Is your eLearning course design chaotic or cohesive? Does your eLearning content cater to individual goals and gaps, or does it take the “one size fits all” approach? In this article, we’ll share 8 tips to create focused eLearning courses that meet individual needs.
How To Create Focused eLearning Courses That Meet Individual Needs
Clutter creates chaos and confusion. It also has the power to distract online learners from the core learning objectives of your eLearning course. But how do you cut the clutter and create a targeted eLearning course for EVERY online learner? The secret is focusing on individual needs and identifying problem areas early on. Here are 8 top tips to develop focused eLearning courses that are personalized and polished.
1. Define Expectations And Learning Objectives Up Front
Online learners need to know where they are headed and why before they begin the eLearning course. This comes in the form of expectations, learning objectives, and desired outcomes. Be clear about how online learners are expected to participate in the eLearning course and what they’ll receive from the eLearning experience.
You should also mention the overall learning objectives of the course and which behaviors, skills, or tasks you’ll explore. Online learners can set their sights on the finish line and focus on the task at hand.
2. Pre-Assess Online Learners To Pinpoint Gaps
Pre-assessments help you narrow down the eLearning content so that you only offer the essentials. Identify what online learners already know, what they need to know, and the best way to deliver the information.
For example, the exam reveals that most of your online learners share a skill gap. Thus, you’re able to create eLearning resources that focus on this particular area of improvement, instead of wasting valuable time designing and deploying redundant eLearning content for talents they’ve already mastered. You can also survey your audience to delve into their backgrounds and experience levels.
3. Choose Media Wisely
Choosing the right media for your eLearning course can be a slippery slope. Too many images, sound effects, and graphics may distract online learners. Forgoing media altogether can compromise their level of comprehension and retention.
This is why you must pick your media wisely and only include relevant visual and audio elements. For example, charts that highlight important statistics or patterns, as well as pictures that provide a visual metaphor for complex concepts. Every component of your eLearning course must have a purpose, whether it’s a background track that sets the emotional tone or borders that draw online learners’ attention to the text.
4. Use Bullets And Headers To Highlight Key Takeaways
Bulky text blocks are the epitome of eLearning course clutter. They take up a great deal of space not only on the screen, they also in learners’ minds, which leads to cognitive overwhelm. For this reason, it’s wise to break up the text blocks and opt for bullets and headers instead.
This is especially true for key takeaways, tips, and step-by-step walkthroughs. A word of warning for headers: make sure your fonts grab your online learners’ attention without becoming a distraction. For instance, elegant fonts may be eye-catching, but are online learners able to read them on their mobile devices?
5. Let Online Learners Choose Their Own Learning Path
Organize all of your eLearning course materials in one place, create a clickable eLearning course map, and then let online learners lead the way. Online learners should have the power to choose the activities and resources that are relevant to their needs. They can go at their own pace and access the course materials whenever it’s convenient.
Personalized learning paths put learners in control and allow them to focus on personal gaps and goals. In addition, they serve as effective organization tools, as you can categorize your eLearning course contents and link to supplemental eLearning materials.
6. Include A Variety Of Real-World Activities
Real-world activities enable online learners to put their knowledge into action and gain practical experience. It’s wise to include a good mix of these eLearning resources to appeal to different learning preferences and needs.
They should also support the overall learning objectives and desired behaviors. For example, branching scenarios are ideal for building decision-making skills, while case studies are great for stressing the applications of the subject matter. Real-world activities help to minimize the clutter, as well.
This is due to the fact that they impart knowledge more rapidly and rely on mistake-driven learning. Online learners have the opportunity to explore the consequences of their actions, which improves memory retention.
7. Opt For A Cohesive eLearning Template
Many eLearning authoring tools feature eLearning templates and themes to keep your eLearning course design cohesive. Choose the appropriate eLearning template or create your own, incorporate placeholders, and then add targeted eLearning content.
This helps you create more polished, organized and focused eLearning courses that adhere to the same format. Placeholders keep the clutter out and ensure that you include the essential elements. If your eLearning authoring tool doesn’t feature eLearning templates, use royalty-free images, borders, and graphics to develop your own master layout.
8. Create A Goal-Centered Microlearning Online Training Library
You may not have room in your eLearning course design for supplemental online training resources. However, you can create a microlearning online training library that features helpful links and activities. For example, videos and online training tutorials that improve task performance.
The secret is to divide the microlearning online training library into categories and include a brief description for each link. For instance, you can create a category that covers customer service or tech troubleshooting topics. Provide online learners with a brief summary of what each eLearning resource entails and the benefits it offers.
Focused eLearning courses minimize confusion and cognitive overload. Thus, online learners are able to absorb, assimilate, and then apply the information they need to accomplish their goals. Use these 8 tips to cut the clutter and create well-organized, focused eLearning courses that cater to individual needs.
Do you know what eLearning variables are and how to use them to create personalized eLearning? Read the article 6 Tips To Use eLearning Course Variables To Create Personalized eLearning to understand how you can use eLearning course variables in your eLearning course design.