eLearning and Instructional Design

What I wanted to write about today has to do with ISD and eLearning. Not on what it is or how it works but how much more analysis needs to occur before putting a course or training online. When doing an analysis for training in the classroom the majority of the time not too much attention is put on the “learner’s persona”. Most of the time the learner has already been identified either through a development program or they are new hires. But never the less in the analysis process the justification for training has already been identified. The learner either needs the course to complete a performance objective or is learning their way around the organization.

I know what your thinking but please allow me to explain. Within the ADDIE model we have  analysis that will identify the learner, the delivery, instructional methods, and whatever it take to measure knowledge, skills, and attributes. Yeah, ok but how is that different for eLearning? Well for starters when creating courses for eLearning the concentration of how much knowledge you will transfer is critical because  you don’t want to build online courses just to build them. How can we successfully measure this type of learning?  We really can’t!

The eLearning Developer or design team has to be real cognizant of identifying the psychology aspect of how to deliver the content online. For example, you can put tons of content online and have the learner just “click next” until they reach the end of the course. Now how effective and efficient would that be if we created all our courses in this manner.  For me this is the type of online learning courses that I have heard nightmares about. Students asked to sit in front of a computer and read text to no end then answer questions at the end to measure competency. What I mean about psychology is the Learning Theories that we read and study about that helped us identify the types of learning theories that make all of us fall into one  or another. I believe that this aspect of designing online is very key in being able to design and deliver effective online courses. Just remember your ISD standards.