I am planning to visit EduTech Asia 2019, one of the largest education conference and exhibition event that will take place in Singapore from 4 to 6 November. Every year this event is organized to bring together the entire education sector to inspire the next generation to learn and exchange new ideas.
I was convincing my friend, who belongs to the same EduTech industry, and I was discussing with him why he should too come along with me in this event.
In the middle of a discussion, he interrupted and ask me a question,
What is the course?
I answered it is officially a collection of all modules you take in a school/college/university to obtain a particular qualification. My friend educated me that we all are familiar with what is a course and we have all the required ingredients to make eLearning courses convenient at out fingerprints. But, are we following an appropriate course structure? Apart from making content/course interactive and engaging what other steps we are taking to offer better training today?
His questions left me wondering.
Inspired by this conversion, today I am going to discuss the things you should take into consideration before building an eLearning course as creating engaging and interactive experience is not enough, today’s digital edge content demands your course to align with overall learning objectives and learners’ expectations.
Following the right approach will ensure the success of your online course. Let’s have a look at pre-launch tips to avoid most common pitfalls as well as mistakes before creating an online course.
First of all, where to start?
A comprehensive brainstorming session will help you understand that all the learning content you generate is developed in an appropriate format, and it is created considering learning objectives and learner needs. So, the first question that you should start with is
How much amount of content you already have and what type of media content it is?
Here what I want you to take care of is the length of the course and volume of existing content. Ensure that your course should not be longer than an hour, and you are breaking the learning content into manageable ‘chunks’.
Types of content for eLearning courses
- Learner-centered content
- Engaging Content
- Interactive content
Methods of Learning
- Computer-based training and Web-based training
- Mobile Training
- Social Training
- Game-based Learning
Once you understand the types of content, then you are required to understand 3 key questions;
- Know your target Learners?
- Are They Tech – Savvy?
- How necessary is subject matters knowledge for a learner?
The answers to the above-listed questions will help you design a course that your learners seek for. Developing an eLearning course is entirely different from face to face audience. While creating an online course it is mandatory to have clear learning objectives and high-quality content. Precisely understanding for whom you are creating content will help you guide your decision about content types as well as design. The allocation of the budget will help you determine the volume as well as types of content you can create to generate.
For Whom Who you are Creating eLearning Courses?
This second round of questions will help define the first ‘Who’ of your online learning program – your learners. Thinking about these questions will help ensure your course is aligned to the needs of all learners who undertake it.
Here comes a second round to understand the ‘who’ of your online learning program. Identifying the ‘who’ will help you understand the many aspects of your course design. Who are your learners and their understanding about technology affects course design decisions – from the navigational program to how your content should be visually presented?
If you are planning to design a course for children, then it is mandatory to use more imagery and colors than a course developed for adult learners. It is mandatory that courses should be looking professional, but it doesn’t mean that it should lack fun as well as imagination.
What is an Ideal Course Structure?
A course is an execution of the message you want to convey to your learners. It’s a collection of artistic content placed into an appropriate structure to provide accessed and interacted information using LMS. A course structure is a requirement to be satisfied; it’s a need that differs from course to course and institution to institution.
The Type and the Method You are Designing
There are various guidelines you need to take into consideration all types of courses. Because every course should be learner-centric and it should always be in your course rationale. So, identify your course rationale and understand the purpose that does you want to motivate learners or trying to pass on information or your purpose is to help learners to change their behavior.
So, identifying the type and method will guide you that how your course should be designed. If your purpose is to pass on the information, then you should straightaway pass on the information with a type of course. The more convenient your course will be higher the chances of getting it to succeed.
If your purpose is to motivate the learners and want to bring the change in their behavior, you should assess the degree of learning achieved at the end of the course. In this scenario, planning, development time period, as well as cost, will increase consequently. To motivate the learners to assist them to change their behavior requires scripted scenario and storytelling in which learners are required to given an outcome-based content they have read, watched and listed.
Make sure the outcome includes a degree of feedback. These methods are very much useful to learn and it requires considerable planning with the help of subject matter expert that can co-relate to the learner’s needs.
If your purpose is to evaluate the learning, then you need to consider what form the assessment should take. From multiple choice of questions to qualitative feedback, you must be very much clear about your course requirements to attain and design accordingly.
What Type of Component Should You Create?
Learning has different types of forms that are text, audio, video, and images. So, your choice of content selection should be thoughtful enough. Go through the listed below questions to understand which type is appropriately suited to serve your learner’s objectives as well as learning needs.
Content creation questions:
- Does your content help to enhance the learning?
- Is your content supported by LMS?
- Do you have skilled designers and developers to create a specific type of content?
Here I would like to bring to your attention that Video, audio or visual content should only be used improve the learning. Consider the below listed best practice guidelines before selecting the best content types.
Video is the best form of learning as it allows to demonstrate complex tasks effectively and it allows the learner to start, stop, pause, rewind and fast-forward the video as needed. Video content requires user experience consideration. The best thing about video content is it lets its user interaction and also helps to increase the learner engagement.
A picture is worth a thousand words, only when it is appropriate with audio and video content. All the images should be clearly and logically used with the onscreen learning content. For example, the image on your screen does not relate with the content then it won’t serve the purpose. Imagery has a logical connection with the side’s content as well as learning. A poorly pixelated image risks undermining the authority of your course.
The color scheme and combination have a massive impact on learning. The font should be easy to read, the color should be ideal for any atmosphere else it can harsh the eyes and induce fatigue. So, what you are required to take care is the slides of your eLearning courses are clean and uncluttered. The appropriate design does not only help you save your valuable time, but it also creates brand consistency between the courses.
The Ideal Platform
eLearning has transformed the way people learn. The convenient accessibility has enhanced the emergence of ‘mLearning.’ A significant understanding of mLearning is crucial for course developers. Developers should consider the range of devices that a course can be accessed.
Moodle is an ideal platform to synchronize with your existing learning system, and it is highly advanced and one of the most popular eLearning systems.
You should ensure the mobile responsiveness of your chosen LMS. Responsiveness requires additional planning as well as production time, but on the other hand, it eliminates the need to produce the content in different formats for different devices.
The evolution of mLearning is emerged with Tin Can that is also known as experience API or XAPI. The xAPI is a progression from SCORM. Determine whether to build SCORM – Shareable Content Object Reference Model or xAPI compliant courses are a very significant point of consideration if your planning to design a course to track ‘mobile’ learner activities.
So, the first and foremost thing you need to ensure is authorizing that software has xAPI publishing competencies along with LMS similar capabilities. I hope you have received all the relevant information to create eLearning course content. Once you have an answer of your Where, Who and What of your course then the next step is to hire Moodle developer to collaborate with an open-source learning management system and leverage the functionality as well as the interactivity of this open-source learning platform.
At Bacancy Technology, we have well-versed Moodle developers who have in-depth knowledge and skillful expertise in delivering superior user experience as well as support to achieve your learner’s learning objectives. Leverage, our Moodle development services, to craft a personalized Moodle solution.