Instructional design standards are standards that observe the connection between the course purpose, course objectives, instructional content, instructional methods, and the learner. Below is an overview of the instructional design standards that are followed and practiced at Focus EduVation in developing e-learning courses:
Standard 1: Expression of the Course Purpose
- The course purpose describes the intended outcome, target audience, and the scope of the course. We explain who the learners are, what the expected outcome is, what the purpose of the course is, what the scope of this course is, what its syllabus is, and how long the course will take to complete.
Standard 2: Presence of Instructional Objectives
- The course must state its instructional objectives. Instructional objectives are performance-based. They are clearly stated, and they describe specific, measurable, and observable skills or knowledge, the learner will acquire in each unit, module, or lesson of the course.
Standard 3: Consistency of Objectives with Course Content
- A course may have a tremendous instructional objective, but we must also make sure that the content of the course is sufficient and is consistent with the course objective. Each objective is supported approximately with the same amount of subject matter.
Standard 4: Presentation, Demonstration, Facilitation of Learning
- This creative aspect of instructional design deals with how we present our content, how we demonstrate what the learner needs to learn, and how we facilitate the learning. Our courses will have two or more instructional methods to help the learner internalize, synthesize, and apply the new information.
Standard 5: Practice with Feedback
- The course provides practice opportunities, with feedback and guidance, allowing the learners to apply their newly acquired knowledge or skills. Feedback is an essential aspect of a practice session. We make sure that feedback is given constructively to tell the learner why they are right, even if they answer the question correctly. In case the learner gets it wrong, we guide them back gently to the proper response.
Standard 6: Engagement Techniques
- Interactivities are added to the courseware to engage a learner.
Standard 7: Assessment of Learning
- When it comes to assessments, we make sure that each question is linked directly to a learning objective.
Here’s a list of the critical roles fulfilled by instructional design staff.
- Course Architecture Planning – This is done in consultation with the college faculty or SMEs that we hire. The objective of this exercise is to define Course Plans, Course Maps, and Module Organizers to give each course a well-defined structure and to ensure consistency across courses.
- Course Objectives Definition – This is also done in consultation with the college faculty or SMEs that we hire. The objective of this exercise is to define the course and module objectives to realistically map to the learning expectations and ideal seat time per week.
- Course Development – This stage involves the development of storyboards, the rapid development of modules (using tools such as Articulate Storyline, Storyline 360, and Articulate Rise), creating videos (using rapid video creation tools, such as GoAnimate), and developing interactivities and simulations.
- Content Creation – In conjunction with the SMEs or college faculty, the ISDs develop content to plug gaps (if any) that are identified at the Course Architecture Planning Phase. This could involve fresh authoring of assessments or rebuilding discussions to make them more robust and to tie them better to the objectives.
- Course Review – The ISDs review every module to ensure that the components meet the defined objectives, are intuitive or well-supported with clear instructions, and engaging to the target audience.
- ADA compliance – The ISDs create ADA compliance documents, such as PDF versions of the courses and ensure that all provisions, such as alt-text for images and text versions for videos, are provided.
The ISD will be responsible for preparing high-quality design plans, conducting independent research, submitting lesson outlines, developing prototypes for the college to review and approve. The ISD will work directly with the subject-matter experts (SMEs), a variety of college staff on course design, lesson development, and piloting.
The Virtual Learning Methodology is based on Interactive Virtual / Online Course Development methods that include a series of interactive learning objects that include animations, graphs, videos, applets, and simulations. These allow the user to think critically, assimilate, and apply from a wide variety of variables that are programmed to assess the student’s understanding of the concept. Each interactive learning object has multiple assessments tagged to critical data points within a media object, which allows the instructor to assess the student at all times. We present a wide variety of visually engaging interactivities and link them with decision data points, gaming scenarios, and simulations that make an interactive learning object a useful tool for learning in a course.
Presented below are the various practical methods that we use in creating virtual learning course modules.
- Course created based on exercises (limit understandable knowledge transfer to a minimum).
- Build an easy-to-difficult practicing path based on the following steps of building competency.
- Propose highly interactive (yet easy to use and well explained) exercises.
- Make it visually appealing and fun – astonish learners with every single screen!
