Today at work one of my co-workers had to vet a computer based module designed to teach people how to use Microsoft Outlook. He is very tech savvy, and after less than five minutes of exposure to the content he was like “Are these courses designed for fifth graders, I am sure if I gave my 5th grade son this he would understand.” This brings out a very important issue especially in the non-traditional learning environments........
Who should you tailor your course for?
Well for one thing every course should have a target audience and this should also be made clear some where in the course description/introduction and learners should have access to this. This will ensure that the content is tailored to this group and potential participants can determine if the course is for them or not.
Another method of filtering learners is to divide courses in to levels and explicitly state the prerequisite knowledge that learners need to have in order to benefit from the course.
Learners! Learners! Learners!
In customer service, the customer is always right. In instructional design the learner is always right. By this I mean everything that we do should be geared towards the learners and their needs and interests. It’s like clothes, your friend may buy an outfit and it complements her/him well, but you would never in a wild dream buy that. The same is for a course one learner from the target group may find the course engaging and interesting and another who is not apart of the target group may think it’s pathetic. The important thing is that it meets the needs of the target learners!
What happens when the target group is diversified?
Well we all know sometimes it’s not that simple as sometimes, instructional material has to be designed for a wide audience. In a face-to-face environment there is much flexibility where that is concerned. However, what to do in a web-based or computer based environment? Well this is where choices come in , give learners choices in their navigation, thus if they are familiar with some of the content they can move on. Have quick explanations and more detail ones depending on the learner. Have a look at these post from The Rapid eLearning Blog
- 3 Essential Questions every learner wants answered
- Here's why unlocking your course navigation will produce better learning