As the North Star helps the sailors and acts as a navigation for them when they are lost, in the same way, good navigation elements help the learners to sail through the entire course during their learning journey. If the navigation is not properly placed, the learners will lose interest in the module and won’t be able to progress further.
In this blog, I will be explaining you about the best practices to be followed while designing navigation for your e-learning courses :
1. Provide a course navigation tutorial
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At the beginning of the course, by providing a course navigation tutorial to the learner how to navigate, it makes them comfortable while accessing the module. The tutorial can be designed in the form of text boxes with simple instructions which highlight the options the user needs to click in advance. You can also guide the user on how to exit the course.
2. Avoid multiple navigation options
While designing e-learning course, avoid using multiple navigations such as placing both “Click next to continue” “Click here to proceed” buttons in your course. As it will confuse the learners, by selecting the single text option it ensures uniformity across the module and also helps the learner to navigate through the entire module easily.
3. Consistent navigation design elements
By placing the consistent design elements such as color, text, body buttons of the navigation elements across the slide it will help the learners to be familiar with the navigation elements across the module. It should be in the same location in every slide.
4. Short and clear icons, text
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When there is crisp and clear messages or information written across the module, it is easy for the learner to digest the content. This information can be also used for navigation also, by providing clear icons which shows the way for the learners. The navigation will become easy for the learners and helps them to remember the navigation style across the module. For Ex: Instead of using “Start Module” instead of using “Click here to start the module on Information Security”.
5. Navigation progress
By letting the learners know how far they have completed the module, the user will get to know how far he has progressed and helps him to decide whether he can complete the course within the stipulated time limit or he needs some more time. It will keep the learners to be motivated and interested.
6. Creating labels for a user-friendly experience
By creating labels for your e-learning course, it provides a user-friendly experience as labels act as a guide for the learners while accessing the course. Labels showcase the progress of the learners and it helps to know the learner what is the next course or quiz in the module.
7. Locked or unlocked navigation
Locked navigation is the type of navigation wherein the learners will be able to navigate through the course by visiting all the pages in the module, then only the navigation options will be unlocked for the learner.
Unlocked navigation is the type wherein the learner will be given freedom to skip content at any given point in time. It is more adaptable to different learning styles and goals.
So now you might be having a question in your mind? Whether to use locked or unlocked navigation in your module.
The answer lies in what type of module you are developing and how important it is for the learner to understand.
If the module is communicating about important policies, changes related to workplace or process or department, or it might be a compliance training as well. If the content is important to the audience then it’s better to use locked navigation type as the learner can absorb the entire content and there is no option of skipping the content.
If the module is speaking about the topic where the learners are already familiar with like EMail etiquette, business etiquette and so on. The learner can skip the content as he will be having the knowledge of the module. This helps the learner to learn only the content he requires and to skip the rest.
8. Test Navigation before deployment
Before deployment of the course to the learners one should always check the navigation elements across the entire module and make sure its error free. Sometimes the navigation elements might not work, so the developer team must rectify the error and make it error free before launching the module.
9. User feedback
After the course is released, by collecting the real-time user feedback it helps the developer team to get to know how navigation elements are helping the users to access the modules. It also helps the developers whether the navigation is user-friendly or not. You can get to know about the feedback by conducting surveys, participate in target audience groups.
I hope with my above tips you are able to know the best practices for your e-learning course navigation. Feel free to ask questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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