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RESOURCE: 5 Best Ways to Use Learner Control in Your e-Learning Course

  1. Give experienced learners more control. Giving experienced learners more control is most successful when they have prior knowledge of the topic being presented. Ciocca suggests presenting a lesson that is advanced in nature, but low in complexity.
  2. Keep the learner in the learning space. To keep the learner actively engaged in the course, Ciocca suggests not using the next button for navigation, but rather giving the learner choices to select his or her own path.
  3. Consider using adaptive control. Adaptive control is the process in which learners are “branched” to different instructional materials within a course based on the evaluation of their responses to lesson exercises. For example, if learners answers all questions correctly, they would be branched to a more difficult lesson topic. If they answered only some questions correctly, they would be provided more practice exercises until they were ready to advance.
  4. Give pace control. Allow learners to navigate through the course or learning scenario at a pace that works for them. This could help stop learners from simply clicking through the course to receive a checkmark for it.
  5. Implement best practices. Some of these best practices include using titles, headings and introductory statements to organize content in a way that makes sense to the learner, minimal use of links within a course, avoiding the use of course or site maps and utilizing a progress indicator to let learners see how much they have accomplished.

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Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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