Did you know that nearly 83% of students use iOS or Android apps for mLearning; however, nearly 30% of LMS or MOOC’s lose their students before they even begin the course. Why so? Partly because of the alienating design and low student engagement in the learning experience. Therefore, knowing the best eLearning designs and having insights on online education development is crucial for the success of your project.
Importance of Personas in eLearning Design
The most crucial part in successful marketing is marketing the right product in the right way to the right customer. This works for eLearning designs as well. There is a method of addressing the people you need to address and engaging them with your eLearning instructional designs. This blended eLearning method is called “defining target audience personas” and involves creating behavioral models (personas):
- Think people that represent your target audience. Consider their age, wealth, location, daily routine, reasons to enter your MOOC’s. You can even give them names to make these models seem more like real people.
- Thinks about their personalities, emotional stance, habits and learning techniques. These will help you define the “hooks” - emotional impulses your personas will respond to.
These 4 main customer types crate your target audience – students and instructors you want to engage in your MOOCs and study using your LMS.
Custom eLearning Designs
How to address multiple students with a single page? By having the most powerful emotional hooks on it, the ones every customer will react to. Such hooks are visual images usually, combined with strong imperative text, mentioning the goals each particular persona strives to achieve. Here is an example of a LMS home page that is appealing to every type of visitors in some way.
As you can see, this page offers content exchange, practice, communication and emotional involvement – a hook for every persona type, which also helps tailor their further eLearning course experience according to the choice they made.
Instructional Design for eLearning
However, once your visitors decide to become students and enroll for your educational software, there is another issue to deal with, as retention rates are quite low in the eLearning industry, unfortunately. Here is a list of design tips you can use to create a truly engaging and instructional design for eLearning:
- Keep your color palette limited to 2-3 main colors, darker for text and lighter for backgrounds. Otherwise, visual brightness will distract your students from learning process. Your course design should be straightforward and simple to use. Keep that in mind while designing eLearning materials
- If you want to use graphic design, consider hiring professionals for that. The reason is self-explanatory – it’s better to invest into creating a convenient eLearning instructional design in the beginning, than save money while offering low-quality and sketchy design, which will be alienating to your visitors.
eLearning Design Consistency
One of the most important requirements for creating a truly engaging eLearning experience is keeping the design consistent. Blocks of content should be structured according to logic and common sense, they should be rather small and their order should be natural. Big and complex idea presented with a series of simple slides with clearly understandable theses becomes much easier to comprehend. If you keep your website graphic design consistent throughout the whole course, learning and teaching any topic will become a lot more convenient for both students and instructors.
eLearning Design Issues
Bad content and API design is one of the reasons for student dropping out of MOOCs midcourse. Any student, admin or instructor faces many issues while using LMS’s. One of the most important and badly implemented features is adding students to groups. For example in Blackboard LMS you have to manually check the boxes for each student that enrolled for a certain course (and they cannot be unenrolled on their own, only an admin can withdraw a student from a course); however, you can specify grades, add quizzes and other features to the group at once.
In Canvas LMS you have to either drag-and-drop students to the group or double click their details in the list in order to add them to a certain group. No need to mention this becomes a nightmare when more than several dozens of students enroll…
Open edX-based LMS solutions offer the most convenient functionality, from teacher’s perspective. The open edX Birch allows email group creation functionality, where all students simply email their applications to the course’s address in order to enroll for it. However, this complicates filtration of candidates.
As you can see, same issues have varying solutions, each with its own flaws. Finding the developers able to provide consistent and convenient instructive eLearning design is of utmost importance.
Provide the Best Learning Experience
Being unable to keep up the pace or being frustrated with cumbersome design, or being unable to learn via mobile devices – these are the reasons most of the students drop out amidst the course. Take care of this beforehand – order your educational software design and development from professionals. If your educational solution provides an easy mLearning and eLearning experience via iOS and Android apps, if your students have great learning experience due to simple and convenient learning management system – you are definitely aiming for success.
As a conclusion, we would like to emphasize several important design tips. Make your MOOCs as appealing and engaging as possible; simple design is best design; engagement and gamification greatly increases learning efficiency; hiring professionals to design your LMS is one of the wisest investments you can make.
If you have any suggestions, questions or ideas – feel free to comment! Stay tuned to new updates!