The ability to communicate effectively with eLearning can often determine the success of a course.
When designing eLearning courses, one must always keep the learners in mind. For any learning process to function properly, giving and receiving information is paramount. For example, when one teaches in a classroom, it is easier to see how the learner is understanding information. This allows the teacher to improvise her method based on how the learners are processing the information.
In eLearning, the ability to assess the learner’s understanding is limited. What you may want to say may not be what the learner understands. And, different learners may interpret visual cues differently. But the interface cannot adapt itself to the learner’s perceptions at once, so the objective of the course may be compromised in this process.
So, knowing your target audience before designing the course can bridge that communication gap to a significant extent. It is easier to get the point across when you have a clear idea about who you are addressing. Furthermore, communication is enhanced when the course is designed in a manner where you talk to eLearning rather than instruct them. Adopting a personalised tone when developing the content can help this process.
Developing a feedback mechanism to go along with your course will also help to achieve the goal of the course because it allows for an assessment of the information that is received by learners.
When designing an eLearning course, simplicity can go a long way in helping eLearning understand the point. Communicating information briefly, in direct points, limits the scope of learners interpreting the information differently. Making the information on the interface self-explanatory means that what you aim to communicate will be achieved.
Visual cues are of course helpful in adding to the e-learner’s understanding. However, visuals on the interface should be relevant and illustrate as closely as possible the point that is being made. Furthermore, additional and unnecessary elements on the interface should be removed because they can confuse the e-learner or dilute communication.
It is important that your course is designed in an engaging manner to ensure maximum communication. If your content is not engaging and does not flow easily from one concept to the next, the eLearning may lose interest. Therefore, you content should be creatively organised and structured to best retain the e-learner’s attention throughout the course. This can be done by displaying key information where it is obvious, such as in the beginning of a slide. Important information can also be highlighted and links can be established with supplementary content to draw attention to the overall content. Pertinent questions can be asked at relevant junctures, such as the end of a module, to keep the learners interested. Visual methods of engagement can also be employed.
For instance, the colour scheme and contrast of the text and background should not be too jarring or distracting. It takes away from the content and so inhibits successful communication.