Creating an E learning course which will provide value addition to the learners and at the same time be simple enough for them to grasp and flexible enough to follow, is not easy-peasey. Following the well-acclaimed best practices and imbibing various facets of an effective E-learning program calls for a highly planned and focused approach.
It’s a multi-tiered process, involving layers of reiterations and corrections. You cannot get it perfect in one shot.
Here are some pointers that will help you to set your course of action.
1. Study the target audience: Every communication needs to be moulded according to the receiver; and e-learning is no different. The instructional design will be most effective if we are well aware of the understanding level, prior knowledge and experience of the learners. The target audience can be any of the following categories:
2. Choose the delivery mode: There can be several delivery modes, depending upon the accessibility of learners, their location and time convenience. Since e-learning provides flexibility of learning platform, you can create the courses to suit the distribution platform. Mobile phones, tablets, laptops are the most commonly used delivery devices for e-learning. The features which you integrate in the course and module length will vary according to the device.
3. Framework of the course: The best e-learning courses are built on a framework that is revised several times. Instead of going ahead with the entire research and development at one go, you must first plan the structure of the course, and discuss it with the team that will receive training. It might be possible that there are some more points that need to be imbibed or some topics are redundant. Making these changes at the framework level will help you to finally put up an excellent course module which serves the purpose.
4. Clarify learning objectives: At the outset, the objective of preparing the corporate e-learning course must be clear. There can be following motives of an online module:
5. Make it engaging: Enabling learners to participate in the learning process is a great way to make the course successful. When there are ways in which people can contribute to the course, they will feel more involved and will be likely to complete the course in a disciplined manner. Moreover, you can incorporate forums and discussion boards, on which participants can leave comments, interact with fellow learners, discuss relevant topics and provide feedback. Being present on these forums helps instruction designers to understand the problems and reactions of participants.
6. Include games and rewards: Games that reward learners with bonus points or additional incentive make the course highly interactive. You must plan to incorporate games that are relevant to the module and gives real time simulative experience to learners. The game can be planned with levels, which the learners will have to clear to reach the end of the course.
7. Revision and feedback: Going through the course content in an encapsulated manner is essential. Hence, including summaries, preferably with bullet points, is important. Moreover, you must ask good questions, which prompt learners to think innovatively. Open ended questions, alongside multiple choice questions, enable people to think ‘out of the box’ and find unique solutions. Variation in pattern of questions is also important.
8. Easy navigation: The navigation must be simple and non restrictive. This implies that participants must be free to move back and forth in the course. In case they want to go back to a chapter, or check out the quiz part before completing the module, the navigation must allow them to do so. The buttons and icons used should be clearly visible, throughout the course material as well as in the evaluation part.
9. Use of case studies: Using case studies to explain concepts or develop work skills with the help of characters (avatar) inbuilt in the module is an innovative approach for instructional design. Moreover, with case studies, learners can experience simulation and get involved with the course. Presenting a scenario which is close to real life situation helps learners identify with it and apply the learning practically.
10. Be crisp and clear: Sticking to a timeframe while designing an online course is a must. Lengthy modules tend to get boring and learners cannot concentrate. Keeping each module 10 to 15 minutes long is a good idea. Also, limit your modules to cover only one central idea/ technology/concept. This way, learners will grasp more and know in depth about each topic.
Keeping these ’10 commandments’ of effective e-learning course design is imperative in order to create an unmatched course.
People ask all the time whether online colleges are really legitimate and are really a good way to get proper education. Online colleges and universities are a great alternative to traditional colleges and universities. Attending an online college is a great way to earn a degree in any specific field. Many people who have full-time jobs and families or other concerns to deal with find that they can attend online colleges and online universities.
First of all, before enrolling in an online college, make sure it is certified. To be precise, to make the most of your time, energy and money worthwhile, you must seek out accredited online universities, colleges or vocational schools. Investigate the school properly to find out whether it is accredited and recognized regionally and be sure it is not a degree mill that typically sells you a degree with little or no preparation. While it may seem tempting to obtain a degree without the effort required, it will not do much for your future job abilities and could even land you in trouble legally if you misrepresent your skills.
The following are the benefits you can reap by enrolling in an accredited online college and university:
The growth of technology, regular use of digital materials and the varying needs of today’s learners have made a traditional classroom teaching less efficient and effective. To fulfill the needs of the modern learners and to make classroom teaching approach more effective, most of the schools and colleges have now adopted Learning Management Systems (LMS). This is a software application allowing teachers to realise different pedagogical models, deliver personalised learning, engage and connect students from different places.
Technology and innovation is everywhere - laced in practically all aspects of our culture. It influences how we live, work, play, and significantly learn. With portable devices and other wireless gadgets that are becoming essential prerequisites across each industry today, it just bodes well that our schools employ digital technology in the classrooms.
As the learning process is a never-ending one, so are the changes in the education system. The education system changes and should change with the changing requirements of the current state. Earlier, learning was confined to the physical classroom and had limited role to play to the development of the students. Their interaction was only through their teachers and the education depended on the limited teachers they had connection.
