Better Learning for Better Results
Better Learning for Better Results

Design Principles

What makes good elearning?  When students actually learn something and are able to apply it long after training is over.  To achieve this outcome, four elements must work together:

1. Motivation

 

Motivation is the basis for a student's desire to act. When a student asks “Why do I want to do this?” you need an answer. Possible motivators may be as obvious as learning something useful, or more subtle such as having fun, curiosity, or being challenged. Opportunities to “win the game” or “beat the clock” make the experience more interesting, beyond rich, solid content.

2. Engagement

 

Engagement requires two-way communication with a student. Students have to do something, to respond to and interact with the lesson.  And their responses must impact the nature of the activity.  Otherwise they fall into a rut of mindless clicking just to move from one page to the next.  Any elearning that allows navigation using random, successive clicks or unvalidated data entry isn’t very good elearning.

3. Feedback

 

Feedback is critical to the learning process. Each time students make a choice during training, whether right or wrong, they deserve feedback on what they just did. “Wrong, try again” may work for a few limited circumstances, but to be useful, more depth is usually required.  Why was it wrong? Offer a hint about how to think through what “right” is.  And when they get it right, explain why.  Or better yet, make sure they can explain why.  Each opportunity that provides real-time coaching to students during the training session enhances their understanding.

4. Practice

 

Practice is the foundation for learning a new skill set.  Not just once, but several times.  The primary reason to go to training is to be able to act differently in some way when it's done. To do that, a student needs repetition in applying the skills in different situations.  The best elearning dynamically tailors repetitions to each individual student's skill level.

Curious to see these in action? Check out our free demo unit, where students learn how to create a powerful output indicator for a process.  While only a "slice" of a unit, it shows how we incorporate all these design principles in our training.

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