Creating an eLearning instructional design

eLearning is a term describing the use of technology in delivering educational content to learners. It has become a common practice among organisations that offer online training to deliver courseware through eLearning platforms. Still, it’s important to note that these platforms are not synonymous with eLearning instructional design. Instead, they are simply tools that can be used to create a more comprehensive learning program.

There are several different ways you can incorporate an eLearning component into your company’s learning strategy:

  • As part of a larger learning program (e.g., onboarding new employees)
  • As self-directed learning modules offered through your intranet or extranet site

Designing the course

The instructional design process is a series of steps that can be followed to create an effective, engaging eLearning course. The steps are:

  • Consider the audience
  • Decide on the learning objectives for your course and make sure they align with your organisation’s goals and priorities.
  • Design all of your content to support the learning objectives and provide learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet those objectives.
  • Develop a user-centred environment that makes sense for what you want to teach (and how). This will include choosing appropriate media, creating realistic scenarios and environments, and designing activities that engage learners in critical thinking rather than rote memorisation or simple practice activities such as “drilling” or “mimesis.”

Interactive eLearning design

All good eLearning courses include at least one of these elements to make them interactive:

  • Use branching. Branching is a method of presenting information where the learner can choose which path they want to take. This is an engaging way for them to learn because it gives them control over their learning experience
  • Use multimedia. Multimedia lets you incorporate audio and video clips into your course design, helping learners visualise concepts more clearly than just plain text or bullet points could be on their own!
  • Use animation and sound effects. Animation and sound effects are great tools for making your content more interesting while also helping keep learners engaged during a lesson by keeping their attention focused on what’s happening on the screen in front of them instead of drifting off into other thoughts (which could happen if there weren’t animations). These two elements go hand-in-hand when used together because the animation will tend not to be as effective without some accompanying soundtrack.

Design for accessibility

Accessibility is a design principle that aims to make content available to many people. Regarding eLearning design, this means ensuring your course is accessible for all learners regardless of their disabilities or learning styles. It’s not just about people with disabilities—accessibility is about designing better experiences for everyone!

Universal design for learning (UDL)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a design approach that focuses on the needs of all learners, not just those with disabilities. It addresses the cognitive and social differences between individuals. UDL can be applied to the development of any course or instructional material—whatever your learning objectives are, and you’re likely to have some students who will struggle with them based on their age, accessibility needs or other personal traits. The goal of UDL is to ensure that everyone can succeed in your course regardless of their circumstances.


This article has helped you learn about creating an eLearning instructional design. The steps covered include defining your goals and desired outcome, creating a storyboard with illustrations or screenshots, and planning your course by thinking through each step in detail.

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