When it comes to training technicians and users on the proper maintenance of equipment, nothing beats e-learning courses. Not only does e-learning make your training materials accessible, but it also helps you cut costs by reducing the need for printed materials.
E-learning design can sometimes get lost in making the publication attractive and easy on the eyes. And that is important! But for your e-learning course to serve its purpose, there must also be an emphasis on instructional design for effective e-learning. The content and layout need to be structured to maximize learning outcomes.
So what should you do to design effective e-learning materials?
Keep It Simple
In terms of e-learning design, less is often more. Keeping the design simple makes your e-learning service more intuitive and user-friendly. It allows users to quickly and easily discern what information is essential.
Pay attention to visual design when creating e-learning materials. There should be a hierarchy in terms of presentation that directs the user’s attention to essential information in the proper order.
Group related information together to help your materials flow sensibly. Headings and subheadings should be utilized. Larger fonts catch the eye and help orient the learner on the screen. They help block out sections of text, making it intuitively organized.
Use blank space strategically throughout your e-learning publications. Empty space makes your materials easier to read by giving viewers’ eyes a break. Remember, less is more.
On a similar note, choose font styles and sizes that are easy to read. As a rule of thumb, headings should use a bold, sans-serif font, while paragraph font should be serif font.
Quality modern e-learning design makes use of microlearning to keep users engaged in their courses and publications. Microlearning is a learning strategy that involves learning smaller, specific pieces of information to use to fulfill a specific learning objective. It allows the learner to absorb and retain information more readily.
In addition to making it easier for users to access and utilize information, microlearning allows them to complete an e-learning course during short moments of downtime. Given how busy people tend to be today, it’s more reasonable to expect someone to have 5-15 minutes they can spend on an e-learning course than multiple hours.
To incorporate microlearning as an e-learning content designer, break your materials up into 5-7 minute modules with one key takeaway. Use microlearning segments to summarize longer pieces of content and design it so users can access it as needed.
Contrast Is Your Friend
Pay attention to the colors used throughout your content. Choosing the right colors and effective value contrast can improve readability, minimize distractions, and accelerate learning outcomes. Even something as simple as bolding words or phrases can be enough to draw attention to specific ideas that you want learners to pay attention to.
You can achieve similar effects by changing colors and the size of the font. Just be careful not to overdo it. You should only use contrast to highlight the most critical elements. Take care not to compromise readability!
Consider adding a feature that allows the user to adjust color contrast for more comfortable use in dimly lit environments. For example, many materials use a white background and black text. Switching that to a black background with white text can be easier on the eyes in dimly lit environments. Your learners will thank you.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Including images in your e-learning course can quickly and easily convey information that might be more difficult to do with words, such as the emotional impact of what your content is about.
You can use images to help stress the importance and benefits of using the products covered in your course by alluding to the emotional impact of doing so.
When choosing images, think carefully about what they say and their relevance to your material. They should be images that resonate with your learner. Place them logically through your content. Above titles and headers can be good places to place pictures.
Diagrams and figures should be placed within the body of the text and close to the relevant information.
Make Screens Scannable
Don’t count on every learner reading every word of content you create. Scannability is a crucial element of modern e-learning design and allows you to direct user focus to essential points with little effort.
Making your e-learning publications scannable means the learner can quickly locate relevant content and peruse it for more details without reading through everything. It also allows learners to get an idea of your content and decide whether it’s necessary to dive more deeply later.
To make your content scannable, use shapes, arrows, icons, and lines to signify important information and make it easily digestible. Don’t forget your headings!
Putting together a solid e-learning publication that is visually appealing and designed to maximize learning outcomes is often easier said than done. You shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best-designed e-learning course possible. When you need professional-quality e-learning solutions, you need GGS Information Services. We specialize in professionally-designed, technologically-enhanced e-learning solutions that are perfect for technicians. Get a quote on e-learning design and implementation services today!