Each course is going to be unique, so we can’t prescribe a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
However, here are some of our instructional design philosophies that we believe apply to every course:
- Clear Objectives. We make it clear with our platform that a learner needs to complete X amount of knowledge points each day, with their goal being “Course Completion.” But what should a learner learn by the end of a given topic? What should they be able to do by the end of the course? These Learning Objective Statements, or Students Will Be Able To (SWBATs) should be stated clearly and simply for a learner.
- Microlearning. We’ve built microlearning into our platform (with timers, knowledge points, pausing, et al.). Microlearning encourages learners to complete a given (short) task, helps focus learners on the main topics, and promotes connections between topics. So, we recommend you shorten your lessons so that your instructional content is more digestible. A good rule: a student shouldn’t have to scroll more than once to read an entire lesson.
- Gamification. Again, our platform has built-in gamification, but we recommend gamifying some of your content. Can you add interactive elements that makes the learning more tactile? From something as simple as an expandable element to more complex as a choose-your-own-adventure video lesson, these gamified lessons can help a learner remember the material.
- Validation. With clear objectives should come clear ways of measuring success. If your end goal is for a learner to build a website, then their final validation should be to submit a website they built using your course. If it’s a knowledge check, then it should be to score a certain percent on a final test.
- Community. It’s hard to learn in isolation, so take advantage of the community of learners who are going through your courses together. In addition to our built-in discussion board, what are other ways you can promote community? Scheduled video hangouts? Peer feedback on work? A leaderboard?
Apply these principles to your course content and study plan, and your course will become more engaging, more effective, and more fun.