E-learning offers a variety of benefits that traditional training options just can’t. On top of reducing costs, e-learning is more efficient and can be used any time. To make the most of it, you just have to remember to keep a few things in mind when you’re developing courses.
Keep your design clean and consistent. The look of your course shouldn’t be the only thing learners can remember. Make sure your learner can focus on the content and not be distracted by an unusual or constantly changing color scheme, or clashing fonts.
Pick the right course type for your expectations. Whether you just want your learners to be aware of new information or you want them to actively change their behavior on the job, your goal is what should guide course development. Here are some different course goals and their best course types:
Communicate information with no performance expectations: This type of course focuses on providing new information. Consider using short, instructional videos for this type of course. Reading passages may also work, but are less engaging.
Communicate information with specific performance expectations: These courses are focused on changing a task that your learner does on a regular basis. Learners need more interaction and feedback to make sure they really understand the information. Make your course interactive by showing a learner what they will be doing and then provide the learner the opportunity to try it themselves within the course.
Break up the content into bite-sized pieces. By breaking up your content into smaller sections, you give learners a chance to fully consider each part before moving on. You can also separate your “need to know” and “nice to know” content to help learners focus.
Keep the course simple and focused on the outcome. It can be tempting to create a course filled with animations and movement within the page. Be careful, since this can lead to courses that are distracting and/or frustrating for the learner. Learners don’t want to be bogged down by interactions that don’t give new information. Make sure your content and layout are focused on meeting the objectives.
To build a strong, valuable course, you need to keep your eye on the prize: focus on your goals, don’t distract from objectives, and have a clear vision of how the type of course you select helps you accomplish this.