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The design of your online training can contribute to — or imperil — the success of your SCORM courses. Designers who pay attention to the essential design elements described below boost their chances of higher engagement, longer retention, and better overall results from their eLearning courses.
Far too often, eLearning SCORM courses are churned out using a template with little attention to their look and feel. This is a mistake.
While the essence of instructional design may emphasize content needed to achieve carefully crafted learning objectives, the visual design of a SCORM course impacts its usability, the accessibility of the content, and the amount of effort that learners need to expend just to use the content — the cognitive load.
As eLearning design consultant Dawn Mahoney wrote in Learning Solutions, “Visual design is so much more than making things pretty and fitting eLearning into corporate brand standards. It should evoke emotion, spark creativity, challenge learners to recognize the familiar—and much more.”
Investing time and effort to perfect your use of color and typography; creating an effective layout; and using animations and other flourishes with intention are SCORM course design elements that will pay off in engagement and results.
You may need to work within the constraints of your organization's branding and style guidelines when designing the overall look — the typefaces, to color palette — of your SCORM courses. But you still have choices to make that can reduce the cognitive load and improve the accessibility of your eLearning courses:
Keeping your SCORM course design clear and uncluttered is the first step toward better training outcomes!
The secret to an effective layout is balancing diversity of design elements with consistency. Here’s how that might work:
Keeping your course design uncluttered helps learners navigate more easily and reduces cognitive load.
Successful SCORM courses have got to include more than screen after screen filled with text and the occasional image. Using animations and interactivities stimulates learners and provides opportunities for active learning and practicing the concepts and processes the eLearning course covers. On the other hand, it’s easy to overdo the flourishes.
Follow these guidelines to strike a balance that will engage learners, hold their attention, and reinforce learning while remaining true to your overarching goal of creating effective eLearning.
Following these strategies ensures that your SCORM course designs are engaging and fun while remaining effective.
Following these guidelines will improve your SCORM course design — and can be applied to any online training materials you design, regardless of delivery platform or medium. Effective eLearning course design is consistent but with enough surprising elements and variety to hold learners’ attention. It is visually attractive without too many decorative flourishes. And it draws learners in and engages them without demanding that they exert effort and spend time figuring out what to do or playing games that have no connection to the learning materials.
It’s a balance that takes time and skill to get right. Finding that balance enables you to combine all design components and provide a pleasing, interactive way of learning. This is the key to a successful SCORM course.
Contact the Flare Learning team today for a consultation on how to improve the design of your online training. Our team can guide you, create specific elements, or construct your entire SCORM course.
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