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8 Instructional Design Tips for Web-Based Training

Posted by Marsha Weisleder on 3/17/14 4:00 AM
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It finally happened. Yes, it’s true. After 18 years in the business, I am no longer a newbie. I can finally say I completed my first self-paced e-learning course. And here’s the best part, I loved it! Me, the person who fears technology and craves human interaction! Who would ever believe it?


So, how did it happen? Well, the principles of adult learning were incorporated in the instructional design of the course. Meaning, it was interactive, fun, and interesting. It had clear expectations, relevant practice exercises, and encouraged the transfer of skills back on the job. How was it able to achieve all this, you ask? Great question! Simple answer: it was designed by the brilliant folks at Langevin Learning Services. You see, we don’t just preach; we practice what we preach!


I just completed our 25 Creative Ways to Add Excitement to Your Training e-learning module. Here’s how it went. It started with clever scenarios that highlighted some of the concerns of adding fun and excitement to training. I was then greeted by the Langevin instructor, who introduced us to the session, gave an overview, and explained the flow of the session.


The content was divided into six main modules. Each module had demonstrations, two scenario-based reviews, and action planning. With so much interaction, I was never bored and the time flew by. A final exercise became available only after the modules were completed. It consisted of review questions and an on-the-job assignment to be completed after the course. The entire session was built with easy-to-follow instructions throughout.


So, how can you design effective e-learning? Here are eight instructional design tips from our Web-Based Training course to get you started:

  • Always include the course objectives, schedule, and major activities that learners will be doing.
  • Limit the amount of reading as much as possible.
  • Start each lesson with something that captures the learners’ interest and creates curiosity.
  • Create practice exercises that are realistic and distribute them throughout the course, not just at the end.
  • Design self-guided feedback activities such as list comparisons and answer keys.
  • Create step-by-step answer wizards to guide learner feedback.
  • Build in specific time for reflection and review.
  • After each exercise and activity, give learners a few minutes to think about, “How does this apply to my job?” Ask them to write their answers in an action plan.


I’m just so excited about this course because it’s changed my whole opinion of e-learning. Yes, I’ve had my AHA moment! Come to our Web-Based Training course and you, too, will be a believer.


Instructional Designer Starter Kit

Marsha has been a course leader with Langevin since 2000. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. She went on to attend Osgoode Hall Law School and practiced civil litigation for a few years. While working for a company as their in-house legal counsel, Marsha fell into a training position and never looked back! Each day, Marsha brings passion and excitement to her workshops, always encouraging her participants to find their own passion as well. Outside of the classroom, Marsha loves to spend time with her family, travel, and stay active. Of course her main obsession is Elvis! Some people might think she’s a little over-the-top about him, but doesn’t everyone have an Elvis shrine in their home? Maybe not…

Tags: adult learning principles, 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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