If you’re an L&D professional involved in creating eLearning modules, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with at least one of these authoring tools. There’s an abundance of great tools and design packages offering brilliant features that can bring your eLearning vision to life, and you can easily find yourself thinking about the images and videos and games you’ll incorporate into your module.
But if you allow yourself to get carried away with the bells and whistles of the tools, you’re in danger of creating a learning experience that lacks purpose and substance for the user. An engaging, valuable and useful eLearning experience requires a clearly defined learning objective before any other consideration. Only when the learning objective is decided should the tools and activities within the module be chosen, not the other way around.
When building your eLearning course, make sure you outline the learning objectives early on. This gives the learner an achievable goal to target, which enhances their engagement with the learning experience. This is a “quick win” in terms of capturing the learner’s attention, but it’s remarkable how often this simple step is overlooked.
Step into the learner’s shoes and consider what they need to learn to allow them to thrive in their professional role and meet their job demands. This perspective will help you develop a learning objective that the learner can relate to and engage with as a useful opportunity to develop their own skills. Additionally, referring to Bloom’s Taxonomy will further help you in classifying the learning objective into levels of complexity. If we take blog-writing as an example, is the learning objective simply for the learner to understand how to write a blog? Or will they be required to analyse the difference between well-written and poorly-written blogs, or even create a blog of their own?
Once your learning objective is clearly defined, you can then go into the process of storyboarding and screenplanning, before eventually getting stuck into the fun part – creating the eLearning experience on your tool of choice. Just remember! With every screen, video and activity added to the eLearning module you build, ask yourself: “Will this help the learner achieve the learning objective?” If the answer is “yes”, continue! If the answer is “no”, then drop it and replace the content with something that will help guide the learner to the goal you have set for them.
So here’s the key takeaway: Define your learning objective and build your course to ensure the content and activities are always aligned with this objective.