8 Tips To Promote Non-Linear eLearning Navigation

8 Tips To Promote Non-Linear eLearning Navigation
Summary: There are times when sequence and structure are the best approach. However, giving your online learners free roam of the eLearning course map offers a variety of benefits. In this article, I'll share 8 tips to promote non-linear eLearning navigation.

How To Promote Non-Linear eLearning Navigation

Non-linear eLearning courses put online learners in complete control. They are able to choose the eLearning activities that best suit their needs, and complete the necessary eLearning modules at their own pace. As a result, everyone gets the personalized online training they need to build strengths and work on areas of improvement. Here are 8 tips on how to promote non-linear eLearning navigation in your eLearning course design.

1. Create An eLearning Course Map That Encourages Self-Guided Exploration

eLearning course maps give online learners the power to peruse online resources without any restrictions. Furthermore, it breaks the subject matter down into distinct categories, which makes it easy for online learners to find the information they need. You can even get creative and develop a themed eLearning course map that features attention-grabbing graphics and a unique color scheme. Just make sure that it meshes with the overall eLearning course design to avoid confusion and keep everything cohesive.

2. Offer A Succinct Summary Of Goals And Expectations

Online learners may be able to choose the route they take, but they still need to know the destination. Additionally, they should be aware of the detours they'll have to make in order to achieve the learning objectives. Non-linear eLearning courses should still clearly state the expectations, overall goals, and desired outcomes. There must also be protocols in place if online learners don't uphold their end of the bargain. If, for example, an online learner doesn't complete the eLearning course in a timely manner. Begin the eLearning course with a detailed overview of what they can expect and their responsibilities. This is also the time to stress the benefits and real-world applications of the eLearning course.

3. Provide A Microlearning Online Repository For "Moment Of Need" eLearning

Sometimes your online learners need to venture away from the eLearning course map entirely to address more immediate obstacles. For example, they are struggling to complete a task at work or need quick information to solve a problem. This is when a microlearning "moment of need" library becomes an invaluable resource. It features bite-sized online training materials that online learners can use to fill gaps and deepen their understanding. They don't even need to access the non-linear eLearning course to hop over the hurdles that are holding them back.

4. Incorporate Optional eLearning Materials

In addition to the microlearning repository, you might also consider a supplemental eLearning library for those who excel. This gives online learners the opportunity to explore a related subject matter on their own, and broaden their understanding. For example, the task online tutorials you've included in your eLearning course may pique an online learner's interest. As a result, they access the supplemental eLearning library to upskill and further improve their task proficiency, or learn about related concepts and ideas that are beyond mandatory online training.

5. Start With The Basics

Non-linear eLearning courses may not have any particular order. However, online learners still need to build on existing knowledge. For example, they can't get into more advanced IT troubleshooting topics until they've mastered the basics, or dive right into negotiation techniques if they lack the necessary interpersonal skills. Therefore, it's important to start with the most rudimentary ideas and concepts, then work your way up. More advanced online learners can always skip ahead to the more involved modules. Alternatively, they can use the "back to basics" online resources to refresh their knowledge.

6. Pre-Assess Online Learners To Develop Targeted eLearning Materials

I know that I suggested to start with the basics. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, you're working with more advanced online learners who have a great deal of experience with the topic. They don’t necessarily need to start from scratch, but they may still benefit from refreshers. In this instance, it's wise to pre-assess your online learners to find out what they already know, and gauge their level of proficiency. This allows you to target your eLearning materials to suit their needs, instead of boring them with rudimentary online resources. They always have the opportunity to access the eLearning library to brush up on their skills and knowledge.

7. Offer Recommendations Based On Learner Performance

Certain online learners may need some guidance during the non-linear eLearning experience. For example, they might not even be aware that they have a particular performance or skill gap. However, you can offer them recommendations based on their performance to provide them with the necessary eLearning materials. After they complete an eLearning assessment or real-world activity, offer immediate feedback followed by a resource list, such as online tutorials and serious games that involve the necessary skill sets.

8. Collect Ongoing eLearning Feedback

It's always good to have a fresh perspective. Gathering eLearning feedback from your online learners helps you continually improve your eLearning strategy. You can identify its core strengths and areas for improvement, so that you enhance the benefits. Invite online learners to take surveys and online questionnaires after the fact, or conduct focus groups with a select group of online learners. This also gives you the ability to determine whether non-linear is really the right solution. For example, certain online learners may be looking for more structure. Alternatively, the subject matter may lend itself better to a linear format. Lastly, eLearning feedback allows you to determine which microlearning online resources and supplemental eLearning materials are worth adding to your eLearning library. Online learners can help you shed light on what's lacking from the current eLearning course, as well as which gaps or obstacles they still need to take care of.

Non-linear eLearning navigation gives online learners the opportunity to absorb and assimilate the information on their own terms. This helps improve knowledge retention, motivation, and engagement. As such, online learners are able to get the most from the eLearning experience and get the information they need to take on life's challenges.

Are you on the lookout for more tips to make your eLearning course navigation-friendly? Read the article 6 Tips To Improve eLearning Course Navigation to learn 6 tips to significantly improve your eLearning course navigation.