A skyscraper that reaches out to the stars can only be constructed if it has a strong foundation that goes deep into the earth. Similarly, engaging eLearning Design is the foundation of an ideal and effective eLearning program. In this article, we examine some of the key elements of engaging eLearning Design.

Structure First – Design Later

Does the statement above sound a bit vague? Well, let’s get into details. Quite often I have seen eLearning projects go haywire because the first-level design document was not clear. Yes, minor changes do happen; but a complete 360-degree turn from what was initially agreed-upon in the first design document does not bode well for any project. It is crucial for the Graphic Design team and the Instructional Design team to sit together for a pre-project design collaboration meeting and work on a broad framework of how the course needs to be structured and what components would go into it. Once the design document factors in the requirements and gets approval from all stakeholders then commence work.

Designing Learning Experiences

How does an eLearning company distinguish itself from another? In an extremely competitive market, cut-throat pricing and automated services have brought down the differences between market-leaders and startups. Companies can only thrive if they go the extra mile and offer truly exceptional course content that satisfies both the client and the end-users who will take up the learning. Hence it is important for both the instructional designers and graphic designers working on eLearning projects to take pride in their work. Efficient and engaging eLearning is not about designing template-driven courses. It is about designing authentic learning experiences that leave a lasting impression in the minds of learners.

Content that Enlightens

The core foundation on which any eLearning program is designed is good content. One can develop the most beautiful layouts, interesting animated characters, add soothing background music, and great voiceover narratives; but unless the content is powerful and engaging; the program will not work. Have clarity on the content; get it approved by key stakeholders before production; and ensure that it is in harmony with the learning objectives mapped in the original design document. A lot of what is written gets lost in visualizing it and rendering it as an animated video. The onus lies on the instructional designer to interact with the graphic design team and ensure that the animated output matches their visualization in the storyboard.

Tackling the Attention Span Conundrum

This is a topic that we have written about earlier as well. Handling decreasing attention spans among millennials in the modern workforce is a big challenge. Integrating chatbots, thoughtfully designed games, using structured assessments, and breaking up a larger program into smaller coherent bite-sized learning nuggets are some tips to engage learners.

Using AI and VR

Not every client would have the budget to factor AI and VR-enabled eLearning. But the growing popularity of AR and VR-enabled learning opens numerous fascinating possibilities. A small portion of a larger learning program can be designed as a mixed reality-based learning nugget. It is important for eLearning organizations to invest in emerging technologies and create a diverse portfolio of learning samples, which they can share with prospective clients.

Being Receptive to Feedback

This is a trait that needs to be imbibed in day-to-day life as well, not just eLearning projects. Across the lifecycle of an eLearning project, there’s going to be a lot of feedback from both internal and external stakeholders (client). The key is to accept and integrate valid feedback. It also means being strong enough to say ‘NO’ to the feedback that doesn’t add value. One needs to back a refusal with proper statements and proof stating why the feedback isn’t valid. Building a long-lasting relationship with a client is not achieved by saying ‘YES’ to everything that the client says. It is developed by assessing client feedback and providing your own inputs as a subject matter expert and explaining why something won’t or will work.

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Author's Bio: 

James T. is an online blogger who love to write about latest insights in elearning industry