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What You Must Know Before Creating Elearning Courses For Adults
#1 Understand Your Goals and Objectives
Determine the goals and objectives of the elearning course. Do you want to provide adult learners with information or education or both? Do you aspire to provide them with basic or advanced knowledge and skills with the elearning courses? Do you want the adult learners to acquire knowledge and skills through online methods or a combination of online and face-to-face methods?
You want to build an elearning course that fits your goals and objectives for it. For example, if you want to impart advanced education for management executives, then the elearning course should address their specific needs and wants in knowledge and skills. If you want to build an elearning course to change work behavior, attitude and performance, then the elearning course should not just be an information dump.
#2 Make It Relevant to the Adult Learners
The best elearning courses are relevant, useful and practical for the adult learners who, in turn, will find the subjects fun and engaging. Bored adult learners and boring lectures are the recipe for failure in any learning situation, thus, you should design an elearning course that will be both a learning and engaging venue for adult learners and instructors.
Do your research on the following areas to increase the relevancy of the elearning course:
- Look at the certification or degree requirements for the elearning course
- Consider the specific subjects that must be included in the elearning course that will impart the required type and level of knowledge and skills for the adult learners upon course completion; and
- Get feedback from prospective adult learners and instructors about the initial designs.
You should ideally design a learner-centric elearning course.
#3 Consider the Flow of Learning
Let the adult learners learn the knowledge and skills in a controlled pacing instead of letting them learn at a too slow or too fast mode. The adult learners should be able to take in new information and learn from the old information. This allows them to maximize their knowledge and skills learned on the course.
#4 Let the Learners Pull Their Own Weight
Stop designing elearning courses that push information out because this is akin to spoon-feeding that increases the risks for adult learners learning less than they should in the course. Instead,create elearning courses that let the adult learners pull their own weight and pull the information in.
For example, instead of click-and-read screens containing words and images of information, you should give adult learners problems to solve. You should provide the adult learners with the necessary information to solve the problems but avoid spoon-feeding them – create access to more resources that they can learn from on their own. As the adult learners solve the problems, they will pull the information they need.
#5 Go for Visual Appeal
Bullet points, lengthy paragraphs, and white screens will make zombies out of adult learners. Keep in mind that people are more attracted to vibrant colors, effective layouts, and readable texts, among other visually appealing things.
Your elearning course must then encourage and maintain the attention of your adult learners from end to finish. Use evocative images, such as graphs, charts, and cartoons. Break up the texts into easy-to-read parts but be cautious about using too many bullet points. Apply pops of color into the texts and images so that the black-and-white monotony are avoided.
#6 Make Navigation User-friendly
Elearning adult learners usually have more freedom and control than in the traditional classroom-based method since they can navigate the course on their own. You should design an elearning course that provide adult learners with the right level of freedom and control in navigation – a user-friendly set of navigation controls, if you will.
As early as possible, resolve issues with locked navigation. Let the adult learners explore and experiment while also giving them the opportunity it make their own decisions based on set parameters.
#7 Encourage Commitment to eLearning
The tools of technology used in elearning courses are just that – tools that aid adult learners in acquiring the desired knowledge and skills. You must then incorporate elearning aspects that encourage commitment to learning in general and elearning in particular.
Find creative ways to make the course content more relevant to the adult learners. Step away from information dumps and venture into effective education systems. Show the benefits of learning the course.
#8 Look for External Inspiration
Elearning is also based on traditional education methodologies and approaches but with a notable difference – the virtual learning environment with access to technology including apps. You must then look at the educational methodologies and approaches used in the traditional classroom setting and adapt these to your elearning courses. Think of it as getting the best of both educational worlds.
With these 8 tips in mind, your elearning courses should be amongst the best in the industry.