4 Factors to Keep in Mind while Designing e-Learning Courses
Let’s look at a few factors that you need to keep in mind while designing e-learning courses.
- Start off with high quality and well researched contentThe most important concern for any one enrolling into your course will be the quality of the content. Make sure that you provide comprehensive, understandable and informative content. The course objectives and outcomes need to be clearly laid out as well. To maintain the interest of students, content will need to be interactive and engaging. Although there is no fixed rule, you can incorporate an activity or exercise in every module. To make content more engaging, you may include graphics, animation and hyperlinks for additional concepts and explanations. It’ll be a good idea to include other educational methods of interactive learning like games and quizzes. However, try to strike a balance. Too much interactivity may also confuse the students. There isn’t any rule of thumb as to how much time you need to put into creating the ideal content. But keep checking until there are no doubts in your mind. You need to know your subject material inside out. Therefore, anything that you put up on the website should be thoroughly researched for accuracy and authenticity. In case any student requires further explanation or questions the accuracy of the material, you should be able to back up the information with credible resources.
- Keep the student’s preferences in mindEven if the content is informative and relevant, students may get discouraged and simply drop out if the course is not easy to navigate. You should ensure that navigation is simple and intuitive so that users are able to locate exactly what they are looking for. This’ll help students understand complex concepts and focus on the most relevant content. It’s a good idea to check if your e-learning course maintains a consistent look and feel. A poorly designed interface may just put students off. The content should follow a logical hierarchy so that it is easy for students to process. Moreover, while designing an effective course, you should take into account different learning styles. While some students find visual multimedia presentations effective, others may prefer information to be presented in text form.
- Make use of Motivational ToolsTo ensure that students find e-learning courses as useful as classroom learning, it’ll be a good idea to rely on various motivational strategies. Make use of ‘Intrinsic Feedback’. While evaluating student’s work, instead of providing comments like ‘Yes’ ‘No’ or ‘That’s not correct’, students should be rewarded in terms of real-world measures like ‘number of sales made’ or ‘revenue’ generated. This will not only motivate students, but also enhances their learning experience and enables them to retain more for a longer time. Be creative and come up with other ways to motivate students. Reward them based on their performance and try to link the course with outcomes that they care about.
- Keep in contact with your studentsTo ensure that students do not feel isolated and start questioning their decision of taking up an e-learning course, make them feel involved. Students should be able to receive help and support whenever they need. They should be provided with contact information for the systems IT support staff, and be able to reach a member of staff on a regular basis. There are so many means of communication that you can rely on including discussion forums, email, social networking sites, chats, email, and video conferencing. To make your students feel as close to the class room environment as possible, provide them with the opportunity to get involved in discussions and participate in sessions, not only with instructors but also with other students.
Keep all the above mentioned factors in mind and you’ll hopefully be able to design exactly the type of e-learning course that students love.