Learner Centered Approach – Why does it matter in eLearning?

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“People only hear what they want to hear. So don’t waste your time by explanations.” – Paulo Coelho.

As a learning designer, you can get an inspiration from this wonderful quote while designing a course. The learners always look for relevant content and take an active role only if it really matters to them. This blog is around the rationale behind learner-centered approach for eLearning, and how it helps in designing an outstanding learning experience.

Learner-Centered approach puts the learner at the center of the learning process. It makes the learning more meaningful, relevant and engaging by shifting focus on individual learner and their requirements. While designing a course, we often fail to notice the essence of learner-centered design. We conduct an audience analysis, but forget to put the learner at the center. We tend to overlook their preferences, learning styles and behaviors. Therefore, we fail at making the output more effective. Here are the three major reasons why one should adopt learner-centered approach in developing an eLearning course.

Provide Customized Learning By focusing on the learner’s needs and addressing the learning challenges. It is possible through the learner profiling. Learner profiling is a tool that helps to analyse the needs and preferences of the learner and caters to specific learning requirements. As a result, learners remain engaged throughout the learning process and can learn at their own pace.

Add Relevancy As the learners are relevancy oriented. No matter how much you impress your learners through rich multimedia and visuals, if you don’t provide specific context/relevance it will not hook them to the course. Learner-centric design allows the learners to construct the knowledge and connect to their real-life context. It brings meaning and value to the learning and engages learners all the way.

For example, a scenario related to learner’s day-to-day activities add more value and connects emotionally rather than a generic scenario.

Promotes Motivation: As the learner-centric design is self-directed, it motivates the learners to focus and explore the training components. The challenges in the course intrigue the learners and enhances their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Learner-centric design allows them to apply the acquired knowledge into practice, individually or collaboratively. As a result, it improves the job performance and help learners to reach their career goals.

Unlike other approaches, learner-centered approach relies on practicing and reflecting on the learning experience. It covers diverse learning styles and makes learning relevant and engaging. So it’s the time to say goodbye to traditional approaches such as, content-centered and instructor-centered and embrace the learner-centric approach to make your eLearning count.

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