eLearning design: 5 principles for an engaging and practical online learning experience

Some eLearning courses are better than others, but there’s no one single recipe for an engaging and effective online learning experience. However, there are several core principles that most effective courses tend to have in common—principles that you can use as you create your own lessons to ensure that your course is able to inform, inspire, and instruct your audience with minimal effort on their part. Also, it’s important to know what works and what doesn’t. Read on to learn the principles of elearning design and how you can use them to create the next great online course!

1) Recognize what your learners want.

When you’re designing your eLearning course, it’s important to think about what your learners want. They want to be engaged, they want to learn something new, and they want the experience to be relevant to their lives. By keeping these things in mind, you can create an eLearning course that will be both engaging and effective.

2) Keep it simple, useful, and engaging

eLearning doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the best eLearning experiences are often those that are simple and to the point. Keep your eLearning modules short, sweet, and focused on a single task or concept. And make sure they’re useful! Your learners should be able to walk away from your course feeling like they’ve learned something valuable.

3) Don’t allow the user to get stuck.

If a learner gets stuck, it can be frustrating and demotivating. That’s why it’s important to design your eLearning course in a way that prevents learners from getting stuck. For Example

  1. Make it easy to navigate through your eLearning course. Don’t use intrusive animations or unnecessary text that could confuse or distract learners while they are trying to progress through your course.
  2. Offer hints when necessary but make sure the hints don’t include too much information which might make it more difficult for the learner to continue.
  3. Provide feedback as soon as possible so that if a learner takes the wrong path, they will know right away instead of spending time exploring their options.

4) Keep it interesting

When it comes to eLearning design, it’s important to keep things interesting. After all, you want your learners to be engaged and excited about the material they’re learning. Here are few principles you can use to create an engaging and effective online learning experience

  • Don’t overcomplicate a course by bombarding the learner with too much information
  • Create relevant content that is easy to understand
  • Include opportunities for learners to apply what they’ve learned in a variety of ways
  • Present learning objectives clearly and concisely
  • ●     Be consistent with the tone of your language throughout the course

5) Use sound judiciously,

Although using multimedia can enhance the eLearning experience, too much sound can be just as detrimental. Think about when you’re in a classroom and the teacher is trying to lecture over the noise of students who are talking or shuffling around. It’s difficult to focus and learn in that environment.

The same is true for eLearning courses. If there is too much going on, it can be overwhelming and distracting. Use sound judiciously to avoid overwhelming learners and to keep their attention focused on the content.


eLearning should be designed with the learner in mind. Every element should be chosen with the intention of making the learning process as smooth and enjoyable as possible. eLearning should be interactive. Online learners should feel like they are actively participating in their education, not just passively consuming information. eLearning should be visually appealing. The use of visuals can help break up texts, make complex concepts more understandable, and add an element of fun to the learning process.

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