Embedding Custom Font in an eLearning Course

Last week I was working on an e-Learning course which needs to be delivered in HTML5 – a course to be compatible with Mobile devices. The software used for this project was Captivate. Everything in the course was working fine until client want to use a specific font that was not a free or default font available on the user machine.

If you ever wanted to embed a custom font in the course, then this is the post/tutorial for you.

Let’s say you develop a course in Captivate using custom font and published it in HTML5; CSS helps you to embed the custom font into the course publish package.CCS

I would like to share the method to embed font in an elearning course.

Steps to Embed Font Using CSS:

Step 1: Access to the folder assets>css
Step 2: Create a new folder as Fonts
Step 3: Paste the desired Font into the Fonts folder
Step 4: Open CPLibraryAll.css file from assets>css folder
Step 5: Embed the desired font or font family using the below code example:

@font-face {
font-family: ‘texgyreherosregular’;
     src: url(‘fonts/texgyreheros-regular-webfont.eot’);
     src: url(‘fonts/texgyreheros-regular-webfont.eot?#iefix’)      format(‘embedded-opentype’),
     url(‘fonts/texgyreheros-regular-webfont.woff’) format(‘woff’),
     url(‘fonts/texgyreheros-regular-webfont.ttf’) format(‘truetype’),
     url(‘fonts/texgyreheros-regular-webfont.svg#texgyreherosregular’)      format(‘svg’);
     font-weight: normal;
     font-style: normal;
}

Step 6: Find ‘.cp-actualText’ class in the same CPLibraryAll.css file and add below code

.cp-actualText span{
     font-family:texgyreherosregular;
}

Step 7: Run the course to view the result

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Elearning Course Modules Must Become Mobile Friendly

Mobile-and-Desktop_6

Smart Phones, iPads, and Tablets Have Become Common

The spreading out of technology has initiated the emergence of numerous newfangled gadgets, and this is all the more true as far as the communication arena is concerned. Because of the all-embracing technological advancements, various innovative changes took place in the field of telecommunication during the running decade. The period witnessed a real surge of hi-tech devices, in particular, diverse types of personal gadgets. Smart phones, iPads, iPhones, and tablets are some of such devices which have made communication effective and easy. Even common people can procure these gadgets without harming their wallets as most of these items bear affordable price tags. These economical personal gadgets enable the users to search the web on the go; they can check ‘emails’, ’Google maps’, enter their ‘social media sites’, check the ‘latest news’ and ‘sports events’ or can play ‘online’ games. Besides, those who are taking part in eLearning programs can go through their course materials while traveling. Indeed, all of these are welcome matters, because, individuals will not have to spend their official, or spare time for performing such activities. To sum up, when websites are created in a responsive mode, with good adaptability to the various mobile devices, webmasters can expect a good flow of traffic, which is fundamentally crucial as far as the healthy survival of websites are concerned. This is applicable to eLearning websites also.

Instructional Designers must Create Mobile-friendly Elearning Sites

Desktop computers have lost the initial significance, just because of the easy availability of functional mobile devices such as smartphones, iPads, iPhones, and tabs. In our time, desktops are mostly used only within the various office structures. In its place people have started to apply the handy nature of the aforesaid devices. As this is the core reality, only when proper mlearning methods are brought in to the process of eLearning, the courses concerned will become effectual. Instructional designers must note this pragmatic point while designing eLearning courses; this will do a lot good to them, as well as to the course participants. Transferring the pattern of eLearning courses into the platform of mobile learning will make the contents more customer-friendly. As a result, the related eLearning courses will become all the rage.

Moreover, there is yet another crucial matter that must be specifically noted in this context. In tune with the overall change in the technological advancements and perfectly in coordination with the pragmatic requirements of the end-users, the major search engine Google has already announced that it is going to make the needed modification to its present algorithm. Consequently, by the end of April 2015, mobile-friendly websites will have an edge over the other sites as far as the ‘Search Engine Results Pages’ are concerned. Taking into account this major shift in the Google policy, it is always wise to design all future eLearning courses in a mobile-friendly fashion. This will certainly create more popularity to such courses and as a result will bring in more patrons for the eLearning programs concerned.

