Developing a self-paced learning involves all the difficulties of classroom teaching, with a little additional effort. I would follow the basic 10 steps to keep my learning approach effective:
1. Do a thorough audience analysis: Conducting an audience analysis is an essential part of the eLearning development for an instructional designer. An effective eLearning course must achieve the learners’ requirements and their goals.
- Analyze the given content: Typically the content for the eLearning course is varied on the training requirements and organizational goals. Content also differs from one course to other and it may be divided into facts, concepts, principles, process, and procedures. Understanding the content type helps the instructional designers to design an effective course and also helps to meet the course objectives.
3. Device effective Los: We all know that adult learners always have their own set of experiences and knowledge. According to their requirements frame effective and measurable outcomes. This helps them to get a clear idea about the course and they will know what they are going to achieve at the end of the course.
4. Place onscreen text appropriately: Too heavy screens and paragraphs develop a cognitive load on the learners. Hence, it is important for an Instructional designer to chunk content for better understanding. Don’t pack too much text into one frame; try to identify the category of the content and group them accordingly. Keep it simple and focused.
5. Use visual elements that support the content: A text-heavy slide doesn’t support a quick learning; instead, it creates a cognitive load on the learner. Instructional designers should ensure to use simple and relative graphics and visuals to make your course visually rich. Use appropriate images (vector images, real images or icons), characters, and infographics to support the given content.
6. Don’t keep your learner locked into the course: Using interactivities in the course is one of the best solutions to keep your learner engaged with the course. However, this does not imply just clicking and navigating through the slides. It’s all about presenting content in a different and simple way. It helps to engage the learner through simple activities like click-on images, click-on tabs, click-on hotspots, etc. It is used to explore information when it is involved with an activity.
7. Use different media: Support your content with different media available in eLearning like audio, narration and videos and PDFs to make your course learner-centric. These help your course to serve different learning styles, such as auditory and visual learners.
- Create a self-paced and engaged learning: According to the adults learning principles, adults always enter into a learning experience with a problem-centered orientation to learn and they always want to be self-directive. To support their learning process it’s necessary to create self-paced and engaged learning through games, character animations, illustrations, and include some icebreaker questions, case studies, etc., to enhance their learning process.
9. Include self-evaluation test/assessments: Assessments help learners to measure their learning outcome. An effective eLearning course maintains learning objectives and content and assessments are aligned with each other. Thus an Instructional designer should consider learners’ past experiences and provide real-world insight by giving feedback and let them know about their learning outcomes.
10. Include rewards: Rewards boost up the learning process; it may be through certification upon successful completion of the course or grades, which allows the learner to upgrade to the next level courses.