Designing for Experts vs. Beginners

A key point in instructional design is to “know your audience”. One of the reasons to do this is because you can tailor the content to the learner’s existing knowledge level.

Connie at the eLearning Coach has done a great series of posts on how to design course content for experts vs. beginners.

Tips when designing for experts:

  • Quickly Mention Prerequisite Content
  • Keep it Organized
  • Get Them In and Out
  • Don’t Play Simple Games
  • Assume They’ll Get It
  • Avoid Condescension

Tips when designing courses for both experts and beginners:

  • Allow learners to skip extra steps and detailed guidance.
  • Use a design model that allows for independent exploration.
  • Provide support for informal approaches to learning.
  • Provide rapid diagnostic tests at the start that will point each learner to the correct level of instruction.
  • Allow the learner to choose the level at which they want to enter a learning experience.
  • Allow the learner to perform a task and then identify how difficult he or she thought the task was. From this information, guide the learner to the appropriate level.

Thanks Connie for the great posts!

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