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Possibilities of making classroom based practical via e-Learning

I was working on an e-Learning module on how to “tie a knot to restrain load on the vehicle.” Till date, I have developed more than 1500+ hours of courses. But for the first time, I’ve got a situation where I felt as if I was running out of ideas to make the course interactive.

The challenge here was to teach the user how to work around with the ropes. If training was on software simulation, then gamification, scenarios and drag & drop would have made the things interactive. But here it was working with ropes and I was not sure how to make it interactive.

Initially, I used static images with explanatory text to explain the procedure on how to tie a knot. Later, I realised that it was not allowing the learners to practice it in a virtual environment. So, I tried to make multiple choice questions, but again I felt it was not so engaging.

By making the real time video or 2D animation, the content can be presented in a good format but budget will go up. More importantly, the client was expecting an activity which is more near to the reality.

Then I searched on web for ideas which can make my life easy. After browsing many websites and considering the flexibility available in Articulate Storyline, I’ve made an activity which gave a satisfactory output.

The output is interesting, engaging and near to the reality. Using the same methodology, here is an example of what we have developed on “How to tie a Tie?” Please experience the solution and provide your feedback.

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E-Learning Course Design in Storytelling Method

E-Learning Course DesignE-Learning Has Gained Momentum

E-Learning is a reality in our time rather than a fleeting fad, because, human life has become pushy and fast. Virtually everybody is facing lack of time to attend the various chores of life and consequently, a good section has started to rely on online resources for solving their various requirements. This is all the more true in the educational and training domains; these days, many people go for online training courses, even for gaining technical knowledge.

Apply Handy Authoring Tools to Make Online Training Courses Effectual

E-Learning courses have already become par for the course in industrial training programs. Modern-day organizational managements show pleasant interest in making use of the effectiveness of e-Learning methods for managing the workforce efficiently. They try to implement various online training programs for bringing in employee engagement and employee retention. In brief, e-Learning system has gained high relevance in the present-day world. But unfortunately, some of the present-day e-Learning courses are designed in a mediocre manner, and this injects insipidness to the e-learning topics concerned. How to design effectual e-Learning courses is a relevant topic. Everyone who knows this sphere of action agrees that applying operative authoring tools is a practical way to counter the dormant and sluggish nature of online training courses. Expert eLearning courses designers have the opinion that storytelling is a best way to pull out the droning nature out of online training courses.

Advantages of Applying Storytelling Technique in Online Training Courses

Storytelling is a powerful method of online training and this will induce the readers to go deep into the subject concerned with great interest. Practically there are 4 key points to assert this assumption.

  • ELearning courses that are designed in a storytelling model will serve as a good media to have worthwhile interaction with the participants. This is because, creating and maintaining connections is one of the key human penchants, and storytelling is a sure shot to bring this mental involvement. When the participants of eLearning courses feel mentally attached to the course contents, then, it will be easier to impart the required information in proper and pragmatic manner.
  • People generally follow models, and if the eLearning course is designed in a storytelling manner, by applying effective authoring tools such as Articulate Elearning software, Captivate Elearning templates, and Templates Lectora and with some key character models, then for sure, the subject online training course will capture the attention of the participants. They will attend the course keenly, and will grab the gist effectively.
  • Human brain is structured in such a way that it has got the capacity to follow stories in a direct way and to act spontaneously in accordance with the thread of the story that is narrated. Hence, if eLearning courses are created in a practical way using sophisticated authoring tools such as Articulate Elearning software, Captivate Elearning templates, and Templates Lectora, the contents can be made in an appealing manner, which will be mentally pleasing to the eLearning course participants. Thus the course can be made effective to the core!
  • Storytelling method will add the entertainment aspect of the eLearning course concerned. This will certainly motivate the partakers to learn the topic discussed quickly.
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Things to Test in Multi-Platform E-Learning Course

E-Learning Course These days, you get computing devices in all different shapes and sizes. Along with computers and Mac, there are laptops, smartphones and tablets, which have slowly become the most popular devices. As such, testing of devices has become very essential for all purposes, including eLearning. One requires the same behaviour and performance across all different devices and operating systems. Your authoring tool is not able to provide you this, so you need to check it yourself. Here are a few methods to ensure that it is functioning as expected on the various devices:

