Earlier this week we had a spectacular webinar with one of our instructional designers, Dr. David Christiansen discussing writing for eLearning!
Dr. Christiansen covered so many great topics that we couldn’t answer all the attendees’ questions during the webinar. However, Dr. Christiansen was able to answer many of them here:
Q – Can you add a resources tab so learners can do further research on their own?
A – I often recommend to clients that we include a Resources tab as part of the course if they have “a lot” of content they want included in the training. Then I work with the client to identify the “must have” content that will be included in the training and the “nice to know” content that the learner can research on their own.
Q – If the same content is spread out over multiple slides or hidden behind optional tabs, does that still fit with “less is better”?
A – I would say both come into play here. In order to avoid “visual and aural overload” by putting too much content on one slide, it’s best to spread the content out over several slides. But I also make sure to wordsmith the content so there is no redundancy of concepts and no bulky excessive words.
Q – I go straight to the demo and use slides for myself to cover the material I need and give them the slides AFTER the training. How does this personalized setting affect how we acknowledge learners and information they need in the slides?
A – I like your idea of avoiding the PPT altogether and just presenting the software. As a teacher, I’ve learned to not lean on using PPTs very often, because it distracts the learners from me and from each other. The learners are the focus, not me and not the PPT. I would then personalize the training by giving them a job aid or handout like you mentioned.
Q – When you “play” do the points become the grade or just show what the learner knows or doesn’t know?
A – I like to always have a purpose behind the gamification. If it’s for an instructor-led training (ILT), I ask the client if they could reward the participants with a nice, but affordable, prize for gaining a certain number of points. For web-based training (WBT), I like to have the scoring of the gamification be recorded on the LMS and indicate the learner has successfully completed the course.
Q – Why are “numerous symbols” mentioned on an abbreviation page? Symbol and abbreviation don’t mean the same thing to me.
A – That’s an excellent point! I should have gone back to the client and asked if we could clarify the abbreviation and symbol page. This was from a manual that they use, but I could have recommended an update to both the training and the manual.
Q – Isn’t previewing material a good idea for learning preference where things are aggregated at the beginning of a lesson?
A – Previewing material at the beginning of a lesson is a good way to “signpost” for the learner. They then know what they’re going to learn. However, previewing content can negate the need for the actual training. If we’re having learners preview lots of content in preparation for the training, they may not see the need for the actual training. You can also preview content by way of a good introduction to the course as part of the ILT or WBT.
Q – I was taught the ABCD format to writing objectives. Do you believe that still applies in this day and age?
A – I agree that we need the ABCD format for learning objectives and it still applies today. Our clients really like to have them spelled out at the beginning of the course, and it does serve as a nice “signpost.” But, I do like to be creative with my learning objectives and personify or “taskify” them. So we explain the objectives in the form of solving problems or resolving concerns or performing tasks at work. Then we focus on influencing behaviors or changing behaviors of learners instead of merely presenting a checklist of topics.
Watch the recording below. Hopefully, you’ve found something useful in this webinar and the responses to the questions.
Like this webinar? Come meet our award-winning Instructional Designers and Developers at eLBX! They’ll be sharing tons of great tips there.