An increasing number of organizations across the globe are relying more on online learning as an effective means to train their globally dispersed workforce. Every time it is not possible to have a great visual designer on board to create eLearning that are impactful. But you certainly do not need one if you can spend a little bit of time to understand what makes an eLearning sell instantly.
Here are a few instructional design tips that will help you create an effective eLearning without any formal training in visual design or technical applications and yet manage to impress the target audience almost instantly:
1. Use Meaningful Imagery: If you have little or enough design experience, you will know that with text as the primary data, images serve as complementary elements to deliver the needed emotional impact. You need not be a great designer to achieve this goal. Ensure that you use the right images to support your content. According to researches, a right image can help in retaining information six times more than usual. To start with, you can:
- Instead of using bullet points to present list-type of content, you can use a series of images.
- Instead of clip art images, use photographs to give a more professional look and feel to your courses.
- Instead of any random images, use powerful images that evoke the necessary emotions and that too, positive ones.
2. Design a Template Free of Distraction: Design is not all about decoration. An effective design is one that encourages the learners to focus on the content rather than the decoration. According to the noted graphic designer and writer, Nancy Duarte, 90% of what you create as an eLearning developer, is destructive. One needs to slowly and carefully peel away all the irrelevant elements. It is always wise to stick to the essentials of course design when creating a template and avoid the unnecessary distraction that always clouds the mind of the learners.
3. Ensure that there is enough White Space: According to experienced and renowned designers, white space in an eLearning course is as much important as the content. White space is complete in its own right. There is no need to fill it up always. The significance of white space lies in the fact it helps the learners to have a better understanding of what is important and what is not. Also, it paves the path to better comprehension and presentation of ideas along with effective learning designs.
4. Break up the Content: Often people make the mistake of cramping all the content in one slide. If there is a need to present a whole lot of content, it is always recommended to divide the content into several slides. In addition to ensuring better readability, it also uplifts the look and feel of the course to a great extent.
5. Use Colours Intelligently: Colour is the most important element of visual design. They possess the capability to evoke the appropriate reactions from the target audience. It is always recommended to use soft and subdued backgrounds for your course and dark colours for the text. It is never wise to add a lot of colours; three colours are more than enough to maintain the simplicity in your course and yet make it look appealing to the learners. The web offers plenty of resources to create the appropriate colour palette for your course.
6. Maintain Consistency: People who do not have much learning or design experience often make the mistake of creating courses that have mismatched colour themes or patterns. Changing the theme every few slides makes it difficult for the learner to adjust themselves and they end up losing focus on the content. Here consistency should be the key. The eLearning developer should use a single colour palette and guide the learners towards the focal points of the course without distracting them with inconsistent design elements. Other elements on design like font and background are important too. The entire look and feel of the course should be captivating enough to motivate the learners to take the course.
7. Ensure that your Learners Stay Focussed: When designing an eLearning, bear in mind that every element in the course is focussed towards moving the learner towards his/her goal. You should avoid getting caught up in fonts and colours. Your focus should always be on the primary goal.
So, wait no more and explore these instructional design tips to give your course the much-needed attention that it deserves. Happy Learning!