What to consider when designing through the eyes of the learner

It’s every organization’s goal to start their employee’s training off on the right foot, and to implement a training program that will develop the essential skills and knowledge needed to perform well. That said, a strong elearning platform can be key to a company’s ability to in both their new and veteran employees. So what’s the secret to designing effective elearning? The best elearning courses are created when the designer puts on the learner's shoes and delves deep into understanding what they need to know and how they need to learn it.

Tap into your inner Sherlock

In order to develop an effective training course, it’s important to first ask the right questions. Take the time to investigate what skills you need to teach, and identify weak areas in which elearning can benefit your organization. A good elearning course addresses your training needs, but also keeps the learner’s training journey in mind during  the design process.  

One of the biggest flaws I see in many of today’s courses is that the learner doesn’t understand how the content applies to them, and they mentally check out.  Avoid this scenario by doing your detective work in order to implement elearning that makes sense to both the learners and the organization.

The learning environment

Take into consideration the environment where your learners will be using your product.  While an office environment—using a desktop computer—is the most common learning method, mobile learning is becoming more prevalent, and your learners may be using a smartphone or tablet while riding the train on their morning commute, or using a laptop on a noisy assembly-line floor.  On-screen text and uncluttered pages become vital in these types of environments, so make sure you understand how and when your learners will be taking your courses. If you know that your learners will be using mobile tools, you may want to check out Kineo’s free guide to mobile learning.

Put it in practice

All elearning should be reinforced with practice.  You may create a course that makes content available through multiple-channels, is clear and easy to use in a variety of environments, and presents high quality content—but putting theory into practice is the final piece of the elearning puzzle. Practical exercises engage your learners and solidify the information in their minds so that it can be easily recalled —not just for an end-of-course exam, but in the real world where it will really matters.

Design for your Learners

Elearning offers many different options for design and implementation—so many, in fact, that you may struggle with making choices for your learners.  But if you always keep your focus on seeing things through the eyes of your learners, your courses will be a step ahead of the crowd. Download this free guide and extend your knowledge today!

Leave us your comments...

Caelan Huntress | 12th September, 2017

I agree with you, that one of the biggest flaws in today’s courses is not directly telling the learner - specifically - how the content applies to them. The mental check-out they go through during the educational moment keeps them from learning anything. That's why some of the most effective courses I've seen, in terms of learner retention, are certifications. When there is a certificate at the end of the course, they know exactly how the course applies to them, because it will say so right there on the wall. If the certificate enables them to do something they couldn't do before, the benefit is crystal clear, easy to describe, and enough incentive to keep the learner engaged for optimal retention.

Steven Lowenthal | 13th September, 2017

Thanks for your comment Caelan. I 100% agree that an extrinsic motivator like a certification can provide motivation for the learner. But we need to be careful and remember that this won’t help the learner connect the content of the course to their own role and needs. It’s this relevance that will get the learner engaged. Some of the strategies we use at Kineo are to weave in storytelling, scenarios and scaffolding for on-the-job application to make sure learners see relevance and value and ultimately feel engaged.