(Effective) E-learning’s potential is closely tied to the quality of its design. There are a number of considerations that are instrumental to designing and developing effective e-learning. Every aspect of the e-learning instruction must be geared to address those specific needs. E-learning that is difficult to engage will quickly frustrate participants. When learners know and appreciate why an e-learning is taking place, they are much more compelled to engage in the e-learning instruction. Finally, effective e-learning provides regular and constructive feedback. Learners want to know where they are in their learning experience. Maximize e-learning’s potential to tell them!

E-learning’s effectiveness relies heavily on the quality of its design

When learners are able to easily use e-learning, they are much more likely to focus on the material being instructed.

Learners typically do not tolerate extensive training before taking an online course. The usability of an e-learning program must keep learners focused on learning, rather than using the learning application. Inability to, for instance, navigate to the next screen easily disrupts flow. Because many Internet users have developed habits of skimming rather than reading material, information in an online course needs to be designed to accommodate how people read online. This means judicious use of highlighting, fonts, and formatting to increase readability. An appropriate balance is needed between boring and flashy in order to capture attention and enhance learning without creating unnecessary distractions.

It is often beneficial to free up course navigation and give learners more control over their e-learning experience. Rich learning activities require learners to make choices about what to experience during an e-learning module. This keeps learners actively engaged, rather than passively advancing down a prescribed path. Just be sure that activities are designed around allowing students to practice desired learning outcomes, rather than on the complexity of the materials or tools required for the activity to take place.

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