Thanks to powerful online course authoring software, associations and enterprises can build a variety of eLearning lessons that promote professional development for their members and employees. But the work doesn’t end after these courses have been created and deployed. In order to stay relevant, they must make frequent changes and updates to those courses to adapt to evolving learner needs and improve engagement levels. Feedback plays a critical role in keeping eLearning content fresh and relevant.
5 Easy Ways to Assess Your eLearning Content
There are many ways associations can evaluate the effectiveness of their eLearning content. Gathering feedback from a variety of sources provides a more comprehensive picture of the program, so it’s a good idea to obtain multiple data points when working with online course authoring software.
1. Survey Your Learners
Perhaps the most straightforward and direct feedback method, surveys allow instructional designers to focus on known concerns and see how learners are responding to different aspects of a course. Surveys can be incorporated into the coursework itself, and learners can even be incentivized to complete them by issuing a variety of rewards. Whether the survey is trying to evaluate the overall course experience or identify specific issues that need to be improved, questions need to be focused and specific in order to provide meaningful data. For this reason, they are most effective when the course designers have some idea of what needs to be improved.
2. Use New Learners to Test Courses
A new perspective is often invaluable when trying to evaluate the usability and efficacy of an online course. Experienced learners who are accustomed to a particular user interface and instructional style often fail to notice issues that new learners might find confusing or difficult to navigate. That’s why it’s helpful for associations to use online course authoring software to solicit feedback from members who have not used eLearning resources previously. In addition to getting a fresh perspective on courses, reaching out to these members is a great opportunity to encourage them to engage with those educational resources in the future.
3. Evaluate Quiz and Exam Results Closely
Many courses already feature a built-in evaluation tool in the form of learning assessments. Quizzes that measure how much learners retained from a lesson can provide valuable insight into course effectiveness. If a large percentage of learners are missing a particular question or failing to pass a quiz at the end of a module, that could indicate a problem with the lesson itself. The course may not be communicating information effectively or the question might not align with the material presented in the learning module. Whatever the cause, consistently poor assessment results can identify where more data needs to be gathered for making improvements.
4. Form a Focus Group
A focus group comprised of potential learners is another good way of soliciting feedback from people who may not already be familiar with an association’s online course authoring software. The benefit of focus groups is the ability to have a collaborative discussion about the types of features and content learners would like to see from an eLearning course. Participants should be carefully drawn from various groups, based demographics, experience levels, and job roles, to create a diverse range of perspectives. Focus group discussions typically focus on specific topics, but the conversations that take place around those topics can reveal quite a bit about user preferences.
5. One-on-One Interviews
Personal interviews are another valuable source of information, provided enough of them can be conducted to generate a broadly representative sample of learners. Interviews are unique for their ability to provide qualitative data about user experiences with learning materials. Since interviewers are in a position to ask follow-up questions, they can easily clarify comments and observations that might be unclear in other contexts (such as open-ended survey responses). They can also capture insights about how it feels to engage with eLearning content, which can uncover issues that may not fit neatly into one category. If a lesson doesn’t sit well with multiple learners for reasons they can’t quite express, instructional designers can apply other tools to evaluate the course and get to the root of the problem.
5 Important Feedback Questions for eLearning Content
When soliciting feedback from learners, it’s always important to ask questions that will provide instructional design teams with meaningful and actionable information. There are a few key topics that are important for any course to focus on.
1. How is the user experience?
While learning content is usually the primary concern when soliciting feedback, understanding how learners feel about the process of navigating the LMS platform is just as critical. If people are having difficulty finding the right materials or struggling to engage with the coursework, they will be less likely to continue using those resources. Targeted feedback can help identify accessibility issues and improve the user interface to create a better overall learning experience.
2. Is the course content relevant?
No course is going to be successful if it doesn’t provide beneficial content for participants. Course content needs to meet both the professional needs of learners and their expectations for the class. Many industries undergo significant changes in short periods of time, so it’s important to make sure that courses are up to date and appropriate for current practices.
3. Does the course structure make sense?
The sequence and presentation of course materials is often every bit as important as the quality of the content itself. Asking questions about how topics and subtopics are organized and accessed can provide insights into how learners are engaging with those courses. If feedback indicates that sections feel out of order or that the lesson as a whole feels disjointed, that could help explain poor completion rates or low quiz scores. It could also indicate why the leaners are taking more time to finish coursework than the estimated seat time would suggest.
4. Were the learning resources helpful?
A good eLearning course should provide high-quality resources to help learners get a better understanding of the material. Whether these resources are required or optional, they need to be relevant to the course and easy to access. By gathering feedback about resources, instructional designers can determine why learners are using some of them and ignoring others, as well as what resources they think should be included with the course.
5. How good were the instructors?
For any eLearning course that includes live or recorded instructional elements, the quality of the instructor can make a tremendous difference in learning outcomes. There are many areas to assess when it comes to instructors, ranging from their presentation style to how quickly they respond to questions. Gathering information about eLearning instructors helps course designers to identify the qualities students are looking for and screen out underperforming teachers.
Improving eLearning Content with Crowd Wisdom
Crowd Wisdom’s online course authoring software provides the tools associations and enterprises need to build engaging educational content that promotes professional development. Many of those same tools can also be used to gather valuable feedback about how learners are utilizing eLearning resources. That information is essential for making continuous improvements to coursework over time so it can better align with an organization’s learning needs.
As a fully-featured LMS, Crowd Wisdom integrates easily into your AMS to manage the professional growth of association members and employees. Our experienced Content Services Team can help you build a dynamic library of eLearning materials that will keep your learners engaged and on an enduring development path. To learn more about how to create high-quality content for your continuing education program, check out our whitepaper on the topic or visit our resource center for additional guidance.