A series of blog posts addressing how HowToMoodle deliver effective content on time, and to the right place.
2. Diving into the details
In our previous blog post in this series, we explained how analysis was the start of creating effective and engaging e-learning. In this post we move on to the D(esign) and D(evelopment) of the ADDIE process.
Design and development is all about getting stuck in, but not leaving the learner in suspense until the day before release. It's important to exploit the adaptability of rapid development tools to get something for the learner to see, hear and play with quickly. Feedback means that each iteration can be improved until it’s perfect.
As part of the design process, content is chunked, visuals selected and multimedia scripted to give learners the ultimate learning experience. Expertise in learning psychology, graphic design and user experience is key here, ensuring that cognitive overload is avoided, performance is increased and retention ensured.
Both learning approach and look and feel hinge on what devices learners will access learning. It’s important to always be thinking about the moment of need – many learners are at computers, but demand for responsive learning and nuggeted ‘mobile’ learning is on the rise. Many of us carry around smartphones all day, so it would make sense that learners would reach for these as their first port of call for learning, and research supports this. Reports from Towards Maturity showed that 55% of people learn on the way to work and 88% of managers access learning on their mobiles. So, it’s about picking the development tool (or tools) that best delivers the most useful and flexible solution for those moments.
The build phase of an e-learning project can be intensive and time consuming, which is why it’s so important to agree a clear and manageable schedule up-front, with achievable milestones for all parties. As part of this, it’s crucial to allow time for subject matter expert (SME) collaboration and checks throughout, to ensure that the learning is on-track. Careful consideration and selection of appropriate development tools and review process can really help with this.
Although functionality, usability and learning experience should be thoroughly tested by the development team, it's also a good idea to encourage learners to complete user testing. These guys can then champion the learning on release.
- The use of rapid development tools allows for a collaborative and cost-effective iterative development process
- A clear, achievable schedule allows all parties to fully engage with the development process. Don’t forget testing!
- With the learning built, we now need to implement it in the learner's organisation and then, importantly, evaluate its effectiveness. Our final blog post in this series will look at just that.