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Navigation is a critical element of an online learning course. All the time and effort spent designing an e-learning training module will be wasted if the learners can’t figure out how to get from one screen to the next. Confusion can quickly lead to frustration and, before you know it, you’ve lost your audience.
The learning objectives will fly out the window if your employees are too exasperated to concentrate on the content. Fortunately, there are some ways to avoid this issue. Improving the navigational methods throughout your online learning course will make a big difference.
Let’s take a look at some of the best methods to guide learners through the e-learning activity.
Your graphics can be visually appealing, but if the navigation button is lost in the shuffle, your learners won’t get very far. The way to move through the course should be easy to see within seconds of landing on each page.
Identifying each page of the online training course will help your employees find what they want quickly and easily. It’s also a good way for them to track where they are and how much more they need to do. Additionally, it gives the learners a heads up as to when a quiz or assessment is coming up or it can make it easier to find where they left off if they need to stop in the middle.
Don’t assume that each person who takes the online course is familiar with computers. Label the buttons specifically and you should always include instructions for those employees who are new to e-learning or the technology, even if they seem easy to understand. It may even be a good idea to link to a tutorial on navigating the course.
Your employees won’t have too much trouble recognizing an arrow as a navigational tool, especially once they’ve been exposed to instructions and/or a tutorial. It’s not a good idea to get too fancy. For example, you may think it’s creative and original to have your navigation button be a beach ball, while your users may be trying to figure out why there’s a beach ball on the bottom of their screen. If your online course is going to be used internationally for your corporate trainings around the world, it’s important to use icons that are culturally acceptable.
Request feedback from your employees after they have completed their online learning course. Ask them their opinions on the layout, as well as how easy the course was to navigate and if they had any trouble getting to the different sections. Give the learners a chance to express their ideas about areas they think are unclear or confusing and what suggestions they may have for improvement. Their feedback is valuable since they are the ones actually using the course.
When all the components of online learning solutions are working together in harmony, the learning goals and objectives will be met and your employees will come away from an activity with knowledge that they can put to use in real-life on-the-job situations. Navigating the course is one of those important elements that can make or break the efficacy of the activity.