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8. Instructional Content Design

  • Issued: October 2015
  • Content last reviewed: October 2015

8.1. General

All eLearning programs must adhere to the following:

  1. The instructional content is relevant to the learning outcomes
  2. The layout of information on the screen is simple, clear and free from clutter
  3. Visual elements on-screen are well separated with adequate white space (i.e. good contrast)
  4. Instructional materials are accurate, current and where necessary, referenced and copyright cleared
  5. The subject material is written with respect to the target audience (e.g. use of terms, language, readability, clarity)

8.2. Multimedia

All multimedia presentations must adhere to the following:

  1. Instructional content presented in multiple media are complementary (i.e. messages do not have to be identical, but can be a summary of one another)
  2. No conflicts between the information presented in different forms of media
  3. Media is used to reduce the learner’s cognitive load through reinforcing, supporting and summarizing instructional content to support learner cognitive processes
  4. The learner is not confused or distracted by having to focus on separate areas of the screen simultaneously
  5. The learner’s attention is focused on the section of the screen that must be attended to
  6. Media controls are standard, simple and consistent across the entire eLearning program and allow the user the degree of control the instruction requires

8.3. Text

Text included in the program must ensure that:

  1. Lists and other visual organizers are used to reduce dependencies on large quantities of text on the screen
  2. Instructional materials are free of bias, discriminatory or defamatory material
  3. Instructional materials are free of spelling, grammatical or punctuation errors
  4. Acronyms and abbreviations are consistently represented and explained in full when first used

8.4. Links

External links can be used to view additional instructional material e.g. YouTube video), or as a reference for supplementary information, where applicable. All instructional materials must:

  1. Be free from broken or incorrect links
  2. Provide a feature within the eLearning program to report broken links (e.g. a button to contact the instructor)
  3. Clearly identify links using the standard hyperlink format (e.g. underlined text that can be clicked to jump to a specified target location)

8.5. Audio, Video, Animation and Playback

Visual representations are important to maintain the attention of a learner. The following must be adhered to when incorporating these formats:

  1. Animation is restricted to instructional content and the background is free from distracting images or animations
  2. Video and/or animation plays without stutter or dropped frames and audio remains synchronized with the video images at all times
  3. Audio is recorded and presented such that background noise is minimized
  4. Voice quality is adequate to understand speech clearly (voice playback is not muffled or distorted)
  5. Sound may be turned on or off and the volume control is accessible on-screen
  6. Playback is error-free
  7. Screens and pages load quickly, and where plug-ins are required, automatic prompts for installation are provided
  8. All text, characters and symbols render correctly on playback devices
  9. Text, images and diagrams are clear and large enough that they are legible at the recommended screen resolution

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