The Ultimate Performance-Based eLearning Guide For Instructional Designers

The Ultimate Performance-Based eLearning Guide For Instructional Designers
Maxim Maksutov/
Summary: There are times when nothing short of real world experience and hands-on training will do. Performance-based eLearning centers on practical knowledge that individuals can use to achieve learning goals and improve productivity. In this article, I’ll share tips, techniques, and eLearning assessment methods to help you create a performance-based eLearning strategy.

Performance-Based eLearning: Tips, Tricks & eLearning Assessment Methods

Performance-based eLearning involves collaborative knowledge sharing, skill development, and task training. It gives online learners the opportunity to hone their talents and abilities so that they can improve performance. To master a process or fine tune a skill, they must perform experiential eLearning activities that are realistic, relatable, and personalized. Below you’ll find some tips, techniques, and eLearning assessment methods for applying performance-based eLearning in your instructional design.

3 Tips For Using Performance-Based eLearning In Your eLearning Course Design

1. Identify Your Key Learning Objectives

Whether it's improving task proficiency or building a soft skill, you must identify your learning objectives and desired outcomes. These targeted learning goals will serve as a road map moving forward. They will dictate every eLearning activity, eLearning assessment, and online resource that you integrate into your eLearning course. When creating your performance-based eLearning objectives, use action verbs to clarify what an online learner must do and how. For example, they must be able to complete the return process using the POS system.

2. Incorporate Self-Evaluation

Effective performance-based eLearning strategies include formal eLearning assessments. However, you should also give online learners the chance to evaluate their own progress. Incorporate eLearning self-assessments that allow them to identify strengths and areas for improvement. This offers them the opportunity to seek out additional online resources to fill the gaps. For example, watching an online tutorial to figure out which steps they skipped.

3. Specify eLearning Assessment Criteria

eLearning assessments are only effective when they are backed by grading criteria. How are you going to evaluate their performance and gauge their proficiency? Once you've created your rubrics, share them with your online learners so that they know what to expect. For example, how they will be graded and which key behaviors and traits you're looking for. This allows them to focus on information that truly matters, which can prevent cognitive overload.

4 Performance-Based eLearning Techniques

1. Group Collaboration eLearning Activities

Collaborative eLearning activities allow online learners to benefit from the skills and experience of their peers. Since face-to-face interactions are out of the question in eLearning environments, you can turn this situation online by using web conferencing software and social media. These tools give online learners a virtual space to share ideas, give feedback, and improve their skills. They can even hold lively online discussions to expand their knowledge and fine tune performance behaviors.

2. Ask The Experts

There are certain situations that call for expert advice. Thankfully, online learners can now use social media, online forums, and other web-based platforms to get Subject Matter Experts' input. These experienced eLearning professionals can even serve as online mentors when the need arises. This approach is also ideal for asynchronous or self-paced eLearning courses that don't involve group collaboration projects. Online learners still have the power to give and receive feedback, which they can use.

3. Create A Subject Matter Blog

In order to discuss the topic, online learners must have a clear understanding of the eLearning ideas and concepts. They have to know every step of the process before they can perform the task. Invite them to create a subject matter eLearning blog that allows them to track their progress and explore sub-topics. The eLearning blog can also serve as an eLearning portfolio where online instructors, facilitators, and peers can provide feedback. Just make sure to create guidelines for online learners to follow. For example, specifying which tools are available and how often they should write a post.

4. Real World Examples

Examples, case studies, and stories emphasize how online learners can use the information and skills in their lives. Instead of simply studying and memorizing every step in a task, they can see how it translates in the real world. Performance-based eLearning is all about practical knowledge, and examples put the concepts and ideas into context.

3 Performance-Based eLearning Assessment Methods

1. Real world simulations

Real world simulations give online learners the power to perform a task, master new software, and build essential skills. There is no risk involved. Online learners get the chance to see the repercussions of every decision they make and then fine tune their approach to achieve the desired outcome. For best results, use realistic images, sounds, and situations to create a sense of immersion. You want your online learners to feel like they're in the middle of the action and the stress that comes with it. Once they've completed the simulation, offer personalized constructive feedback for how they can improve and which online resources they can utilize.

2. Branching Scenarios

A branching scenario consists of a series of choices that lead to distinct paths. Online learners can interact with virtual personas, utilize their skills, and apply the information they've learned to navigate the situation. For example, completing a sale calls for communication and negotiation skills, POS experience and product knowledge. Online learners have to use all of the tools at their disposal to finish the transaction.

3. Peer-Based Evaluations

Ask online learners to demonstrate the task in an  eLearning video, presentation, or text-based online tutorial and then upload it to the eLearning course blog. Invite their peers to evaluate the eLearning content and offer their insights. This eLearning assessment method has an added benefit: a learner-generated library. They can access the online resources whenever they need more information on the topic or want to see things from a different perspective. Instructors and online facilitators also have the ability to watch the online presentations to identify gaps and create personal learning paths.

Performance-based eLearning is not a “quick fix” that suddenly improves habits and behaviors. It’s a continual process that requires active participation and targeted learning goals. You can use these tips, techniques, and eLearning assessment methods to give your online learners the practical knowledge they need to reach their true potential.

Do you believe that in this fast-paced, tech-centric world we live in, bite-sized is better? Read the article 7 Tips To Create Memorable Microlearning Online Training to learn how to create memorable microlearning online training for corporate learners.