I have seen people involved in the eLearning industry who are not quite aware of what goes into designing an eLearning course. People usually complain that ‘this course is horrible’, ‘oh I think the audio is too fast’, ‘Oh God who has designed this course? Don’t they know we already know this?’
Well, people it is easy to play the blame game but you may not be aware of what goes into making an eLearning course. Hence, this article is devoted to the instructional designing process. Any kind of knowledge imparted in the digital format, is termed as eLearning. It replaces a teacher or an instructor and the learners can learn on his or her own. Instructional designing makes a boring learning experience into an interesting one. Instructional designers try to use the best possible strategy to transfer knowledge and ensure to maintain the quality of the training material.
In simple words, I can define instructional design process as the method of designing the overall learning material or the content for the target audience. However, before you launch an eLearning course as per the requirement, it goes through a number of steps. The following steps make the instructional design process a complete phase.
· Gather requirement
· Analyze those requirements/brainstorming session
· Perform learner/audience analysis
· Analyze the content
· SME Interaction
· Lesson Planning
· Deriving Instructional Strategy
· Giving instructions to the graphic developers and programmers
· Reviewing content/review cycle
· Corrective action
· Alpha launch of the course
· Releasing the final course
In the first step, you need to gather all the essential information you need to collect from the client in order to know about the course, what is the overall objective of the course and the like. In the next step you need to analyze those requirements, whether what is the client’s expectation from this course.
The next step is learner analysis. It is one of the important steps involved in the design process, wherein, you examine who is going to use the course material you are going to design. For this, you need to consider the age, educational qualification, prior learning experience of the learner and the like. In the content analysis step, instructional designers go through the content to familiarize themselves with it, to check whether the content, which the client has provided, is enough to design the training material or not. You may have to ask for further inputs in case the material seems to be deficient in information. You can also seek inputs from the subject matter expert better known as SME in consultation with the client.
In the next step, you need to write down the lesson objectives and sequence the whole content for the course. In the next step, you need to define the strategy for the course; whether you need to use animation, create instructor videos, simulation and the type of interactivities to be included and the like.
Subsequently, you make use of all the above steps to place the content in a template, in the form of a storyboard. In the ensuing step you give instructions to the graphic designer, whether what type of animation effect you want to incorporate in your storyboard and the like.
In the next step, you send the storyboard to the reviewer to have another look at it. You incorporate the changes in consultation with the reviewer. Then you send the course for alpha release and if there are no further issues, you go head and release the course finally for the client and the learners.
Phew! A lot goes into making an eLearning course, now folks think before you evaluate an eLearning course next time.