Instructional Design Techniques for Creating Effective e-learning

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1 Instructional Design Techniques for Creating Effective e-learning Sighle Brackman, Trivantis 608

2 Instructional Design Techniques For Creating Effective Elearning Presentation Purpose Purpose for presenting today is to contribute: to your Enthusiasm and Commitment to elearning as a viable method of educating and training learners and Provide a positive impact on how you Think About Design and Process elearning. So you might integrate some of the ideas into your own contributions. Integrate ID & Technology Instructional Design Principles Half of the puzzle Practical ID methods critical to elearning design Structures the Course Message Technology Frames Supports Connects Guides the learning experience. Conveys the Course Message Integrate Two Puzzle Pieces to Create an Elearning Experience with Impact! Page 1

3 Putting the Pieces Together I N S T R U C T I O N A L Audience D E S I G N Theme Content Measurement Course Layout Learning Objectives Slide Layout Instruction Graphics Audio Interactivity Video Illustration Animation Demonstration Simulation T E C H N O L O G Y Five Concepts To Consider Five concepts frame the thinking that goes into every elearning design project: Elearning Mission Challenge of No Instructor Audience Learning Styles Fundamental Design Concepts Elearning Mission To design asynchronous elearning courseware that integrates instructional design principles and technology to create a successful learning experience for a defined audience. Page 2

4 Challenge of No Instructor In the absence of a facilitator or instructor, you must design an elearning course to independently facilitate and inform to create a memorable learning experience with impact. Audience Knowing your audience (e.g., corporate culture, learner backgrounds, prevalent learning styles) is fundamental to the overall course because it helps: define theme and style; where on the continuum of informal to formal. know how to write and present the instruction. determine language level and style to use. identify appropriate and amount of technology to use (e.g., types of graphics and illustrations, video, audio, demonstration/simulation, animation). An excellent book on Adult learning is: Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn : A Comprehensive Guide for Teaching All Adults (Jossey Bass Higher and Adult Education Series) By: Raymond J. Wlodkowski Learning Styles With no instructor, a self contained course must balance between the three primary styles of learning: Visual learn through seeing Auditory learn through hearing Tactile or Kinesthetic learn through moving, doing, touching Balance between learning styles to engage without overwhelming or underwhelming the audience. Page 3

5 Fundamental Design Concepts Two fundamental concepts for effective elearning are flow and engagement. Flow means to: Remove obstructions to learning Balance the extremes Engaging the learners means to: Motivate learners Interest learners Use the following to achieve flow: Concise Message Consistency Connections Use the following to engage learners: Give learners a reason to take the course Technology must support and connect learners to content Designing the Course Transform content into an elearning course: Define learning objectives Transform content into instruction Create a course outline Create a course layout Apply Technology Methods Reinforce learning Write an assessment Include a survey Define Learning Objectives Learning (instructional) objectives define where the path will take us before designing the path. Effective instruction succeeds in changing students in a desired direction. Instructional objectives set that direction and: relate to intended outcomes for achievement. are specific and measurable. are concerned with the learner, not the facilitator or course. An excellent book on Preparing Instructional Objectives is: Preparing Instructional Objectives, A critical tool in the development of effective instruction By: Robert F. Mager Page 4

6 Use Action Verbs for Learning Objectives Bloom s Taxonomy identifies six levels of thinking. The levels are Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation. There are action verb lists associated with these levels of thinking from various sources on the web. After determining the level of thinking required for a course or select objectives, you can choose corresponding action verbs for writing learning objectives. See Using Bloom's Taxonomy for Learning Objectives. Bloom's Taxonomy Transform Content into Instruction Select content that directly teaches to one or more learning objectives; eliminate or give less emphasis to secondary supporting content. Use action statements whenever possible! Write concisely. Get to the point quickly and succinctly! Avoid extra words like very, much unless they provide specific required emphasis. Avoid phrasing if there is a more direct and concise way to state a point. Transform Content into Instruction Use bullets because: they are easier to read quickly grab concepts Bullets require: introductory text Consistent format Each point must stand alone and be understood without further explanation. Setting a rule of thumb for bullet format creates consistency. A Possible Rule of Thumb for Bullets If it is a list of items: capitalize first word of each bullet. do not add an end period. If each bullet completes the start of a sentence: do not capitalize the first word of each bullet. add an end period. If the introductory text, the bullets and optional end text make up one complete sentence: do not capitalize the first word of each bullet, use commas on bullets as if writing a sentence, put in and on 2 nd before last bullet and add an end period to the last bullet or completion phrase. Page 5

