Category: Instructional Designer

27 Oct 2015

Things to Keep in Mind While Developing eLearning Courses


The whole purpose of designing and developing an eLearning course is lost if the audience it is made for chooses to leave it midway. The audience here is the king. If the audience disapproves of an eLearning course, all the efforts and time spent into making the course go to waste. Goes without saying, the key stakeholders are held responsible for the failure of this course. The key stakeholders being SMEs, Instructional designers, multimedia developers, etc. After putting in all their effort and time, they don’t expect their product (eLearning course) to fare poorly in the market. They expect to receive satisfactory, if not great, reviews from their audience. Disappointed at the reviews they have received, they wish to find out the reason behind this failure. On giving their course a closer look, they have found out that the course has certain gaps and they have also understood that they didn’t take some important points into account. The points that they missed are:

Not clear who the audience are
Before designing, one should be clear who the audience are. Then the team should work on how to meet the course objective as per the audience.

There was lack of flow in the course
While designing and developing a course, the entire learning and development team must strive to build a course that is orderly structured, i.e. in a proper sequence. Although you develop your sequence during the outline phase, you may need to constantly revise it. Make sure you check for the mention of terms and concepts that were not previously defined. If this happens, you’ll need to go back and revise the outline so learners are introduced to the basics before being moved to the more advanced concepts. Also, the learning course must be developed in a way such that the readers/viewers stay hooked or remain engaged throughout the length of the course.

The course was overloaded with unnecessary and irrelevant information
While developing an eLearning course, we feel that it should be rich in information. With a view to make the course information rich, we tend to load the course with images, audio and onscreen text. As a result, the learner finds it difficult to go through the course as there is too much information to process. The course should not be cluttered. We should include visual images, onscreen text and audio only when it is necessary.

The sentences used were not simple. Mostly passive form of sentences were used.

The listener understands the speaker better if they are being addressed to directly in the speech. It is always better to say, “He said these words” instead of saying, “These words were said by him.” It is best to use an active, rather than passive, sentence construction. With an active construction, the subject of the sentence performs an action. With a passive construction, the subject does not take a direct action, so the sentence feels weak. So in order to connect better to the audience, the instructional designers/writers should always use active form while structuring content.