The education industry is currently going through a major paradigm shift. Traditional modes of delivering content, which generally includes an instructor teaching learners in a uni-dimensional, classroom-based setting, are now being replaced by a variety of digitally-powered, innovative, and informative techniques. As a result, the way the modern pedagogic landscape operates has been transformed forever.
However, digital designs have brought with them both an opportunity and a challenge. On the one hand, they provide educational institutions with the power to contextualize knowledge, streamline competencies and enhance reach, while on the other hand, they make it extremely difficult for instructors to retain a student’s perpetual attention. To grapple with this obstacle, institutions – especially those dealing in higher education – have come up with a simple, credible, and distinctive solution – courseware development.
What is courseware?
Courseware includes a diverse set of educational materials that are delivered via digital software. Being entirely web-based in nature and origin, courseware combines the power of text and technology by integrating methodical design, comprehensive coverage, and interactive approach with time management, cost-effectiveness, and resource efficiency.
Courseware is usually developed as a group of packets or kits that can either be used as tailor-made tutorials for educators or as independent lessons for learners. Irrespective of which variable you choose, courseware allows you to enhance access and improve productivity while meeting all the specific needs and requirements of your students.
Therefore, as a higher education institution, if you too intend to reap the benefits of courseware development, this blog highlights five crucial steps that can guide you through this process.
5 Steps for courseware development
1. Know your learners
The first thing you need to do for effective courseware development is gain a thorough understanding of your potential learners. Figure out who exactly you are developing this course for. Ascertain the basic characteristics of your audience by conducting detailed surveys, sponsoring panel studies, and building interview-based profiles.
Not only will this give you a fundamental idea of what elements/areas of knowledge your learners need to polish, but it will also acquaint you with the essential skill sets that your learners expect to acquire. Based on this, you can develop a comprehensive digital curriculum where you can provide academic value, meet specific objectives, and enhance the learning experience.
2. Develop an outline
Once you have determined who you are creating the courseware for, the next step entails developing a meticulous and methodical outline. Start by making a list of all the major fields that you believe your digital course must cover. Now, divide this list into smaller, in-depth topics, which can be classified under specific headings and specialized modules.
Plan the tiniest of details like word count, slide numbers, media integration, and other interactive instructions, if any, in advance. All the while, remember to keep an eye on the basic objectives that you had in mind. The creation of this outline will enable you to prepare an elaborate road map that will guide you through the terrains of courseware development.
3. Use different activities
It is a well-known fact that every learner tends to learn differently. While some people respond better to audio-visual presentations and graphics, many others are better served by simulations, and games. This is why it is considered wise to integrate different activities in a single course so that your learners can absorb more knowledge.
However, using a plethora of activities addresses just one part of the problem. The other part is to ensure that the information provided is retained for a long time. In order to do this, make sure that the courses you create are kept in bite-sized, digestible forms. The use of any needless content will only end up creating a feeling of cognitive overload.
4. Get creative with assessments
One of the principal features that you need to plan while undertaking the process of courseware development is – assessment and feedback. Unlike the conventional method, you don’t have to place assessments at the end of your module. Instead, you can strategically locate them after each chapter so that they can help your learners review key concepts.
Furthermore, you can get quite creative with your assessment and feedback procedure by using innovative formats like questionnaires, essays, multiple-choice questions, etc.
5. Offer real value
Last but not the least, courseware development, throughout its run, should offer real value. Find out the best way to tie your course’s subject matter to the real-world context so that your learners know exactly what benefits they can expect to reap from the course. Give out practical examples and co-relate each aspect of the course with actual experience.
To accomplish this, you can use a multitude of activities like branching scenarios, gamification, stories, and simulations. Let your learners use the course to make risk-free decisions and learn from the consequences of their actions. Inculcating such value into your course creation process will equip you and your learners to make credible and informed learning decisions.
The way forward
As times change, the higher education sector will start to bear true witness to the transformational power of technology. Be it customized curriculum, cognitive instructions, targeted designs, or expert faculty – the world of pedagogy coupled with a hint of digitization, will undergo a significant change. This would lead to an extensive increase in professional courseware development with the singular aim to create dynamic, interactive, trackable, and immersive learning methodologies.
Even in the future, this rise of digital education will continue unabated. It will likely surpass the mark of $243 billion by 2022, thus making the discipline of eLearning much more accessible, resourceful, and efficient. As a result, almost 66% of higher educational institutions will begin to embark on their digital journey by the end of the decade. In such a scenario, the only way for institutions to face competition without laying any stress on their capital or budget would be by creating virtual learning experiences that are both focused and personalized.
Get in touch with us to find out more about courseware development and how we can help you make your higher education more goal-oriented, self-directed, and relevant.
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