7 Transform Content into Instruction Block text into concepts and ideas Less is more on a slide; use whitespace to make even the most complex topics seem easy. Too much on a slide especially with a lot of activity is overwhelming to the learner. Create a Course Outline Use a course outline to document instruction to: establish a course flow. start a course design document (i.e., storyboard or deck). Use the following two templates to document most courses: Course Outline Template Chapters and Topics Course Outline - Chapters and Topics Course Outline Template Topics Only Course Outline - Topics Only Create a Course Layout Use a course layout to create consistency and connection. Most course layouts have a standard set of items that create learning connections: A GUI (graphic user interface) or a standard look and navigation Layout of chapters A standard organization to each chapter (e.g, introduction, objectives, topic, summary, knowledge checks) A storyboard or deck is the output for the completed design and the blueprint for the development process. The following PowerPoint document is a storyboard template: Storyboard Template Page 6

8 Apply Technology Methods What methods of technology best convey the message of a course? Samples are worth a thousand words for demonstrating the application of technology methods. We will look at samples that: Engage with Personal Connection to the course Connect Details Back to the Big Picture Use Transition and Visual Connection Use Demonstration, Animation and Simulation Use Audio, Scenario and Stories Engage with Personal Connection to the Course Use a splash page to catch the learner s attention. Create a personal connection to the course material with an engaging introduction. Connect Details Back to the Big Picture Access references from the GUI. Use a consistent icon for a specific purpose. Use a set of tabs on a page. Use a consistent global graphic. Page 7

9 Use Transition and Visual Connection Use visual connections to the message for the learner. Use transition of text, bullets, and blocks of instruction onto the screen in logical sequence to guide the learner. Use picture and reveal method. Use Demonstration, Animation and Simulation Use demonstration to show how: a result occurs to complete a process Use animation to show a point and engage the learner. Use simulation to demonstrate and/or interact with the learner for software products. Use Audio, Scenario and Stories Use audio to assist in transferring the message on the page. Use scenario driven training to show how to apply the concepts. Use stories to add interest and engage with dry content. Page 8

10 Reinforce Learning Intersperse Knowledge Checks throughout the course to periodically allow the learner to check their understanding. Knowledge checks engage the learner with activity and wrap up a topic. Knowledge Checks should: keep the learning objectives in focus. connect the learner to the information covered. use interactivity whenever possible. allow the learner to repeat knowledge checks as often as they wish. provide feedback. Ask yourself these questions when designing knowledge checks: How many knowledge checks? Should there be a consistent number of knowledge checks for each chapter or topic or does that depend on content? Where do they go? At the end of every chapter or topic? Interspersed in a chapter or topic? Should knowledge checks be predictors, exactly the same, or completely different from assessment content? Write an Assessment Assessments test the learner s knowledge directly after taking the course. An assessment is a Level 2 evaluation in the Kirkpatrick s Levels of Evaluation model. Write Assessment Questions that Authentically Test the Learners Assessment questions should: test to the learning objectives. test the most important information. authentically test the learners. Ask yourself these questions when designing an Assessment: Do you want to provide feedback that gives the correct answer? Or simply correct or incorrect? Or no feedback? What is the purpose of the assessment? What happens when a learner does not pass the assessment? Can they immediately repeat the test, have to repeat the course, or review specific topics? Include a Survey Surveys are the learner s opportunity to provide immediate feedback about the course. A survey is a Level 1 evaluation in the Kirkpatrick s Levels of Evaluation model. Include Survey Questions that Provide Data for Future Improvements Page 9

11 Conclusion Instructional Design structures the message. Technology conveys the message. Effective elearning requires the integration of instructional design principles and technology. Conclusion Five concepts frame the thinking that goes into every elearning design project: Elearning Mission Challenge of No Instructor Audience Learning Styles Fundamental Design Concepts Conclusion Transform content into an elearning course: Define learning objectives Transform content into instruction Create a course outline Create a course layout Apply Technology Methods Reinforce learning Write an assessment Include a survey Page 10

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