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How to Bring Order to Your Courses

Posted by Lynne Koltookian on 8/12/13 4:00 AM
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“Order in the court! Order in the court!” Perhaps you’ve heard that phrase before. There’s an order to just about everything. Order in a courtroom as well as order in a training course.

Here are just some of the many decisions we have to make during the instructional design process. We have to decide how to:

• start a course
• deliver the course content
• have the learners practice applying the content
• apply the appropriate reviews and summaries

With all these decisions we have to make, it is easy to overlook another decision that is equally as important. We have to decide how to order our lessons within our courses. In our Instructional Design for New Designers workshop we discuss the following three options and the benefits of each.

1. Order your lessons in the same order employees perform their tasks back on the job.
A benefit to using this technique is that learners get a chance to practice their job tasks the same way they will do them back on the job, making it easier to transition from training to real life.

2. Order your lessons from the easiest to the hardest tasks.
A benefit to using this technique is that learners gain confidence early in the course, before they delve deeper into the more difficult material.

3. Order your lessons using the “whole-part-whole” technique.
A benefit to using this technique is that learners get motivated early and stay engaged in your course. You start by showing them where they are going to end up at the end of the course and then proceed to teach them bit-by-bit how to put all the pieces together.

With these options available, you can pick the best technique or combination of techniques that will make your courses successful. Most times your choice will depend on your course content and your audience.

How do you ensure order in your courses?

Instructional Designer Starter Kit



Lynne has been a course leader with Langevin since 2007. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Penn State University and a Master’s degree in Education from Boston University. After working many years in human resources and sales, Lynne transitioned into training, her true passion, where she’s been facilitating since 1994. Her training philosophy is simple—learning should be fun! The essence of a good instructor is someone who can make complex things easy to understand and fun to learn. In her free time, you’ll find Lynne cycling, hiking, downhill skiing, and scuba diving.

Topics: tips-for-trainers, instructional design

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Our very own world-class course leaders share their experiences, tips, best practices, and expertise on virtual training, instructional design, needs analysis, e-learning, delivery, evaluation, presentation skills, facilitation, and much more!

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