Instructional Design on Sep 08, 2023
In the e-Learning world, when planning a training initiative, there are multiple factors to consider ―content, culture, training goals, deadlines, budgets... Based on the available resources and the training objectives, many different approaches can be taken. But, how do companies plan the perfect training program? At Third Term, we're experts at helping clients craft the ultimate solution for their training initiatives.
Today, we share 5 key aspects you need to consider when planning e-Learning. These will help you identify the right methods for each training need. Let's dive in!
The level of customization refers to how tailored and adaptable the solution is, ranging from highly tailored experiences to more generic options. A customized program suits a specific audience, while less tailored options are for broader audiences. Based on this, learning solutions can be:
Off-the-shelf: These are pre-packaged courses that cover a range of topics. They offer cost and time savings since they eliminate the need for creating content from scratch. However, initial investment from vendors often means limited complexity. Despite seeming cost-effective, these solutions often fail to meet client objectives, resulting in eventual custom course development – a potentially more effective path. Click here to see an example of an off-the-shelf solution.
Tailor-made solutions: Also known as custom e-Learning, these are meticulously crafted to meet the distinct needs and goals of the client. Instructional designers collaborate closely with subject matter experts and stakeholders to provide a course with a high level of personalization. Due to its customized content, it is ideal to address technical and cultural subjects relevant to a specific company. When creating tailor-made solutions, all factors come into play:
Once you establish your customization preferences for your e-Learning solution, you need to think how learners will navigate the course. The guidance modality specifies how information, instructions, or assistance are conveyed to users. In the context of e-Learning, a learning experience can be provided through...
Voice-guided lessons: Voice-based guidance employs spoken language—human or synthetic voice (text-to-speech)—to provide directions or information. It is commonly used in various applications, including navigation systems, virtual assistants, and e-Learning solutions. It offers a more interactive and engaging way of delivering guidance, as users can receive instructions and information audibly, often enhancing the overall user experience. Click here to navigate a voice-led module.
Text-guided lessons: Text-based guidance primarily relies on written or displayed text to deliver information. This method is often prevalent in manuals and online tutorials, as it offers clear, self-paced learning. Furthermore, it appeals to specific groups of technical professionals, like engineers, valuing its precision despite appearing less engaging. This method is also preferred by global clients to deliver multilingual e-Learning initiatives, since it facilitates the translation processes. Click here to navigate a text-led module.
You have decided how you'll guide your learners through your course. Now, you should choose media components to define how they'll visualize it! Multimedia e-Learning presentations encompass diverse visualization approaches for learners: e-Learning courses can be animated, using dynamic visuals and interactive animations; filmed with real actors, offering realistic representations; illustrated, employing static graphics to present content; and 3D, using virtual simulations for hands-on learning experiences. Click on each category to see an example!
Content personalization and presentation are now defined. Great! Have you thought the overall learning encounter you want to achieve? This is an important step, as in adult e-Learning, thinking of x-learning is particularly effective. Adults often associate experiences with new learning, leading to better knowledge retention. Depending on how you want content to resonate with your learners, an online learning experience can be...
Activity-Focused: Strengthening hands-on experiences, this approach moves beyond passive learning. Learners actively participate in exercises, simulations, and assignments, applying knowledge in real-world scenarios for deeper understanding and longer retention.
On-the-job: On-the-job learning occurs while performing work-related tasks, promoting continuous learning in the professional environment. Centered on workplace training, it offers practical experience, combining theory and practice for skills directly relevant to professional roles.
Meaningful: Acquiring knowledge relevant on a personal level, meaningful learning connects content with learners' interests and experiences. This resonance fosters purpose, boosting engagement, enjoyment, and efficacy in the learning experience.
Personalized: Personalized learning addresses individual needs and preferences. Through adaptive technologies and data-driven approaches, content and learning paths are customized to address learners' unique strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
Interactive: This method encourages active participation through technology, activities, and multimedia resources. Thanks to interactive environments, learners interact with the content, their peers, and instructors, enhancing engagement and connection.
Lastly, select the instructional technique – the educational method you will use to deliver course content effectively. It's essential to consider that the choice of technique is influenced by the target audience and the company's culture. The instructional approach should align with these factors to maximize effectiveness. Here, you can find:
Gamification: Integrating game elements and mechanics in non-game contexts, like education, gamification employs game elements such as points, badges, and rewards to motivate learners, fostering engagement, progress and accomplishment.
Storytelling: Using narratives, storytelling imparts content emotionally and memorably. Thanks to this technique, e-Learning becomes relatable as learners connect with characters, scenarios, and plots, enhancing understanding and retention.
Analogies: Analogies compare known concepts to new ideas, bridging understanding gaps. By linking familiar and complex ideas, analogies simplify the learning process.
Scenarios: Scenarios expose learners to practical situations and challenges they may encounter in their professional roles. They encourage application of knowledge and decision-making in a risk-free setting. This stimulates active learning and problem-solving skills by requiring learners to analyze and respond to complex situations.
Case studies: In-depth examination of real cases, case studies stimulate critical thinking. This technique motivates learners to analyze, assess, and devise strategies, enhancing their grasp of complex problems.
Did you know... that you can combine these techniques? To achieve high-quality results, often, we tend to combine instructional techniques that enhance the overall experience and contribute to a better educational approach. For example, this is what one of our gamified branching scenarios looks like:
Click here to explore this innovative solution!
Now you know what you need to define to start your training project. Need help? Don't hesitate to reach out to us!