As a designer do you often reach a stagnant point when it comes to creating e-Learning courses? Well it’s sure not easy! Especially when you don’t have the access of having a face-to-face interaction with your learner! So how exactly do you keep your learner’s motivational level running? And how can you enhance the learning experience for your audience? Well, here’s a look at some top-notch guidelines to help you create a vibrant course so that it could be incorporated into your e-Learning segments. As you begin creating your e-Learning course, it is essential to understand your learner’s motivational level from a psychological standpoint. Originally published in 1987 by psychologist John Keller, the ARCS model is a model based on motivation theories, designed to be incorporated in e-Learning courses. Understanding the ARCS model helps us to know the appropriate guidelines to be followed while creating your course. ARCS is an acronym that works on four basic elements of motivation. Before we head to the four basic elements of the ARCS model, you may be wondering why is it important to keep this model in mind. Well, one of the most crucial points to remember is that, the longer you are able to sustain the motivational levels of your audience, the faster learning reaches productivity. The guidelines are set on the basis of the ARCS model.
So the four basic elements of the ARCS model are:
Attention: The average human attention span is approximately 10 minutes! Creating course content within a nine to ten minute time frame will help you win brownie points! And yes when you follow this particular time frame, you will have to make your content concise as you will be willing to stick to points that are essential! As e-Learning designers, being multi-media friendly is an apt way to go about, this can sustain your learner’s attention for a longer period of time, employing animation, images or photographs, particularly photographs that show emotion, audios and videos in the form of short video clips taken from movies etc. can grab hold of your learner’s attention instantly and further enhance learning. Another heads on is incorporating real-life examples, when the content is too esoteric to comprehend, inculcating real-life examples is an apt way to facilitate better understanding and retains the audience’s attention. Another way is formatting the e-learning course into a narrative structure. This is a fun way of retaining your learner’s attention, i.e creating an entire nine or ten minute e-Learning segment as a story– that is, opening your story with action, establishing various characters and moving the plot to the climax. As you build your e-learning content into a story you also simultaneously incorporate the required skills and knowledge. Another way to sustain attention is by avoiding dry topics, and blending content with quizzes and assessments, this again acts as a fun-filled element in the course of e-learning.
Relevance: Your e-Learning course will be successful only if you let your audience know up front why it’s important to know this information. The course content that you create should be highly relevant and meaningful to the audience, to make your information credible and meaningful you must first learn to understand the needs and requirements of your audience. Information that is mundane or monotonous won’t bring about any value to the e-learning course, this may lead the audience to question the credibility of the course. Information provided during e-learning should always include knowledge that is relevant, it should eventually build the desired skill that the audience wishes to accomplish. One of the significant strategies to any e-learning course is to not provide a list of things that you think is important, rather it should include what you think the audience may find useful.
Confidence: The learner’s confidence level goes along with his or her motivational level, in order to sustain motivation, it is essential to keep learners informed as to how long it will take to complete the session. This will enable learners to achieve the desired learning objectives. A well-organized and systematized e-learning course is a lot motivating, and brings about the “C” in the ARCS model, i.e. confidence, your learner will feel a lot more confident when they are aware of the overall structure of the course, if they will see where you are heading towards, they will enable them to be a lot more motivated and confident to head in that direction. Build your e-learning course in a structured way, always have the basics in hand, i.e. incorporate introduction, body and conclusion in your content.
The e-Learning segment should always include information that goes from being general to specific, from abstract concepts to concrete examples. A clustered collection of facts can be very monotonous, but when these clustered facts are put in a logical sequence, interest levels fervently increase.
Satisfaction: rewarding your learner for their efforts can increase satisfaction levels, rewards could be in the form of a simple certificate or recognition or appreciation from someone superior.
E-learning is perhaps one of the most vibrant ways of communicating effectively to a larger audience through technology. It helps facilitate learning, thereby, it not only increases the audience’s motivational level but it also inspires the audience to enjoy the knowledge that the e-learning course provides. However, to keep it interactive is an on-going process and is a crucial element in creating successful e-learning courses. Bearing these guidelines in mind can certainly do wonders!