But, with the age of digital revolution, the classroom education got metamorphosed into more of an instant and self-driven. Students now do not have to rely upon only one source for their learning needs and learn from the internet whenever they want. After that there was e-learning revolution, which was aimed to making learning easier for the students.
The E-Learning Scenario in India
India has one of the largest education systems in world, with more than one million schools, colleges and higher educational institutes. It has to be understood that the potential for e-learning is huge in India and some of the big companies like McGraw-Hill and NIIT have already tapped into this goldmine of K-12 and higher education online students. Some of the prominent Indian job portals, including naukri.com, have started e-learning options for professionals too in collaboration with professional training providers.
Many places in India still lack the access to good teachers and education facilities. This can be fulfilled with the help of e-learning. In the last two years, the e-learning market has already grown by a remarkable 55%. According to a report, the market was worth $2 billion last year and is expected to double by 2017.
What are the factors pushing E-Learning in India
Though, there have a lot of advancements in the e-learning sector, there are a lot of challenges that it has to face. There is still a lack of internet connectivity in many places which will become the prime hindrance in its progress. Another important challenge there is in e-learning is the development of good instructional designs. Most of the good quality courses have high cost or are not accessible to the masses. Prominent MOOCs are growing and should solve the problem in the future. Overall, the e-learning scenario looks bright for India.
Hasib is a professional writer working with one of the top job sites in India –naukri.com. As a career coach, he helps professionals in making decisions related to career and job opportunities. He is an avid reader and lives for two things – football and food. If he is not involved in any of those, you can find him contemplating existential issues. Follow him @ twitter, Google+, LinkedIn
You must have seen students feeling jittery when it comes to the learning but let me tell you one thing, I have seen subject matter experts also fighting the fear of learning. It’s not that they don’t have grip on their subject but they don’t know the way to impart their knowledge among s or should I say, they don’t know the way to convey the expertise to someone else.
This blog is dedicated to the subject matter experts struggling conveying the body of knowledge associated with the subject to the candidates. As far as I know, there are certain facts that we take for granted but actually helpful for the learning.
1.Doing is learning:Practice makes a man perfect, and its true man! I mean, do you remember, in childhood you did a lot practice on catching pom-pom ball and now you have mastered it! Yes?
This is true here as well! Subject matter experts should provide the opportunity to the candidates to apply new skills and knowledge by practicing in a realistic environment time to time.
Many activities such as decision making, thoughtful response and problem solving encourage active learning and boost higher order thinking.
2. Let’s socialize:Remember those group studies with friends and claiming you had learned more than you could have studied alone? Study with fun?
I advise experts to go out and participate in groups and share knowledge with peers or anyone else. This would create ways to learn from each other, exchange information and discuss your doubts. They should join social networks as well such as research gate and explorable to learn from the group of practitioners. This will help experts to connected and updated with the latest news in their domain.
3.Weaving the stories:People remember stories and it is advisable for SME to weave the stories around the topic they are interested in teaching. Give example and talk about our mistakes, success and failure. It will encourage candidates to learn the stories and the topic as well. Let student also share their stories with you.
4.Take small bits: As you are a subject matter expert, you must know that our brain has limited capability to learn, perceive and process any information. Break your content into small learning assignment. This is known as micro learning, a hot trend in learning flea.it will enhance skills, comprehension and knowledge retention.
I hope, subject matter experts follow the above advice and work towards excellence.
Mostly students join online courses for IIT or MBA preparations. While e-learning can be fun, it involves a lot of hard work and dedication. Students need to learn proper utilization of their time for performing exceptionally well in their examinations. A successful student knows how to manage their time in an optimum manner. Time management plays an important role in a student’s life, mostly when one is pursuing an online course. Hence, we list down some valuable tips for time management.
Set Your Priorities
Make a priority list! Not every task is important! Some tasks are important, some tasks are urgent. Learn to differentiate between the tasks and set a priority list accordingly.
Know your Best Time
Understand yourself and schedule high priority tasks at the time of the day when you can do your best work. Some people can study better in the morning, some students are night owls. Know your best time and draft your daily schedule accordingly.
Lack of sleep reduces performance, as does lack of good health. Try to get enough sleep so that you can concentrate properly.
Add up Little Things
Never wait for an ample amount of time to start off with a task. Whether it is discussing a problem with an online counsellor, reviewing informational forums or reading a few pages of an online tutorial – small things can be managed in time gaps available between other priorities.
Learn to Compromise
Sometimes, you might not be able to find enough time to do things in a perfect manner. Henceforth, you should learn to compromise with excellence over efficiency. Sometimes doing just good enough is a better way to manage workload.
Time management is important for students opting for online learning, and by practicing the above steps this skill can be easily developed by students.
The use of the internet and educational technology for academic purposes is known as E learning. Many United Kingdom and Europe students use academic technology and the electronic media to educate themselves. This quite often proves to be more helpful than traditional classroom teaching. Being taught in a class is boring for many students and is not as much fun as e learning. E learning is very convenient and enables them to enjoy their studying experience. It allows them to study from their homes and be comfortable. Their family members can see as to what all homework they have been given and help them with their studies. Their homework, is thus, completed on time.
