Want To Learn A New Skill Online? Here Is How You Get Started With eLearning
eLearning has gained immense popularity in recent years. According
to a recent survey, over 40 percent of Fortune 500 Companies are taking
advantage of the convenience of eLearning to offer tailor-made training for
their employees. About 50 percent of university and college students are taking
their courses online today. As of 2015, eLearning was a $56.2
dollar billion industry.
With so many learning programs out there, what makes one
eLearning program stand out from the crowd? There is no doubt that creating a remarkable
course can generate excellent reviews and attract more students to your class.
However, there is more to creating great content for your online course than
just having remarkable writing skills.
Here are seven steps you need to keep in mind when creating an eLearning module:
Come up with clear learning objectives
It is important that students are aware of what you expect of them. For that reason, you need to prepare a learning objectives’ slide, enumerating the milestones that the learner is expected to accomplish at every stage of the program. This will give your students a specific idea of how they will be able to apply the content you plan to teach them to realize their personal and professional goals. Additionally, clear objectives will give your students an overall idea of the nature of the course, how they will benefit from it, and motivate them to follow through with the course to the end.
Prepare well before getting started with creating the course
It is important to have a comprehensive outline of the course from the start to the end. Ensure that you set clear goals for yourself and learners for the whole course. Then, use the outline you have developed as a guideline when crafting your course’s lessons. Do not be content with a single draft of an outline. Rather, revise, edit, add and amplify where necessary. Remember, the more time you dedicate to creating a solid outline, the more seamless your course will roll out.
Include multimedia in your course
Reading can be quite boring and tiresome. As such, a great eLearning course should contain content in multiple formats. Make no mistake, your learners’ dedication to read the entire instruction manuals and textbooks will reduce as the course goes on. Rather, they will be looking for means on how they can master the concepts quickly through videos and infographics. Be sure to utilize the emerging multimedia culture and enrich your course with videos, audios, images, graphics, and games. This will give your learners a respite from reading, inspiring them to continue learning through to the end. Experts suggest that audio and visual oriented content allow learners to retain more information. Even if the learner has strong reading skills and masters concepts well from reading, games and visuals will help reinforce and complement to text.
Keep it simple…very simple
Simplicity in eLearning entails communicating your information to the learners via the simplest possible means. It does pay to overdo things. Avoid too many words. Simply make everything count. Break down complex points into small and easily understandable concepts. Overwhelming your learners with advanced theories they do not wish to obtain or saturating your content with a lot of jargon and technical terms will definitely result in several learners dropping your course. Therefore, be sure to simplify your course as much as you can. Keep the audios and visuals simple, too. Provide lots of numbered lists and bullet points, rather than dense paragraphs. Keep your sentences short and precise.
Reinforce learning activities and exercises
Provide learners with activities and tasks where they can apply and
practice what they have learned in the course content. Such exercises have
- They reinforce the information you presented in the content slides
- They make the program more engaging by giving learners something to do in addition to reading and watching video content
- They help learners retain what they have learned
You can convene an interactive forum where learners will get to put the skills they have gained into practice. Consider structuring some assignments as social activities or games such that learners complete these tasks in small groups. Remember, the key is to engage the learners with fun and entertaining learning activities.
Prepare assessment checks
There should be knowledge checks at the end of every learning section or module requiring learners to revisit the material learned in the module. This can be done through a questionnaire or a test quiz. Better still, you can present the learners with practical scenario problems and ask them to apply the skills they have learned to solve it. Based on how well the learners perform in these tasks, you can take a cue, making necessary adjustments to the course.
Link the program with real-world experiences
Chances are learners will be enrolling for your eLearning program because
it is relevant to their current job situation, personal goals, or future career
goals. As much as you can, find examples of how your course will be relevant to
these scenarios. Direct them to scholarly articles, studies, and other
materials that allow them to see how to apply the skills they have learned in a
practical way. Understand the goal of each student and tailor your illustrations
to suit these goals. Be sure to include cases like replying emails with
scenarios, role playing, and recording phone calls. Do this regularly to keep
the learners interested and enthused to follow through with the course.
Consider these tips when planning your next eLearning program and refer
to them from time to time to when creating your course. Set realistic goals for
your learners to follow. Make prudent use of multimedia tools. Keep the content
simple, engage your learners, and provide routine tests for your learners.
These are the critical tips on creating an effective eLearning course.