Dos And Don’ts For An Instructional Designer When Creating Interactive Learning

In the dynamic landscape of digital education, instructional designers play a pivotal role in creating engaging and effective interactive learning experiences. To excel in this arena, there are critical dos and don’ts that can drastically influence the quality and impact of the designed courses. Here is a distilled list of these guidelines.

 Dos for Instructional Designers:

1. Start with Clear Learning Objectives: Begin every course design by establishing clear, measurable learning objectives. Ensure they align with the overall educational goals and will drive the content and interactive elements you plan to create.

2. Understand Your Audience: Tailor your interactive content to the needs, skills, background, and preferences of your learners. Conduct assessments or surveys to gather data about your learners to ensure optimal relevance and engagement.

3. Use a Variety of Interactive Elements: Incorporate different forms of interactivity such as quizzes, branching scenarios, simulations, and gamification to cater to various learning styles and to keep learners engaged.

4. Keep the Navigation Intuitive: Make sure your course interface is user-friendly with straightforward navigation controls. A good user experience retains learners’ focus on the content rather than on figuring out how to use the platform.

5. Ensure Accessibility: Design with all learners in mind by following accessibility guidelines like those provided by WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). This ensures individuals with disabilities can also participate fully in the learning experience.

6. Test Your Design: Conduct thorough testing of your interactive elements across different platforms to ensure functionality and fix any bugs before launch.

7. Gather Feedback: After deployment, collect learner feedback on interactivity and course efficacy which can be used to refine the course further.

 Don’ts for Instructional Designers:

1. Overload on Interactivity: Avoid cramming every course with excessive interactivity which can overwhelm learners. Strike a balance between interactive elements and informational content.

2. Ignore Data Privacy: Always safeguard personal data provided by learners during interactive sessions, comply with privacy laws like GDPR, and ensure secure data handling practices are in place.

3. Neglect Mobile Users: Do not design solely for desktop users; ensure that courses are responsive or have a mobile-friendly version as many users may prefer learning on-the-go using their smartphones or tablets.

4. Use Unclear Instructions: Refrain from providing vague instructions for interactive tasks; clear directions are essential to prevent learner frustration and disengagement.

5. Create One-Size-Fits-All Courses: Don’t assume one type of interactivity fits all subjects or learners; diversify instructional tactics based on the complexity of the subject matter and learner variability.

6. Forget About Assessment Alignment: Do not create assessments that do not align with your stated objectives or the content covered within your course which can lead to gaps in evaluating learner comprehension.

7. Overlook Content Updates: Avoid leaving courses outdated; regularly review and update content as necessary to keep up with changes in subject matter expertise or advancements in instructional technology.

Instructional designers who heed these dos and don’ts will be better equipped to create meaningful and memorable interactive learning experiences that not only engage but also effectively educate their target audience.