polls to get a more accurate idea of their expectations and backgrounds, as well as pre-assessments that identify gaps and gauge their pre-existing knowledge.

These 8 tips can help you create more digestible and accessible eLearning courses, regardless of your eLearning budget or development timeline. The key is to learn as much as possible about your audience beforehand so that you can personalize your approach. This also allows you to allocate your online training resources more effectively and choose the best eLearning authoring tool for the job.

Do you want your eLearning courses to be all-inclusive and beneficial for every online learner? Read the article 8 Tips To Create eLearning Courses For Online Learners With Special Needs to discover how to create eLearning experiences for online learners with special needs.

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