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You’ve already devoted endless hours in improving your online course and training strategy, but is it really serving your goals and objectives? If you haven’t started collecting valuable feedback, and measuring the effectiveness of your learning materials, now is the best time to start. Don’t just assume that your course curriculum is effective, regardless of the amount of resources, energy and time that you have devoted to it. Let me share with you some tips that will help you measure eLearning effectiveness.
Creating and selling online courses is a good idea–only if you know how to measure your results. Remember that selling online courses is like running your own business. Without effective training strategies and good learning materials, online learners wouldn’t get anything from it. How can you give your students the skills they need?!
To Measure eLearning Effectiveness, You Need to Revisit Your Goals.
Careful planning is crucial if you want to experience long-term success as a teacher or course creator. It all starts with setting well-articulated course goals and learning objectives. Course goals are general, broad statements that determine what you want your students to learn. They function as roadmaps throughout the course content. Learning objectives, on the other hand, are statements which clearly express what students would be able to accomplish after a specific period of learning and teaching time.
I know that you are staring at your online course modules and learning materials now, wondering how to assess things to check if elearning effectiveness. I suggest you go back to the very beginning, and contemplate on the goals and objectives that you have written during the start of your course creation process.
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Why Are Goals and Learning Objectives Important in Measuring eLearning Effectiveness?
1. Learning objectives and goals provide students and course creators the foundation for assessment.
Every online course creator should realize that objectives and goals contribute a lot to learning outcomes. These are the foundations of every test or evaluation work. The assessments in your online course must be designed in accordance with these goals and objectives, so don’t ask learners to do something which doesn’t perfectly align with them.
2. Learning objectives and goals provide teachers a clear, thorough focus on lesson content.
Learning goals and objectives provide stable direction and maximizes elearning effectiveness. Without them, the online course creation process can be ineffective. Since there is no “roadmap” that would guide you through and through, at some point, you may go off on a tangent from your topic. Only with specific, thorough learning objectives can the course creator choose what to teach, as well as teaching materials and methods to use.
3. Learning objectives and goals give learners a clear focus on what to study.
Without learning objectives, it will be hard for learners to know what exactly to focus on. If students don’t know what to expect from the online course, they might lose their focus, get anxious and demotivated. These will impact their performance negatively.
Good Learning Objectives = eLearning Effectiveness
The purpose of learning objectives doesn’t end with the creation of your course curriculum. You need to revisit it once in a while, to make sure that you are on the right track. Did you and your students actually accomplish what was written there? How well are you doing? Are your students actually learning something? If you think you are not getting your desired results, pinpoint the problems and make all the necessary adjustments. Don’t feel bad about it! It’s perfectly fine to make mistakes.
Measuring eLearning Effectiveness is Important. How to Measure the Success of Your Online Course?
1. Know your target students’ experience and knowledge level.
This must be done before and after you create and sell your course! Analyze the needs, wants, and experience and knowledge level of your students, before and after taking your course. You may consider giving out questionnaires and conducting interviews. You can also leverage on your social media pages to connect with them. There are plenty of promising avenues out there that can help you get some feedback. Make the most out of them in order to determine if your goals have been met, and to measure elearning effectiveness.
2. Gain insight directly from your students.
Measuring elearning effectives is all about communication, from getting to know your learners’ knowledge and experience level to getting insights directly from them. Your students are your best critics! Their perception, views and experiences will provide you with amazing feedback for measuring the effectiveness of your online learning materials. Allow them to express what they have in mind. From there, establish your course curriculum strengths and weaknesses. Revise and improve it.
3. Use social media to connect with your students.
A lot of online course creators succeed because they know how to leverage on the power of the internet. At this day and age, there is no need for us to meet people physically in order to talk to people (existing and potential students). We can do that now at the comforts of our own homes in front of our computers! How? Through social media, of course.
Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media platforms to ask them questions. From their answers, determine the level of learner satisfaction. Are there a lot of positive reactions from your online training?! Take your time in collecting valuable data. Like, whether they would recommend your course to their friends, whether they believe that it was worth their time or if they found the topics useful and interesting.
