If you want to create an e-learning course that can effectively and efficiently meet the needs and preferences of its target audience, you need to get to know your learners. It is not enough that you provide them with the information or new concepts that they are looking for. The learning material has to be presented in such a way that will maximize the learning experience. Failing to do that might compromise the effects of the course.
Fortunately, there are various ways and strategies to get to know your target audience. Even if they are far from each other, the distance do not have to compromise your ability to research them. Here are 5 different strategies to help you know the people who will participate in your e-learning course.
- Use surveys or questionnaires. This is the most common way that you can get to know your elearning audience – specifically their background. If you provide the right questions, you can learn about their past, present and even their future. You can provide direct questions that will help you understand their expectations of the course. It is a straightforward way of finding out what they do, what they want to happen in the future and how they want to accomplish their goals. You can simply upload the survey or questionnaire online and have the participants answer them and submit to you. It is best to deliver this survey through a platform that the participants are familiar with – like social media or the company website.
- Pre-assessment test. Although it is like a survey or questionnaire, it is actually more direct in its approach. The questions can be directly associated with the lesson that will be discussed in the e-learning course. Through this test, you can get to know how much they know about the lesson. You can include a couple of questions that will give you a hint on how they want to learn and the activities that will make them learn more efficiently.
- Video call interviews. Another way to get the information you need is to talk to someone or a few people through video call. A call or chat can also work but if it is possible to have a video conference, that would be better. That way, you can see their facial expressions too. It will allow you to see what gets them excited about the course and what doesn’t. There are many ways to do this. You can use Skype or even Facebook messenger. And you do not have to talk to everyone. Choose two or three and set aside a few minutes to talk to each one. 30 minutes for each call should be enough time to get the information that you need.
- Simulations. This does not have to be the sophisticated simulation games. As long as it applies the concept of branching scenarios, it should suffice. You give the e-learning participants a problem and then let them choose which solution or action they will follow. This will not only help you gauge their knowledge of the subject matter. It will also allow you to observe how they think and make decisions. This can be helpful when you are trying to come up with activities for the course.
- Statistics. Finally, you can use statistics or available data about the target audience. You can use tools and software programs that will allow you to analyze the behavior of the participants. If the company has a website or a social media page, you can use this tool or program to determine what the target audience is interested in. Usually, the articles or posts that they are drawn to will say a lot about what they are want to learn.
These strategies will help you figure out what the e-learning participants will enjoy as they learn. This is important if you want to create a learner-centric course. Not only will you help personalize your course, you can also give them enough reason to fall in love with learning. Accomplishing that will allow you to encourage your target audience to pursue learning on their own – which is a great way to consistently improve.
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