Effective Communication in e-Learning
Developing and maintaining a successful e-learning project begins and ends with communication. It is essential to keep your learners in mind when designing an e-learning module, as they are the ones who will determine your project’s success. It is not enough to simply put information together and assume your learners will somehow understand what you are trying to convey. Through the use of various tools, technologies, and designs, you must clearly and accurately communicate the objective of your training, as well as the role that is expected of the user.
Clear communication is crucial to the design of an e-learning course, mainly because it can be challenging for users to receive and decipher the information you are conveying exactly as you want. As e-learning communication is quite different from face-to-face interaction, it requires a different approach. The tips below are designed to help you learn why communication is important to the overall success of an e-learning course and will also give you an idea of where to start.
It Begins with the Learner
One of the most important things to keep in mind, and something that differentiates the e-learning process from traditional settings, is the role of the user or learner. With an e-learning course, you do not have control over how the content is being received and processed by the learner, which means you cannot adjust it to allow for better communication of your content. Because the learner will most likely not have a means to communicate with you and let you know whether or not they are understanding the content, you are left in the dark.
In order to fix this communication issue, it is helpful to look at your communication process as a whole and take the following into consideration:
Determine Your Audience
By having a clear idea of who your target audience is, you will have a better chance of “speaking” to the learner. Your e-learning project needs to be in a context that your learners can understand and relate to. It is important to take demographics, user backgrounds, and age into consideration. For example, if your intended audience is people who have been in the workforce for many years but are new to certain technologies, you may need to adjust accordingly to their inexperience with the various technologies.
Feedback is Key
One way to combat the lack of communication between the learners and trainers is to develop a feedback system that will allow the learners to provide you with information regarding their experience. Feedback can be critical to the success of an e-learning course, and it is an area that many enterprises neglect. By developing a course that is not only focused on content delivery, but also gives the learners an opportunity to provide feedback, you are giving yourself a better chance for success.
Determine How to Engage Users
Determining the best method for engaging your learners is also an integral component of effective communication in e-learning. It is no secret that people learn best when they are provided with content that is relevant to them and presented in a way they can relate to. Your e-learning content needs to be transmitted in a way that is motivating, effective, and interesting, a lot of which comes with it being relevant. Ask yourself questions like, “What interests my audience?” and “How can I present this information in a way that is easily digestible?”
Companies that implement effective communication practices from start to finish are more likely to be met with success and to outperform their competition. The more active you are in preparing for communication challenges, the better off you will be. By assessing different aspects of the communication process, you will be able to prepare yourself for possible issues and counteract them before they cause a problem.
Understanding your audience, coming up with a solid feedback system, and learning how to engage learners are all integral parts of developing an e-learning course that will help your company grow and find success.
This was originally written by Designing Digitally. Click here for the original article.