What do you want to teach? How will you teach it?
Knowing the answers to both these questions is critical if you want to achieve your organization’s training and development objectives. Otherwise, instructional materials miss their intended mark and learners fail to engage with the opportunity.
A range of techniques are available to deliver Instruction. Some are more appropriate for specific topics or demographics than others. E-learning is now preferred by many learners as well as trainers; other methods include lecture, team exercises, training manuals, and collaborating with mentors and experts.
If you have something to teach, partnering with an instructional design specialist is a wise strategic move to help turn your content into e-learning that works.
Instructional designers are like architects. We start with a solid foundation, build a structure that will meet the needs of humans, and make it attractive for those who interact with it.
- Lay a solid foundation — The process usually starts with some type of assessment of what the learning needs are. Who is the audience? What do they already know? What is the skill or knowledge gap that needs to be filled? Also, what outcomes are intended by the organization – the business, the school, the government agency?
- Build it to work for humans – Effective online training as well as other types of instruction must be designed with an understanding of human neurobiology. For instance, there is a difference between how humans perceive hard copies and how they perceive content on screens. We are easily distracted, so placing too much content on a slide is counterproductive. Depending on how it is used, multimedia can either help or hinder e-learning. Additionally, the instructional designer needs to understand how users with learning differences will experience online courses and adapt the design to facilitate their success.
- Make it attractive – This is not a fluff add-on; design affects the success of training. No one is drawn to enter an ugly building. In the same way, a poorly designed online course will repel rather than attract users. They might start it, but they will struggle to maintain a positive mindset about the experience. And trying to figure out a clunky interface will sap energy that otherwise would go toward taking in and processing the training. Some especially effective online training even has incorporated gaming features to increase engagement of the learners.
What makes a good instructional designer? Skills that lead to success for an e-learning provider include analytic and research skills, communication skill, creativity, and continuous self-directed learning.
Because the rapid pace of technological change impacts online training, individuals in the field who keep their skills up to date are in high demand and have exciting career possibilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a growth rate of eleven percent in the training and development industry between now and 2026, which is higher than average for all professionals.
We’ll close this post with the same questions that opened it: What do you want to teach? How will you teach it? If you are not an instructional designer, STREETCAR8 can help you analyze the best way to deliver your content and create e-learning that will accomplish your objectives for your staff or students. Contact us today to tell us about your training needs.