April 1st, 2014 E-Learning

most-importantCreating an elearning course today is actually quite easy. In theory, you could grab an old PowerPoint presentation, a free screen recording software, and you’re good to go.

However, that wouldn’t be very effective.

The trick is not creating elearning, it is creating effective elearning.

There are many different suggestions and instructional design strategies for optimizing elearning effectiveness, but those can sometimes be too narrow (or specific), and as a result they are not always applicable to the content at hand.

3 Components of Effective ELearning

Anyone can tell you about specific elearning development strategies, tools, and tricks to help increase effectiveness – and all of them may very well work.

Looking at this from a different perspective, your elearning courses will do so much better if they are useful, usable, and desirable. With this in mind, you can then figure out the best instructional design practices and programs to meet each one of these components.

Useful: Will the learners find the content useful to their jobs or in acquiring a new skill? To help with this, the content should be tailored to fit real-life situations.  Navigation of the course should be simple and the learner should know throughout the course if they are on the right track.

Usable: Don’t get caught up on the fancy menus and tools – simplicity is key. The material should be readable, images crisp, objectives well stated, and interactive elements should all work as expected.

Desirable: The course content should attract and influnce the learner – to do this you should appeal to both their emotions and logic. Use case-studies where possible to show how the new information is applicable, and why it is good.


Shift ELearning

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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


2 responses

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Great stuff Justin. In my healthcare field, the vast majority of online continuing education courses are exactly what you described; recorded PowerPoint presentations. In fact, I just took one last week that was an hour long video of a PowerPoint presentation. I found myself constantly pausing and rewinding the video to take notes and absorb the information. I find these type of courses less than ideal and I want to do better! That is why I am starting to offer my own online continuing education courses. I am trying to learn as much as I can about instructional design and elearning to offer the best courses possible for my profession. Your blog has been a great resource for me. I only hope that people in my profession will be open to change and respond positively to online courses presented in a different way.

Avatar Alex

I feel your pain Alex! Great that you recognize the market opportunity here – it shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with something more effective and (far more) impressive than recorded PPTs!

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