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10 E- Learning Design Tips For Educators
Developing a good instructional manual is definitely one of the more important parameters that play a huge part in getting your students engaged with any subject matter irrespective of its difficulty. Therefore, it is necessary for an educator to know the best design principles for drafting illustrative e-learning materials which can be self-explanatory in some cases. But in most cases, instructional designers end up creating e-learning module that are either too cumbersome or difficult to understand and we shall provide you with 10 practical tips to boost the efficiency of your tutorials.
· Images and text work best when used together- this tip does not mean that one should splatter his or her slides with images or with text, for it means that you should use right kind of pictures (few but effective) that could compliment your textual information. Vice versa your slides should not also be stuffed with text, and the use of relevant bullet points will work just fine in helping you elaborate your ideas when teaching. This also helps in focusing your viewers’ attention to a subject matter throughout the e-teaching process.
· Consistency is key– you should remember that the design scheme or theme, which you choose to use should remain the constant throughout the tutorial’s length. Whether it is the color scheme, font size, margin, bullet types, background or alignment, everything should be consistent and must enhance the topic the e-learning module is based on. This helps in avoiding distractions and guides ones attention towards the main points.
· Don’t be over creative– always remember that designing does not mean decorating the slides with colorful fonts, creative templates etc. for an effective e-learning module, sticking to the essentials is much more important than focusing on embellishments. Keeping your data in order and in sync with your topic is necessary to keeping your listeners focused.
· Use simple, yet informative titles– A title is the keyword that grabs your student’s attention and says much about the information to be dispensed. Heading and titles need not be lengthy and descriptive. Keeping them short and crisp helps the learners to understand easily what you are talking about and keeps their interest intact.
· Break up your text- breaking up your idea into small blocks of texts, tables, paragraphs and lists with proper space in between them, make your slides readable. If you make a complete mishmash of your information, then you might end up losing the interest of your students. So simple text and paragraphs should be the way to go.
· Use empty spaces- good designers know the importance of content as well as spaces. White spaces help the learner and educator to focus on important points which, in turn, leads to better understanding, clearer presentation and effectuale-learning designs.
· Visuals can be helpful– along with images, you may also use video and audio clips as part of your eLearning design/teaching process. This is because they help in providing better presentations and the explanation of salient points. Note that these visuals should be to the point and quite short. Using long and out of context videos, audios and graphics can lead to module disorganization and derailment.
· Use short lists of ideas-For readers to keep a track of ideas and information of the module, it is necessary to use bullets or numbered lists which cover every major point that is been taught. It is also handy for the educators to see the points and then expatiate on their ideas to their students.
· Navigation should be simple, intuitive and smooth-Glitches when teaching are not cool. Therefore simple yet intuitive software such as power point should be used to design interactive teaching materials.
· Focus on your audience and keep themfocused– Every element of your modules plays a vital role in carrying the learners nearer to his or her objective. As an educator, you must point towards your main objective and present it in a way that would keep the audience focused.
Author Bio: David Miller is an educational researcher who has vast experience in the field of teaching, Learning management system and online training. He is associated with prestigious universities and many leading educational research organizations. He’s also an ed-tech veteran, currently pursuing research in new eLearning software, and is a contributing author with ProProfs.