December 1st, 2014 Instructional Design

devOn the surface, creating an online course seems pretty easy. The more you get into the process though, the more you begin to realize that there are many areas that can negatively impact the course effectiveness.

A few internet searches will yield plenty of tips and tricks, but sometimes they can be too specific to a particular situation. It is often nice to have some general guidelines to keep in mind as you build out your online course.

If you are in the process of building out elearning, then you will benefit by adhering to the following tips:

Know Your Audience – This is one of the most suggested pieces of advice when it comes to building out course content because of how crucial it is to the way your content is created. Make sure to gain a full understanding of learner backgrounds and motivations.

Learning is Social – Whenever possible, it is a good idea to incorporate social elements into your learning (or learning paths). Gamification is a perfect way to do this.

Pay Attention to Design – Just because something is “cool” doesn’t always make it the best choice for your elearning design. Find a set of elearning design criteria that speaks to you and apply it consistently.

Remember that People are Busy – No one wants to be sitting in front of their computer or mobile device for hours on end taking an online course. If there is a great deal of content, break it up logically so that learners can better maintain attention and ultimately retain the learning.

Train to Beginners – The worst thing you can do in your training is to assume that the learner already knows something. When creating the content, it is often beneficial to assume the audience has never been exposed to the material before. This will help to guide the way your course covers key topics.

Create Clear Objectives and Repeat Them – Objectives writing is in art more than a science. When creating objectives for your courses, make sure they are clear, measurable, and repeated often through the lessons. Relate all content back to the stated objectives to help learners naturally begin to form the connection.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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