E-learning has entered modern life in a big way. From education to corporate training to industry application, e-learning is here, everywhere.
If you are in charge of developing e-learning material, the most important and first task you should complete is an audience analysis. This will aid in creating the basic structure of your course and whatever smaller details that are required.
In your audience analysis, you will benefit greatly by asking yourself the following questions:
- Which age-group is my audience?
- How comfortable is the audience with latest technology?
- What device will the audience use to access e-learning course- mobile device or desk top computer?
- Is my audience differently abled- do they have any special disabilities?
- Does my audience live in a different country and have a different culture than me? Do we speak different languages?
Such an audience analysis will help you judge who exactly will be using your e-learning materials or course. This is useful for e-learning companies. Here is a distinct analysis of the e-learning audience and how to prepare the course for each:
- Generation Y: The audience consists of anyone born after 1980. This generation is very savvy with technology but has limited patience. Permit them to be in control during a course-scenarios are ideal for this. Also one can use games to keep them engaged; only make sure they have an aim or purpose. Gamifictaion is a great way to deliver a course to them.
- Non-Digital Natives: Though this part of the audience did not use computers while growing up, they are not technically illiterate now. All of us crave for interactivity. A non-digital native audience does not demand a boring course. Also do not make this group subject to naïve strategies like a 10-minute video on how to click the mouse. This is unnecessary and often, insulting to the learner belonging to this group. You can access online sources for developing interesting e-learning courses for this group of learners. Remember- training does not need to be boring.
- Users of Performance Support: If your target audience learner is using e-learning training material for the sake of performance support, two things must be kept in mind: Most likely, your target audience will be using a mobile device, so you must design the course as per that requirement. Secondly, the information or learning material needs to be accessed quickly. A few clicks for this process must be the ideal.
- Learners with Disabilities: It is ideal if you design e-learning course which is accessible for all such that learners can use it easily and comfortably. For example, your target learner may have hearing difficulty so it is wise to include a text transcript along with your audio-files. This ensures that no one including differently abled audience misses out on the course.
- Global Users: You may be required to add local flavour to your course as well as prepare it for a different culture and language. For this purpose, keep this factor in mind, throughout the process of developing e-learning content. This will make things simple when you come to the step of translation.
Thus, it is always good to do an audience analysis before developing an e-learning course. In this way you can develop a course that makes an impact on the right persons.