3 Best Practices for eLearning Instructional Design

eLearning Instructional Design

Posted by Shelley Kilpatrick on 30 June 2016 |

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elearning instructional designIt might seem like anyone can create an eLearning training course. But that’s simply not the case. In order to create a successful course that teaches learners about important concepts AND ensures they retain the information, you must use proven instructional design techniques.

Now, there are many different techniques that should be used, but here are three that we think are essential for any eLearning training—especially training that covers issues relating to campus sexual violence.

1. Story-Based Learning

Your eLearning training should be designed for a higher education environment. That means it includes stories set in campus buildings, classrooms, faculty meetings and extracurricular events.

Plus, it should be tailored to your campus culture. For example, eLearning training for faith-based schools shouldn’t shy away from mentioning God, abstinence and the values that are expected in your code of conduct.  eLearning trainings for Community Colleges should feature scenarios that apply to commuters and in most cases leave out mentions of Greek Life since it is not a part of campus culture. 

Speaking of stories, this is our first best practice: story-based learning. This technique works because it helps the learner put themselves in the shoes of the characters to experience what they are going through.

Using the same characters throughout the training puts less cognitive strain on the learner. They don’t have to re-orient themselves each time a person is shown in the training, and they begin to care about the characters and become invested in what happens to them.

 Another advantage is that story-based instructional design makes it easier for learners to digest complex legal concepts and understand how to apply them to real world situations.

2. Interactive Elements

When it comes to information, your eLearning training should do more than simply present the definitions. For example, it’s one thing to define bystander intervention, it’s another to give learners the opportunity to practice what they learned. This can be accomplished with interactive elements such as games, scenarios or quizzes.

Another benefit to including interactive elements is that it gets the learner involved. They become an active participant in the training rather than a passive one. The games test the learner’s knowledge and show them how much progress they’ve made.

3. Signaling

Like story-based learning, signaling is an evidence-based instructional design technique. It draws the learner’s focus to key concepts and helps reinforce them.

We use this in Campus Answers courseware by implementing a consistent structure where we tell people what they will learn, we teach the material and provide practice applying the concepts, then we review and summarize what they just learned.

Want to Learn More About the Role of Instructional Design in eLearning Training?

Story-based learning, interactive elements and signaling are all instructional design techniques that should be included in your eLearning training. And while there are many other best practices to follow, those are the ones we have time for today.

If you want to learn more about the role instructional design plays in our eLearning training courses and all the techniques we employ, fill out the form on the right to contact us for a demo.

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