Learning is a continuous process! We all begin learning from the moment we are born and continue to do so until our last breath. Only a very little part of this process is conscious learning. Conscious learning is a process where we prepare our mind to learn and consciously pay attention to ensure we learn new concepts. To make this conscious learning effective, our teachers have constantly innovated new methods that will help learners in retaining the learning for long.
In the digital age we live in today, many learning strategies and interventions used earlier has become irrelevant and impossible to use. eLearning is one of the industries that is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years. eLearning also makes it possible for quality education to reach people across the globe. With this major innovations and perks making eLearning a go-to place for many businesses, effectiveness of eLearning is still being questioned by many.
Creating effective eLearning depends on the learning experience that it offers the learners. Good learning experience can be designed by using the right combination of learning interventions and appropriate design strategies. Unlike traditional classroom education where the learning intervention can be tweaked to meet the needs of individual learners, eLearning is something that must cater the needs of a diverse group of learners effectively.
Considering the number of people that eLearning serves, and each learner’s expectation, the best way to design an eLearning course is blended learning. Blended learning is a model developed to combine the traditional learning interventions and the components of eLearning interventions together. To learn more about blended learning, click here.
Instructional designing in eLearning is a critical step that determines the modes of content delivery. These modes of delivery are often decided based on the following:
- Target audience’s knowledge
- Content type
- Length of the content
- Subject discussed
- Ability of the developer
While these factors play a critical role in determining the model of delivery, the intervention planning should also be decided with three broad areas of course modules in mind.
- Intentional: Intentional learning blocks are delivered with a specific target or challenge in mind. These courses are designed to meet the target or challenge and does not focus on anything else. When designing eLearning courses, it is always a good idea to include several intentional learning modules that is laser focused on delivering the right information to learners.
- Active: Active learning modules are pieces of the eLearning courses that provide additional features to the intentional learning modules. Cushioning every intentional learning module with an active learning module can enhance the learning experience greatly.
- Flexible: These are modules that are targeted for learners who want to learn more. Since eLearning addresses a diverse audience, it is a great idea to include additional learning modules that are not mandatory for all learners but provides insights into the topics for people who are interested in learning further.
Designing an eLearning course to combine these three types of modules at the right proportion is the challenge every instructional designer faces.
Each modules discussed above meets a specific need and must be created using specific learning interventions. While there are a wide range of learning interventions used, there are three major categories of learning interventions:
- Primary learning interventions: Core instruction format. This is based on the teaching strategy and the instructional design framework. This intervention forms most of the course.
- Secondary learning interventions: Used in progress monitoring and adjustments. Often an assessment that is used to ensure the learner is progressing in the right pace. The secondary learning intervention is often the second most used instruction medium.
- Tertiary learning interventions: Used for additional programs that help learner revisit and enhance their learning.
Using these three major categories of interventions, we have listed some of the best possible methods to use in eLearning:
- Interactive videos: While the combination of audio and visual can create a great video component, using simple videos can make your eLearning outdated. With amazing authoring tools such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate available to use, creating interactive learning modules got much easier.
- Reading materials: While the latest advances in eLearning can add great value to the courses, there is simply no way we can replace the textbooks that have been with us for so long. We are too comfortable with them to get rid of them. Using reading materials allow learners to stay in touch with the traditional learning methods.
- Assessments: Assessments are often considered as method of evaluation, but they are an excellent learning tool. Creating scenario-based assessments allows learners to reflect on their learning and revisit information they are not sure about.
- Audio: Audio is extremely powerful. Providing lessons in audio format can help learners have a continuous learning experience. Podcasts have recently become one of the most used learning interventions.
- Project-based learning: Including practical project-based learning modules where the learners will have the opportunity to apply their learning and skills effectively is an amazing intervention to use in eLearning.
While all these interventions can be combined to form a great eLearning design, it is important to ensure that the intervention used is right for the subject discussed. Enrolling a subject matter expert to assist in developing the instructional design is always a great idea.
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