Among the key characteristics you should examine when choosing your e-learning courseware is “usability.”
One of the ways you can define “usability” of On-Line education/training software is in terms of how user-friendly or appealing a program is. In practice, usability goes deeper than this, and is closely related to how much users actually learn from using the On-Line courseware.
Many of the usability concepts that need to be considered from the end-user’s perspective are closely linked to the instructional design and learning objectives of the program. These include whether learners are kept engaged and active when they work through the On-Line courseware, how much control is given to the learner, and if the program gives positive feedback to motivate learners. Another consideration is an On-Line program’s color, sound, and consistency, which if lacking, could compromise the effectiveness of the learning.
Possibly the most valuable area to consider is the effectiveness of the instructional design, which ensures that instructional materials are presented to facilitate the transfer of information into knowledge. If your learners cannot apply the information you present to their own jobs the training wasn’t very useful, was it?!?
The potential of Web-delivered training to adults rests heavily on the instructional design components. Simply publishing a Web page with links to other pages does not constitute learning. Don’t be fooled by the bells and whistles. Look inside and you’ll quickly see either a design that demonstrates understanding of the process or merely a template for making money for the vendor.
More on Monday.
— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning
“AMERICA WILL CONTINUE TO BE BUILT BY THE HANDS OF ITS MEN AND WOMEN”