Instructional design for online training retention

Instructional design for online training retention

Have you wondered why 20-80% of the learners drop out of an eLearning course? That is mainly because of poor course design that leads to a less than average learning experience. Your online course may have the most amazing content, but if the course design does not meet your target audience needs, your course will not achieve its purpose.

Your approach to instructional design can influence the learning experience. It can affect the learner engagement level with your content and can even determine whether they continue the course. 

Success in eLearning does not happen by chance. Effective online learning is an outcome of a well-planned, strategised and throughout out process. 

Let’s get back to the basics of any course design. 

What is Instructional Design in eLearning?

Instructional design is the process that directs the development of an online course or educational product

It plays a pivotal role in the design and delivery of an online course on an eLearning platform.

Instructional Design Principles for Effective Learning

There are five effective instructional design principles that can be applied to any online course to ensure effective design and delivery. 

1. Pace: Design your course for an effective pace of learning

  • Consider the learner’s background while creating the pace of the course. 
  • Include quizzes and challenges that will keep them engaged and break up the material. 
  • Include additional course reading material. Allow learners to further challenge themselves with additional resources and material. All learners learn differently, so be careful to cater for those needs. 
  • Organise the content into smaller modules. Bite size learning is key. 

2. Context and purpose: Let this guide your learning material

instructional design online training retention

Context. Your course needs to be relevant to the learner. Creating context is like giving your learners a shelf in their minds where they can put the tools your training material will give them. They will always be able to reach back and fetch those tools off of that mental shelf after the training has ended, because they understand the context.

Purpose. Purpose lets them know how they can use what they are learning, and why they need to learn it. 

  • To do this, always give multiple examples. Your group of enrolled learners will have different backgrounds, interests, and preferences. Students should be able to relate and apply the examples in their real-life situations.
  • Connect theory with practice. Learning becomes limited if it is restricted to its theoretical understanding. The more you practise and apply the theory in real-world situations, the more you learn. You can achieve it by giving practical assignments or projects to your students.

3. Create a community of learning 

  • Create opportunities for peer to peer engagement
  • Allow learners to give and receive feedback. This can be done through discussion forums, feedback loops and well crafted assignments which allow for group work. 

4. Create real-world assessments – Stimulate authenticity and creativity 

  • In the assessment creation of any course, consider what skills you want the learner to “walk away” with. They need to be able to take what they have learned and apply it. 
  • Research has shown that learners’ critical thinking skills improve when they are presented with real-world examples. Using real-world examples is a strategy that increases both interaction and engagement.

5. Include evaluation in your instructional design

  • Quizzes provide quick and effective “self checking” on the content. 
  • Ensure that you provide your learners with feedback for measured improvement. As with any assessment, learners need to be guided and critiqued on their successes and their areas for improvement.

Do you need effective instructional design for your e-learning training?

Talk to us. We’d love to work with you.