E-learning design tips from an Instructional Designer
As an Instructional Designer, Catriona Doherty loves to design and develop learning experiences. Here are some e-learning design tips that she has picked up along the way.
‘What makes great e-learning?’ is a question we get asked a lot and instructional design is something that we are passionate about at Learning Pool.
Here are some key instructional design tips from one of our lead instructional designers.
1. Short and snappy
‘Too text heavy’ are three little words you certainly don’t want to hear about your e-learning product. The aim of the game is to convey meaning using short, snappy sentences and paragraphs.
2. Plain English
It’s best to edit the content down before you begin building the course. As a rule of thumb I tend not to go over 130 words maximum on a single Authoring Tool page (with an image).
Employ tools such as Hot Text or clickable graphics to break up copy, whereby the user clicks on a heading or image and the information appears underneath.
Sometimes when writing content for a piece of learning it can be tempting to use formal language or words that you would not use on a day-to-day basis.
Remember your course will be used by learners with varying English skills so try and make it accessible to all. Consider adding a glossary for acronyms or organisation-specific terminology that new employees may not be familiar with.
3. Storyboard first
This may appear like an added extra to do, however, storyboarding will save time in the long run. Spend some time working out what information you should include in your e-learning, what to omit, and how to structure the information. Type up your content, then simply copy and paste it into the Authoring Tool
4. Add Context
Use real life examples/scenarios to help your learners to relate the learning to their job, and see how to apply the content in their workplace.
5. Mix it up
It’s easy to stick to the same templates that you are familiar with, but take time out to remind yourself what’s on offer. Browse through the templates in the ‘Insert Page After’ section of Authoring Tool and you may just discover some forgotten gems.
Next time you feel enticed to select a third ‘Text and graphic’ in a row, step away from the mouse and consider other options.
Want to know more about effective and engaging instructional design?
Learning Pool’s team of Instructional Designers build engaging, flexible and adaptable content to help you meet your objectives quickly and create great e-learning that engages learners and gets the right message across. Find out more here.
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