Create focus groups now!
Facebook is one of the best platforms for focus groups. In that group, every learner has the chance to inform you how they feel about their course experience. Encourage them to suggest new, interesting ways to improve it. If you have time for one-on-one interviews, please do so! These steps can offer points with respect to student satisfaction and elearning effectiveness.
4. Make the most out of learning analytics.
Several learning management systems have reliable built-in analytics that can help course creators get an overall picture as to how students are progressing and how fast they are completing every module.All of these details can help you gauge elearning effectiveness, and tailor better solutions to meet the unique needs of your students. For instance, if you notice that most of them are progressing longer than expected, you may want to check what’s the most challenging part for them. If they are not fully interested, motivated and engaged to your learning modules, that is quite alarming. Plan the next steps and make all the necessary changes.
5. Calculate your return of investment.
In order to measure the effectiveness of your online course, you need to measure your ROI. You will never be entirely sure of its success without checking this! See to it that your performance results are actually worth the investment. Calculate the ROI by estimating development costs, design costs, as well as costs associated with increased sales and productivity. By looking into these you can get a cost-to-performance ratio that can help you figure out whether your course was effective, or if there are aspects that need to be improved.
Strengthen your online course marketing strategy to increase eLearning effectiveness!
Following these 5 tips can help you measure the impact of your online course and determine whether your energy and time were worth the investment. Is it really working for you? Is there the need to improve its effectiveness in the near future?
1. Let technology be your best friend.
If you just created your online course as a beginner, then it’s normal to get confused a bit with all the processes. What if something unexpected happens to your platform? Familiarizing yourself with technology will help you improve your students’ overall course experience. No need to spend countless hours learning tools and software. An hour a day can already make a big difference. In line with that, be clear with learners about where they can go for technical support. Information must be readily available.
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2. Make learning mobile friendly.
More and more students are accessing learning materials in their mobile phones. This is a groundbreaking innovation that they should leverage on. Mobile learning holds major advantages for many people, allowing them to access relevant content anytime, anywhere they are. Offer bite-sized, easily-digested content to learners so they can navigate through it at their own pace, enhancing both productivity and performance. Maximize your teaching methods now, and make your learning materials accessible via laptops, smartphones and tablets.
3. Be flexible.
Even the most successful online course creators out there are not perfect. At some point, you will fail, but that’s okay. Take note of all your learnings. For example, what if you encounter some technology issues? Apologize to your students, and execute your back up plan. Always be transparent with your learners about certain mishaps and failures. As an online course creator, you are bound to wear many hats. I understand that not all of us are technology experts, but in this case, you must learn how to be flexible, most especially in dealing with tech issues.
4. Strengthen your connection with your students.
Online course creation is more than just making learning modules. There is a lot of passion and marketing involved in this. Moving forward, you must learn how to develop a strong connection with your learners. Reassure them. Even a simple video welcoming a new student is already a motivational wonder. Apart from that, you can set up a discussion board to encourage regular, rapid communication, as well as immediate responses to questions.
5. Create an inspiring, encouraging community of dedicated learners.
Cultivate excitement and enthusiasm by establishing a sense of comfort among your students. In your focus group, regularly ask questions that empower students to collaborate and start rich discussions.
6. How do you measure the success of your content? Be an active observer, listener and leader.
You are the master of your learning community. Thus, you must serve as a role model. Be a good leader, listener and observer. Let them learn from you as your online course progresses.
7. Use a variety of resources.
Speaking of external media, it’s also important to provide material in a variety of formats. Providing video, audio, reading, and interactive content can make a course more engaging. It also improves the accessibility of a course: Students who may struggle with a particular medium—students with a reading barrier such as dyslexia or a video barrier such as hearing or attention problems—are at a major disadvantage if that medium is the only way to engage with material.
It’s best to provide a radio broadcast, newspaper clips, and an interactive map for students in a history lesson. Students can then identify themes present throughout all the materials.
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