A good eLearning course has to have many characteristics. It must be learner-focused, interesting, and engaging and offer the best possible learning environment to learners. It must also foster a love of study and exploration. Depending on the learning objectives, eLearning courses frequently concentrate on one or two features.
But if you pay close attention, you will realize there is an equally crucial but sometimes disregarded characteristic in most eLearning courses- consistency.
Course consistency lends credibility and quality to the course and makes it easier to create future courses. Why else is consistency important, you ask? A consistent course can improve the attitude of your employees towards training. They will be motivated, empowered, and engaged.
If you, too, want to create a well-structured, comprehensible course in the best interest of your employees, here are a few ways to achieve course consistency in eLearning:
1. Use a unique style guide
While individuality and differences can be reflected beautifully in other places, they will not help you achieve consistency in your course. Therefore, there should be a clear and detailed style guide with samples that provides your writers with a standard they can follow while formulating the course.
You can control the use of capitalization, abbreviations, acronyms, and pronouns, and even direct the tone and narrative that will be used throughout the training material. This style will be specific to your course and increase the relatability of the employees.
2. Use creative templates
Templates can end up being your best friend because they can be time-saving and resourceful. Create a master eLearning template with your logo, a general page structure, and the color scheme of your choice. This should also include any placeholders for text, graphics, and multimedia elements that may ultimately replace them. For each module, activity, or course, you can make a few small changes. Your eLearning program will remain cohesive and well-organized because all the other elements will remain the same.
Many eLearning softwares, like Accord software, offer customizable certification templates as well. Using templates for certifications can further contribute to the consistency of the course experience you are offering.
3. Ensure visual consistency
Because appearances are where first impressions are made, visual consistency is nearly as critical as content consistency, if not more so. If your employees are overwhelmed by a disorganized visual look, they will not be able to proceed with confidence in the content—even if they know how to.
Visuals should typically be:
- Intuitive. The layout of the course should be open and welcoming to allow for meandering, pausing, and starting.
- Relieving. Effective visualizations minimize, simplify, and lighten the cognitive load of the learner. They offer a clear path so there are no ambiguities over how to move forward or where to focus one’s mental energy.
You can achieve visual consistency through:
- A strong visual hierarchy. This will distinguish the content visually between important and not-so-important information. Chunk information in order of importance and allot font sizes, colors, visuals, and graphics to each. Decide in which order they occur. Also, give different font sizes and colors to content in headings, sub-headings, and the body.
- A color scheme. A uniform color palette promotes usability and visual symmetry. Keep in mind the psychology of colors when selecting a scheme. Use 1-3 primary and 1-3 secondary colors. You can also experiment with different shades of the same color as long as your colors complement each other while keeping your text legible.
- Repetition. Consistency among icons of navigating tools, typefaces, buttons, and tabs can play a key role in easing course accessibility without being annoying. Even if you choose to experiment with the color of these elements, do not change their style or even location.
At the foundation of consistency is a great design. As an eLearning course designer, you must design visually appealing courses that readily interest your learners. While it may seem to be a very small aspect of the course, you will be surprised by how impactful it is. Maintain consistency to help your employees under training navigate challenging learning material.