Instructional Elearning Design Elements that Work

Designing Digitally


Effective instructional elearning design will produce a learning experience that results in real-world applicability. A corporate training program should result in employees who have learned skills that will translate into a change in their behavior as they perform their tasks.

Not all elearning design is the same. There are certain features that are a necessary part of a well-made game-based learning experience. Without these important elements, a game won’t do what it’s designed to do--teach!

Components of effective elearning design

  • Straightforward learning objectives. It’s imperative that a learner has a clear understanding of what it is they are trying to achieve within the activity. The game should have elements that are in line with business goals. A narrow focus is best. Looking back at a failed elearning program will usually show learning objectives that are scattered with no clear aim.
  • Cohesive theme. Each aspect of a game should be true to the theme. There shouldn’t be any out-of-place elements that can serve as a distraction to the learners. Remember that the end goal is for learning to take place!
  • Find a balance. The difficulty level of the activity should strike a balance between being too hard and too easy. If a game is too simple, the players will quickly lose interest and the learning objectives won’t be met. If it’s too hard, the learners will become frustrated and give up. 
  • Allow for decision-making. The player will stay engaged with the world of the game when they are allowed a variety of choices to make. In addition to that, being exposed to the same type of decisions they will have to make in real on-the-job scenarios is a valuable practice.
  • Realistic consequences. As the player goes through the game, the choices that they make should have immediate and realistic consequences. This is one of the main aspects that encourages carry over into real-life situations. The situations that the learners are faced with in their everyday job will most definitely come with quick consequences, good or bad.
  • Build on previous knowledge. When designing learning games for corporate training programs, it’s safe to assume that the employees already have a knowledge base, however simple, related to the industry they’re working in.

How is instructional elearning design different?

An instructional elearning designer should have a basic understanding of the different learning theories and will take them into account as they are designing for a particular audience. They aren’t just creating games but rather fashioning an experience. They pay close attention to keeping the focus on the right aspects of the learning activity.

Instructional designers seek to fill in the gaps in knowledge that learners have. They analyze the needs of their target audience and plan the content of the learning experience around those needs. They also work with subject matter experts to make sure they’re including the most up-to-date and relevant material.

Instructional elearning design can be the most effective method of giving employees the necessary knowledge to perform at their highest levels.

Designing Digitally Inc. has experienced instructional designers whothat can help your organization develop an elearning program to improve employees’’s competencies, increase productivity and contribute to the bottom line.