As the students study at home, their parents can monitor their activities. They don’t have to travel from one place to another and hence, end up saving travel costs. E learning provides them access to riveting learning materials of their choice and is surely a better alternative over studying in a classroom. The ability to learn new things with interest and fun is what makes the entire studying experience very beneficial for them. They can study from any part of the world and get in touch with their classmates and instructors. This enables more communication with each other, and is something that happens lesser in classrooms. Many shy and introvert students find it problematic to discuss their issues in a class but open up on such platforms and get rid of their doubts.
E learning helps students comprehend better and be more attentive. It puts into practice various styles of learning and helps them participate in multiple activities. This leads to an increase in their cognitive abilities and makes the subject material accessible to them. They get more familiar with the internet and computers which gives them increased assistance during their respective courses and careers. This provides them the confidence to achieve their goals. They feel more motivated and can execute their tasks with full responsibility and dedication. Some of the researches have proved that e learning, due to its fun and creative element, is very effective in pushing less motivated and weak students forward.
Learning properly at the right pace from the comfort of homes benefits students big time. That is why, more and more of them are switching to e learning courses. These courses can be done at affordable prices and without any complications. Students find them fun, interactive and interesting. They can sometimes complete these courses with minimal supervision and add feathers to their caps. Thus, good careers and bright future await them. They can even complete full time degrees and education amidst their busy schedules. More interaction with their classmates and instructors and studying as per their own choices provide them all the reasons to opt for e learning.
Studying at a comfortable pace eases their tensions and lets them focus deep in all the subjects. Various e learning methods motivate them to come up with creative and innovative ideas. They can learn a lot from their homes at any point of time and apply that knowledge to become successful.
The effectiveness of learning can be known when the learned subject is implemented in a successful manner. Although there exams and test there are just mere tests to know more about the students’ memory power. The real test comes when during the implementation phase. In the olden ages everything was taught practically and tested the pupil’s skills and knowledge. But in the recent year practical tests are very limited or none in many cases making students vulnerable. This is why many students lack industry expertise and so many engineers are not able to make it to the jobs. Our colleges churn out lakhs of engineers of them whom only a few hundred are eligible for the industry and a lot of the remaining needs hours and hours of training even after receiving their graduation degrees. This clearly puts forward that there needs a revamp in our educational systems and make it more practical rather than a memory exercise. The current education system has become a mere rabbit race rather than developing future engineers for the society.
The testing of students and the examinations in current educational system needs a drastic change and more practical tests must be implemented to make our graduate more employable quickly. For this there needs to e a change from grass root levels and the initiative must come from parents. While practical learning not only helps students in learning new things, it also leaves standard mark on the memory of the kids thereby making them more knowledgeable. The same systems must be carried throughout the educational years till they get employed. The real gap between the industry and the eligibility of the students must be reduced and this can be done by more practical training only.
Although learning comes from books, it should not stop there itself. This book learning must be taken to next or higher level of practical learning. Ask the kids or students to practically implement and showcase them to other students which will surely leave a positive mark in the memory of the students. The necessary requirements for the practical learning must be made available in schools and every student must be given an opportunity to prove their talent. This will help them get jobs immediately and also helps organizations in saving time and money. It is not just for the advantage of the industry but also to help the students that practical learning is mandatory.
E-learning has been fast emerging as an alternative to traditional classroom learning techniques. While classroom learning makes you confined to an instructor imparting training, e-learning exposes you to all its elements that can be easily perceived. It offers high visibility of content that improves retention and optimizes learning in students. Basically, e-learning provides better access to the instructional environment. However, there are various aspects of e-learning that need to be researched in order to determine if it is really effective for learners of all types. For this purpose, it is important to study the way people learn and retain information.
There is further need for finding out the effectiveness of varied instructional methods and media elements. Although technology supports new learning, it is still to be seen if it can overtake the benefits of classroom teaching techniques. Many people assume that e-learning is more effective due to its use of latest technology and methods. However, experts feel that it is more important to focus on the way such technology and methods are utilized for instructional purposes. It is the way a lesson is designed that impacts learning. If a lesson is poorly designed, then even a good delivery technique could fail.
E-learning can be highly effective if we concentrate on designing lessons with a learner-focused approach instead of only focusing on the way these lessons would be delivered. There are several media that e-learning uses to deliver content. It is not necessary that every medium would be equally effective in carrying specific content. It is the synergy of the effectively designed content and the right delivery technique that governs effective learning in students. Students usually feel that they can learn better through graphics and audiovisuals. Again, this aspect of using various media elements for the delivery of lessons depends on the way these elements are used.
While some studies have shown that learning through graphics is highly effective, it is also shown by other studies that a dramatic use of these graphics can also depress learning. Thus, instructional designers need to be aware of the best use of media elements in designing such content that enhances learning instead of hampering it. E-learning surely has a wide scope of designing and delivering lessons in several innovative ways. The only need to turn it more effective for target learners is to make the best use of design techniques, delivery methods and media elements.
Mike Cornell and Emma Jones are behind the success of Elearning Blog, a blog solely focused on providing free resources and tips for e-learning.