- As an option – go outside of the learning environment:
- Add printable exercises to course,
- Ask learners to complete these exercises in a “pencil-and-paper” manner, and
- Please provide them with self-evaluation tools, as we won’t be able to check results automatically.
- Create a virtual tour, providing additional material about the subject.
- Ask learners to do something related to the subject (e.g., to perform a mystery shopper task while learning customer service routines: play the role of a customer and call to the customer service line, or visit the customer service desk with a complaint); and then, to reflect on this activity.
- Tell learners a story and ask them to go somewhere where this story will be contextualized – ask them to disconnect from their computer and the course and reflect on something based on observation.
- Ask learners to summarize their findings or reflections on the activities above and share them with others.
- Divide the course into several parts and have breaks taken between them; for each section, booster quizzes are created that repeat key information from all former parts.
- Repeat critical information throughout the course by using various methods: Tell stories, summarize, provide exercises and quizzes; at the end, give a test to check whether learners have acquired new competencies, but also give them a chance to repeat once again.
- Extract critical information that influences the learning goals and send it to learners via email or text messages in a day, a week, and a month after the e-learning course is completed.
- Provide to learners alternate learning media – let them print out cheat-sheets, checklists, visuals, mind-maps, etc.; every additional stimulus can help to boost retention.
Focus EduVation follows adult learning theory (andragogy) which is based on six assumptions about adult learners:
- Adults need to know why they are learning something
- They use their extensive and varied experience to aid their learning
- They are problem-solvers
- They learn best when the subject is of immediate use
- They have a strong need to be self-directing
- They are intrinsically motivated to learn
The Adult Learning Theories helps us to plan course during conception, development, and execution, in a way that will facilitate the learning process. Our team of Instructional Designers is proficient about adult learning theories that help them to:
- Create relevance by mapping courses with perceived learner needs
- Devise instructional strategies in alignment with real learning contexts
- Choose the technology that best supports the instructional strategy
- Plan instructional strategies relevant for digital-age and on-the-go learners
The Instructional Design staff at Focus EduVation are qualified and experienced with microlearning techniques for designing and developing the e-learning course. Our instructional designer has developed various mini e-learning courses by dividing the learning content into small segments and by adding a video tutorial or even a quiz or an infographic to reduce the learner’s cognitive overload. Based on microlearning, our e-learning content is accessible for learners to absorb and recall, which results in better learning retention.
- Provides deeper learning on a specific concept or a performance objective
- Is bite-sized, effectively chunked and easily digestible
- Designed for exact moment-of-need – Right information at the right time
- Is easily accessible via mobile devices providing just-in-time performance support Focused on a single performance objective, concept or idea
- Is usually 4 to 5 minutes in length, or shorter
Focus EduVation uses various creative and flexible microlearning techniques that deliver practical information to the learners. These techniques can be customized based on learner’s needs.
Our micro-learning concept includes:
Incorporation of games with traditional game elements, such as levels and points, with learning materials gives online learners the knowledge they need with fun and excitement.
- Social Media Tips
Providing tips and tricks on social networking sites and links to informative e-learning articles, infographics, videos, and other online resources, improve comprehension, and give online learners the insight they need to solve real-world challenges.
- E-Learning Video Demos
Brief e-learning video demos give online learners a step-by-step walkthrough of the course navigation and features. We can embed social media posts, upload them to the e-learning course, or even create a microlearning YouTube channel.
- Provide Real-World Examples
Real-world examples with online presentation or slideshow can be added between the topic and practical applications that increase online participation, and it provides a visual representation of the e-learning characters and events to enhance understanding.
- Task Simulations
Creating task simulations involve online learners in real-world environments and situations. This equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve real-world goals. An online learner can access the e-learning content when they are struggling to complete a task or require specific skill sets.
- Mobile-Friendly Online Training Tutorials
Using mobile-friendly responsive design tools, we create microlearning online tutorials and allows us to develop a master layout that adjusts based on the device, instead of producing multiple versions. Online training tutorials can be anything from brief e-learning videos and presentations to drag-and-drop e-learning interactions.
- Knowledge Retention with Quizzes
Quizzes give learners the chance to recap the information and commit it to long-term memory.
- Design Information-Packed Infographics
Infographics offer a general overview of a topic or task, and it can even highlight trends and product features. The key is combining compelling visuals with concise text.