Is there required forced navigation in the elearning process or greater learner control? No wrong or right answers exist. But if results are desired, the locking navigation definitely is not the answer.
Self-directed learning is promoted by good navigation, thereby allowing learners to read and explore relevant contents. But frustration is caused due to difficult navigation only encouraging students to escape.
Explanations why elearning course navigation can be a wonderful strategy
- Locking down navigation leads to obstruction of the learning process and frustration: With the course being more restricted, it is quite natural for more opportunities to be disengaged and create frustrating learners. Unresponsiveness and resistance is caused. If the learners are compelled to go through each and every single screen along with those they already are aware of, they are sure to get resentful, bored and leave. Adult learners are found to resist more if actions and information are being imposed upon them. Probably the assumption is that if navigation is not blocked, then students might simply click through until session end without gaining information, which is not true. Forcing will only cause bore and frustration. Several strategies can be implemented by using elearning authoring tools to ensure the contents are being read.
- Compelling navigation necessarily does not mean more learning: Forcing to read the screen does not mean information provided is being grasped. Blocking navigation as well as exposing students to each and every content piece will not make it understandable. Rather, learners might focus upon course progress, hoping to end it sooner. Providing exercises that will require the students to apply their knowledge can ensure grasping information. The objective here is to get them to perform something! Freedom needs to be offered for the learners, allowing them to click and explore the desired content, thereby enhancing the learning experience. Unlocking navigation can help students to have better control over the learning process. Content customization does matter in elearning. The best elearning authoring tools can help achieve this task. Understanding the needs of the audience and specific characteristics can provide the opportunity to offer a personalized experience. The students can now learn as well as engage with relevant contents. Hence, course navigation is to be freed up.
- Varying size: Learners most often might not be interested in just about everything present in the course, nor they learn in a similar manner or things. They love to study at own pace, without being forced. Others require trying out various things, so as to understand them fully. Knowledge needs are to be tackled along with learning styles, which is possible through elearning course. Adults prefer choice which boosts self-direction. Learners are to be allowed to take full control over their learning process and should be able to select the topics to study in the course. They also are to be provided with options to move around freely in the course.
In short, the learners should not be restricted, thereby leveraging the elearning program and deriving optimum results.