The process of learning is continuous. Adapting to the environmental and situational changes, training and learning too has learned to evolve and adapt as per the changing requirements. We have moved from traditional classroom training to online virtual classroom training.
To adapt to the changes, we need to overcome the challenges that come along. In the field of learning and training, the move from instructor-based training to online virtual classroom software, the design too needs to change. Having said that, the basics of any practice still remain the same.
For developing an e-Learning course, one need not know the coding language and is not required to have technical skills. At the same time, the program should be informative and engaging. As the online courses do not have an instructor who can understand the psyche of the student and change the teaching method, they need to cater to all the scenarios to ensure that the program is engaging and informative at the same time.
A good e-Learning design should be a combination of information put in a simplified manner and relevant subject matter. Most of the following mentioned basic principles can you make the course effective and easy to learn:
- Visual Hierarchy: Stick to the basics to increase readability and understanding. The headers, subheaders should be clearly demarcated with different font sizes, colors, alignments, images, etc. The same format should be repeated throughout the course material for different modules/chapters. Also, the flow of various modules should be continuous and progressive.
- Simplicity: Keeping the presentation simple yet engaging is the most challenging job. The overall appearance should be uniform to keep you involved and connected throughout. Provide an avenue to access the additional content related to the topic. Keep the information crisp. Breaking the information into pointers is a good option as it is easy to understand and absorb. Do not overload the content with a lot of media files. Use the minimum possible contrasting colors to keep it soothing yet demarcating the content type.
- Spacing: Synchronize the charts, figures, diagrams, and text conceptually. Do not overload the screen with information. Keep whitespaces to provide a breather to the eyes and brain to process the provided information. Proper spacing also helps in keeping the content readable.
- Legible: Ensure the font used is the same throughout the course/module. Choose a font that is simple and less cursive. Also, ensure that the font does not distort on various devices. Use contrasting colors to make the content legible. To highlight the main points, you should use various formatting tools instead of using many colors or various font types.
The same applies to the graphic styles also. Keep the graphics consistent and harmonious. Use photographs with the same pixel size and lighting background.
- Stick To Basics: New learning mode and learning content with familiar style makes it easier to adapt and absorb. The new design and may look beautiful but might not be very adaptive. Familiar navigational structures, icons, presentation style gives confidence to the learner.
- Accessibility: The course content and modules should be designed in such a manner that the learner can access and move back and forth through various modules with ease. This will help them to find the required information easily.
- Use of colors: This is a very powerful tool to highlight, express, create interest, and derive attention. The contrast of the background and content should be such that the content is clearly legible. Use a mix of dark and light colors to segregate the content types.
Conclusion: Of course there are several more tools and methodologies one can adapt to make an effective e-Learning course material, hoping that some of the basic tools mentioned-above will enhance the presentability of the new content you are about to develop.