Unfortunately, at the present time, far too much e-Learning courseware creation resides with technical writers and programmers. The garbage we see with converted PowerPoint presentations and converted written procedures results in an on-line experience that turns off almost all trainees (nearly 70% never complete such counterfeit programs).

Yet knowledgeable instructional design is more important than ever. And, to be knowledgeable, would-be instructional designers must exhibit mastery in those components that make for effective e-Learning.

Full motion video and optional word-for-word audio (combined with other sound effects, when appropriate) are essential because:

• We’re not a “reading culture” society today.
• For most younger Americans, their learning culture is TV and Games-based.
• Nearly 40% of America’s workforce does not read above a 4th grade level.
• Barely one-third of our high school graduates are traditionally literate.

The implications for Instructional Designers are several:

• Full motion video is the language of learning today.
• The written words in an on-line lesson reach only a minority.
• Hence, designers must find new ways for video and audio to bridge the gap.
• All script language must have a “to-be-heard” option.

There are several ways that audio enriches the learning experience:

• Dialog brings “stills” alive.
• Sound effects provide motivation and realism.
• Mood creation establishes a familiar and comfortable environment.

There are important design requirements for on-line learning:

• Navigation through a lesson is simple, consistent, and intuitive.
• Instruction is meaningful and interactive.
• Adult learning characteristics are accommodated.
• Management and supervisory requirements are satisfied.
• Media is appropriately integrated as part of the learning experience.
• Full motion video becomes the catalyst for learning.

And, as always, there are key commercial end user requirements:

• The on-line lesson provides adequate learning for the targeted audience.
• The on-line lesson “works” on intended delivery systems: Internet and intranets.
• The on-line lesson is SCORM compliant.

E-Learning brings rich promise to both trainees and students. It is their best path to learning. The Instructional Designers of that learning must be cognizant of those components that make up the very best technology-based training and education courseware.

More on Thursday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder
ITC Learning

www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com