Seeing a lesson is adequate. Seeing and hearing the lesson at the same time is superior. But learning is optimal when you can see it, hear it and then execute it. That is called interactive.
Interactive multimedia training gets the end-user involved in the learning process. It keeps the end-user engaged by providing a consistent instructional environment with activities designed to test progress, assimilation, and retention. It offers interactive pre-testing and post-testing, and instant feedback for right and wrong answers.
The Benefits of eLearning:
- Cost-Effective – Taking courses online can substantially reduce the cost of learning by eliminating transportation expenses and the cost of maintaining physical classroom spaces.
- Self-paced Training – It allows the end-user to control the pace, therefore reducing stress levels and maximizing the use of the learning material when attention span is optimal.
- Higher Retention – Learning retention is maximized because of the flexibility of eLearning courses, their interactive nature, and the potential of including a variety of multimedia elements.
- Automated Tracking – If the eLearning module is incorporated in an LMS (Learning Management System), it can track user progress and completion of lessons/courses.
We design and develop optimal digital interactive solutions following learning and design principles. We use commercial off-the-shelf authoring tools such as Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline to develop eLearning modules. We can further enhance eLearning modules by using programs like Tumult Hype 3 Pro or Adobe Animate to incorporate richer animations and interactions. We are also capable of developing custom learning delivery solutions. We have experience implementing and customizing Learning Management Systems (LMS) using open source solutions like Moodle.
A Few Ideas and Recommendations About Designing Good eLearning Programs
By Oscar Gagliardi, Jr.
- Identify your audience and create engaging content specifically directed to them. Your eLearning course must meet the student learning needs and expectations. Content must always be relevant to the learner. For example, consider the age group, prior experience, and level of education.
- Do not overwhelm the student with a lot of content. Quality is more important than quantity. Keep lessons short, concise, and to the point. Remember that the main purpose of your eLearning program is to meet the learning objectives.
- Write and implement the content to progress from easy to difficult concepts. You don’t want to discourage your learners early on.
- Minimize the amount of text and bullets on the screen. Make screens more graphical, attractive, and appealing. Remember that your course is not a boring PowerPoint presentation. Make use of relevant photos, images, charts, infographics, animations, videos, or audio.
- Always state the learning objectives at the beginning of the eLearning program. You want the student to know the intention of the eLearning program right from the start.
- Use real-life scenarios that allow students to put the newly learned knowledge into practice (Learning through scenarios).
- Include personal stories if applicable. Personal stories are a powerful element that provides a real-life example.
- Use video to tell a story, demonstrate a theory or teach a specific concept.
- Make use of interactions to keep the student active and engaged.
- Utilize a gamification approach (game-based learning) if applicable to the type of content and audience. Remember that you want to make the learning experience enjoyable.
- Consider using humor to spice up and maintain your student’s interest and attention in the content. Humor can be added by using animations, graphics, photos, video, audio, or narrative.
- Tell a story to help illustrate the topic you are covering.
- Utilize a well-branded GUI (Graphical User Interface), persistent styling (create a styles guide), templates, and define standards. Build an easy-to-understand layout and a clear and well-organized navigational flow. You want to make the student experience with your course as friendly as possible. Don’t make your navigation feel like a labyrinth.
- Use a page counter, progress bar, or menu. It should be very easy and intuitive for students to find the content in the eLearning course. It is always a good idea to allow students to feel in control of their learning experience. The navigational flow may be linear or non-linear. It doesn’t matter what approach you use, you need to make sure the student is always aware of his/her progress and location within the content.
- Test your students’ understanding during the eLearning course by providing short interactive quizzes and activities. Employ quiz questions based on situations.
- Provide additional information to internal or external resources through links or downloadable PDF files if applicable.
- Consider adhering to section 508 standards (accessibility standards). Plan for this from the beginning of the design process. Don’t make this an afterthought or you will incur higher development costs.
- Perform usability testing early on to assure that your eLearning program is easy to use and improve the design based on the results of this test.
- After you finish developing your eLearning program, conduct a Quality Assurance (QA) process by different test users on all of the intended delivery platforms.