The Ultimate 10- Point Checklist for Remarkable eLearning Courses
The idea of creating this checklist is for you to focus more on creating eLearning courses that’s relevant to the learner’s world. Your courses don't have to adopt everything on the below checklist, but the items on this list can serve as great indicators of remarkable courses.
1. Would your target audience complete the course?
Sure, not everything on this list has to be true for every eLearning course you create in order to make it remarkable, but this one is the exception. It might seem like a basic step, but getting to know and understand your audience is the first thing you should do before doing anything else. Why? – If you don’t touch on the things that interest your audience in your eLearning courses, how are you going to engage them? And how are you going to define the most appropriate teaching strategies to promote their learning? The point is, your content doesn't have to be remarkable to everyone. It just has to be remarkable to your target audience. Before you publish your course, ask yourself if it's something you think your learners will want to read and complete. Is a course worthy of taking? If so, it's probably remarkable.
2. Does it contain fresh and updated content?
Incorporating content that is updated, innovative and authentic is a great way to make it remarkable. Bonus points if the content you're including is supporting your learning objectives effectively. Compliance requirements, safety regulations and business strategies are being innovated constantly. To be effective, courses need to evolve with the times. Updated content helps to support the credibility of your courses and make the case that it's a trustworthy resource.
3. Is the way you present information easy to grasp?
If you are just dumping information and presenting it in the same boring way, do you actually think learners will engage and learn? When a learner gets to your eLearning course and they just see text-heavy screens, they feel overwhelmed. So, part of getting your audience to stay with you through the course is making it easy for them to do so. You need to give your learners’ eyes and brain a bit of a breather!
If you can present information to your audience keeping in mind the Three Attention Keepers (Short, Simple, Moving) content will be remarkable to them. Keep it simple by only including what it’s necessary, keeping it short by breaking content up and keep it moving by including more than just text. Some great examples of ways you can present information in an easy to grasp way include: breaking down information into bite size chunks, using bullets and numbering to convey the main points, organizing content into steps, avoiding long and complex sentences, or even using interactive means such as clickable text or graphics or embedding videos or visual support.
4. Is it thought-provoking?
If a learner takes your course, would it make them think? Does it help them to challenge their own way of doing things and offer helpful ways for improvement in their daily tasks? If a learner can easily walk away from your content without it impacting them, it's not very remarkable.One of the best indicators of a remarkable course is when learners feel satisfied after working through the different challenges through the course. The best way to make learners think is through meaningful, challenging and realistic questions and/or scenarios. eLearning Scenarios for example provide the learner time to reflect by showing concrete and real actions along with their consequences (both positive and negative).
5. Does the overall course represent a high standard of quality?
Make sure that your course is not only easy to understand but also high in quality, including high standards in instructional design, media, usability, appearance and editorial. With Quality Control, you create the standards that make sense for the learners, their context and the content. Bottom-line, people are less likely to find content remarkable if it looks unprofessional or it's littered with grammatical errors and typos for example.
6. Is your course inviting and visually interesting to start?
So if we know that people will most definitely be judging your course by their visual appearance, you'll want to make sure you go beyond just power point slides. You definitely don’t want them starting the course thinking that it’s another boring eLearning course and probably a waste of their time. Creating a course that is visually interesting and relevant to the content will definitely earn you points on the remarkable scale. Furthermore, learners love to see more than just text, so if you replace text overload through diagrams, infographics, powerful images and videos for example, chances are they will learn more and complete it.
Remarkable eLearning courses understand the difference between entertainment and education, and they find the right balance for visual appeal that works. There needs to be a balance! Including no graphics at all, or just a few decorative ones here and there isn’t a good eLearning practice. On the other hand, putting together excessive amount of graphics and media everywhere can become very distracting.
7. Are your courses learner-centric?
Are courses designed with the learner in mind? Are you considering initially how your learners are going to use the information? Adult learners want the maximum control possible over their learning environment.
Are you giving learners a means to find information and pull only what they need? Content needs to be designed in a way that learners are not forced to review all content that they already know, instead they can just access or pull what they need at a given time in order to complete the course. It's a very flexible format of delivering content because this enables learners to select and choose only what they need, progressing at their own pace, ensuring a quick learning experience and actually spending time only on material they have not yet mastered.
Therefore, allowing them to control their own pace and collect content rather than just pushing it will also add you points in the remarkable scale.
8. Is your course easy to navigate?
Navigation is definitely a critical element of eLearning. Clear and easy navigation enables self-directed learning, allow learners to explore and read content that's most relevant to their specific needs. Difficult navigation creates frustration and encourages students to escape. Therefore, having a clear navigation where learners know how to go from A to B intuitively is key. Using clear menu navigation so that learners can understand their progress within the course is also helpful.
9. Is content relevant?
Are you making the content relevant to the learner´s daily routine? Is it directly applicable to the subsequent tasks? If it’s not relevant it will always be boring unless you find a way to entertain the learner. Above all, Make content relevant! Find creative and different ways to place the course content in a context that is relevant to the learner. Remove unnecessary information or content overload so that the learners can remember only what is truly important.
Are you telling the learner why does he/she need to know this information? Tell them why they should care and what you’ll be discussing in the course. Make them want to complete it. Let them know what’s in it for them. What are they going to know or be able to do differently by the end of the module? By keeping it relevant and to the point, there's more chance of it being remembered and your point will continue going up in the remarkable scale.
10. Is it fun and interactive?
Are you making your eLearning course interactive and are you having students participate actively? If you’re looking for an actual engagement and interaction by the learner, an interactive eLearning course is a must-have. It’s imperative that learners stay involved with the course content from the beginning to end. Building interactive elearning is just a matter of learning a few techniques. The best to do this is through occasional evaluations, quizzes or knowledge checks, learning games, scenarios and simulations, avatars or learning agents, explorations screens or case studies/ examples.
The main point is to look at your courses and ask if they stand out. Are you building boring courses that are easy to ignore? Or are you building courses that are remarkable and make people take notice and desire to know more?
Now go out there and make all your new eLearning courses simply remarkable!