C-Suite Agenda

Top 6 Instructional Design Strategies for Effective Learner Engagement

Instructional design Students e-learning

Digital courses are known to teach topics or subject matters without the need of an instructor who’s present; rather, a physical instructor. Learners find this very calming because, they can learn at their own pace and truly enjoy learning rather than just studying for examinations, marks and so on.

It’s not really good for trainers to not be physically present. Which is when instructional design comes in play and its strategies too.

Instructional Design Strategy is basically a strategy that is used to teach learners. You can teach any subject, any topic with instructional designs as the base. For example, multiple ways of teaching someone how to code are given. Books, CD’s, practical classes and so on are common examples.

Now that you’ve implemented e-learning, you’ve got to strategize how you can implement e-learning or online learning at its best. Now, the problem with this is that not all of us learn the same way. There’s always a chunk of learners who are left out in the learning process.

This is where instructional design strategies come- catering to multiple learners, keeping in mind their needs, issues and so on. The objective of ID is to ensure quality learning with lots of fun and engagement!

Irrespective of whether you’re a platform development member or an independent instructor, there’s a high likelihood that Instructional Design has got you thinking and worried sick. Top platforms such as Preferred training Networks, Coursera are known for their awesome and engaging e-learning experience styles. The instructional design for these brands are flawless and undergo multiple trial and errors until they’re stable.

E-learning has now become a major trend in the educational sector, especially when it’s clubbed with the corporate sector. About 98% of companies have promised to shift their training program methods to cloud by the year 2020.

Instructional design has a huge market to cater to. It’s demand and importance are increasing more than ever. Keeping this very point in mind, let’s look into the multiple design strategies which your company can implement in order to improve online courses – create well- organized learning environments:


  • Course gamification
    Gaming is something most of us enjoy irrespective of age. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are full of exciting gaming advertisements. Smartphones sometimes are also promoted because of the kind of gaming experiences they offer.
    Games are available both in iOS and Android and offer minimal and effective regards to players who keep playing the game. This is what gamification is all about! The idea of receiving incentives every now and then to use the application or service. Games can be addictive but, if used the right way, educators can make learning a habit for kids, young adults and adults too!
    Gamification includes elements like:
    – Context and setting
    – Rules, levels & scores

    Game-based learning is most appropriate when you want the student to be retentive, enjoy learning and implement the learning at the virtual level.
    Motivate learners via gaming – It’ll work for all age group learners!


  • Scenario-Based Learning
    This amazing learning strategy is one of the most problem- based learning styles. Engage learners virtually, make them interact and resolve problems. This learning style helps learners recall and apply prior knowledge, make use of past experiences, improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills! Don’t worry, all this is done in a protected environment at all times.
    Scenario-based learning is perfect for young adults, especially the ones going for vocational courses. The reason being, you’ll virtually experience something and be able to apply the learning once you go into the real world!

    Elements include:
    – An engaging storyline with characters
    – MCQs – Multiple Choice Questions
    – Feedback inclusive of an explanation as to why the student is not right

    Ideal for training content, this learning strategy enables students to decide on the appropriate course of action and prepare for the best!


  • MicroLearning
    Micro-learning is inspired by traditional learning and is carried forward by e-learning. Micro-teaching is basically, breaking down content into small, meaningful chunks in order to deliver it the same way. Microlearning caters to students with low attention spans and students who don’t have the time to continue studying for hours altogether.
    Studies have shown that micro-teaching is 73% more effective than regular teaching method which goes on for more than 30 minutes. The student tends to learn a lot more, reflect on it and remember it too!
    Give achievements at the end of each module set for best learning outcomes. This way, before your students will know, you’ll have helped them finish their course in a very awesome environment – the environment which is commitment- free!


  • Value via Multimedia
    E-learning’s prime objective is to deliver rich, comprehensive information into meaning, engaging chunks. These people do not want to undergo traditional, formal education. Which is why, they choose you! Make sure you keep this in mind.
    Visuals such as images, audio clips, videos and so on are completely pivotal when it comes to today’s e-learning. This is more relevant for smaller teams in development. A course without multimedia or materials for practice is worse than no course at all! Please ensure that you spend some time, manpower and other resources on multimedia because it’ll be guaranteed to improve your e-learning crowd and build a great brand name and community online.


  • Quizzes
    I remember calling quizzes boring – that was the case probably because of the way the quiz was taken. Now, when I take quizzes, there are some innovative ways in which they can happen very successfully. In fact, about 37% of online learners have signed up for courses for the quizzes they have in store.
    It’s known to be the most fun and productive way of evaluating previous knowledge and current learning. The more the quizzes, the higher the chance of receiving incentives is what learners perceive it as. Above all, quiz results are one of the best indicators a student can receive about their learning. Remember, the content of the quiz has to be engaging along with its design and interface.


  • Learning through Exploration and Discovery
    Also known as LEAD or Inquiry-based learning, this instructional design strategy is all about engaging learners in the exploration of virtual setups, interacting with elements and discover information! IBL basically gives learners the autonomy to flexibly learn to enjoy it.

    Elements include:
    – Setup or setting
    – Great interface – Clickable elements which can be explored are recommended
    LEAD is perfect for self- paced learners who can explore the different sections or areas of learning, without any issues!

No matter which instructional design principles you, as educators apply in online courses, your learners have got to be your priority. Ensure you take feedback from your learners with regard to how you can improve their learning experiences and create the perfect and most interactive e-learning environment.

You can always create your own instructional design. Here’s a brief:

Create user- centric navigation for learner based engagement. The easier it is for them to navigate, the better retention of learners will you be able to witness

‘Graphical User Interface’ can be used very effectively in your design – graphic icons, visual indicators and so on are good examples.

The content presentation must be wise because, learners today are getting smarter than ever! Learning needs to be very well-structured and organized as well Visuals and Interactives are definitely going to help! Look at Preferred Training networks, for example. Their visuals and assignments are so interactive that students feel beyond learning- they feel like they’re experiencing it all!

Soon, you will find the right balance between student retention, online marketing and value delivery. This can be done via Instructional design based online courses the best way!

Written by Niall Kennedy.

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Niall Kennedy
Niall Kennedy is the Creative Director at Preferred Training Networks. He has over 20 years of experience in Professional Development Industry. He has published 4 business books - “All Aboard the Brain Train,” “Healthy Leadership,” “Errant Workplace Behaviours,” and “Hidden Observations”. Niall is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.