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Instructional designer: tips to create an online course without distractions

Instructional designer: tips to create an online course without distractions
Anthea De Domenico
 Anthea De Domenico
 Job
25/09/2019: One of the greatest challenges of the instructional designer is to create an online course according to deadlines, without the classic writer's block and other distractions that slow down its productivity. Here's how.

An online course is based on two essential factors: quality and time. The task of the instructional designer is not only to create the best online course possible given the resources and needs of the client, but also to deliver it at the right time. Any author knows that the question of time is not only fundamental for the client, but also for themselves, since continuing to dedicate oneself to a project takes away precious time from other activities. Like the writer, the instructional designer encounters difficulties along the way that risk delaying delivery, or worse, undermining the quality of his work. How can you deliver an eLearning product that is right for your customer at the right time? Simple, avoiding distractions.

Overcome the writer's block by organizing ideas for an online course

The fear of the white sheet is the first difficulty that an instructional designer encounter. Although he has conducted an analysis of needs and knows well what the activities are to be carried out in order to achieve the objectives, the risk of stopping in some activities is not negligible. To overcome the "white sheet syndrome" it is enough to organize ideas. There are those who take notes with paper and a pen, those who use a program on their smartphone or a simple electronic notepad. Whatever your instrument, the important thing is to take note of the ideas, organize them by points and have a skeleton to follow at the time of writing.

Eliminate social distraction sources when preparing an online course

At the time of writing, it is useful to follow the notes taken step by step, correcting the shot if necessary. Here too, writers and instructional designers of the digital age share distractions: e-mail and social media. Everyone happens to abandon their LMS (Learning Management System) editor to read a notification. Whether it comes from an email, a social network or a work chat, notifications are the most insidious sources of distractions for digital professionals. Opening a harmless e-mail means potentially opening to external links and therefore other sources of information that distract from the workflow. The best thing would be to provide specific moments to consult the communications, everyone / two hours, for example.

Create a detailed calendar of online lessons

The tools for scheduling your activities are present in some LMS, as well as in the classic agenda. To write without distractions, an instructional designer must provide in detail the time and resources to devote to a lesson. As in accounting, the principle of prudence provides for the inclusion of days dedicated to revision, or to rest. This way, if you are a little behind with the ladder you can easily recover.

Divide the tasks among the members of the eLearning team

Unlike a writer, the instructional designer rarely works alone. Instead, you can count on a team of professionals to respond to the multimedia character of eLearning. In an online course there are not only texts, but also videos, images, audio, etc. If it is true that an instructional designer must be able to work in all these formats, it is also true that, considering the quality and time factors, the best thing is sometimes to select experts to take care of certain phases of the activity.

By organizing ideas, eliminating sources of digital distraction, following a realistic calendar with micro-objectives to achieve and entrusting to professionals the realization of some activities, an instructional designer can face any source of traditional or multimedia distraction that he encounters during the creation of a course online.

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