  • Is the text readable?
    You could use a larger font size to make sure that the text is readable on devices of any resolution. Easing formatting, and auto-resizing text boxes are also useful.
  • Content Alignment
    Check the content on all devices, platforms, and browsers to show how the alignment varies and adjust it accordingly. This is because of the different HTML rendering engine and JavaScript interpretation for each of them, and you need to adjust your material accordingly.
  • Area for target areas for touch and select
    Touch and select controls may be quite difficult on smaller devices. So, make sure you leave enough space for user controls. Also, leave space between the different elements so that mistakes can be avoided.
  • Layer and group the navigation controls
    Take out the different navigation controls and group them logically. Layer them according to the frequency of usage. You can also enable or hide any elements based on the devices used.
  • Offer visual cues
    Provide visual cues to help the users understand the specific gestures used as interactivities in your course. They need to be clear and explicit to help guide them with the functionality.
  • Use device appropriate instructions
    The functionality and user interface would change depending on the device. So, use specific instructions for every device. As an example, on laptops and computers one needs to use any key, whereas on touch devices, you just need to tap. You could also use generic instructions that would be common all through.
  • Use suitable interactivity for all devices
    Make sure the interactivities work smoothly on all devices. You can also use additional features absed on the kind of device used.
  • The relationship and meaning between all parts of the course need to be maintained
    The layout needs to be checked to ensure proper sequence is maintained on every device. The location and the references must match, and also enough space must be left to make everything clear and distinct.
  • Course Performance
    The eLearning projects must perform well irrespective of the device or operating system. You need to control all memory lag issues and make sure no crashes occur.

It is not possible to have a standard device. So, you need to optimise your content for every device available. Use the above tips and ensure that your course runs smoothly no matter what device is used.

Watch-Free-E-learning-Samples

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Creating Smart Linear model Elearning Courses

Elearning

Linear Type Click and Read E-Learning Courses

Though linear type click and read elearning courses have become par for the course of almost all present-day online training courses, some of such elearning courses are obviously mind-numbing. The participants of such elearning courses will not only feel a bit dull, because of the monotonous ways of handling the subject, but also will have a difficult time in grasping the essence of the course concerned. The primary reason for this dullness of some online training courses is the lack of creative thinking on the part of the instructional designers. They might have created the elearning courses without taking the learner’s interests into consideration and giving excessive significance to the content part.

This undue focus on the subject and the lack of learner’s interests convert such online training courses into a state of utter boredom, and obviously the learners will get a feel of stranded!

That being said, it does not mean that all click and read elearning courses are mediocre or inferior. This method of generating elearning course is not completely faulty. In fact, it is a great way to impart knowledge pragmatically.

Due Attention is Needed While Designing E-Learning Courses

Why some of the online training courses become droning? The basic fact is that when elearning courses are designed without underpinning the related contents with quality interactive visuals, there is a possibility of boredom creeping in!

Creating Smart E-Learning Courses

Instructional designers must make use of quality authoring tools such as operative e-learning software and effectual eTemplates for the same. In our time, high quality authoring tools such as Articulate Elearning software, Captivate Elearning templates, and Templates Lectora are available. Instructional designers must make sure that the created elearning courses come out rich in quality content; they must give top quality visuals to support the depicted topic. This approach of making use of effectual authoring tools will make elearning courses interactive. Such online training courses will get the desired approbation from the participants.

In fact, linear click and read content elearning courses are practically good; the only thing you have to take care is to present the content in a pragmatic way. You must not confuse the participants. The language used for conveying the topic is also significant. It is always better not to depend on confusing terminology; the participants must feel at ease while perusing the elearning courses. Instructional designers can also illustrate some worthwhile example so that the participants of the online training courses get the hang of it in a better way.

The Best Way to Create Interactive E-Learning Courses

While giving interactive visuals, the instructional designers must introduce some specific characters and related backdrops; this will enhance the clarity of the contents. They should put some effort to create brilliant layouts and visuals by making use of the varied resources to keep the participants of the elearning courses focused.

Of course, you can make use of a pre-built interactive model. You can build a typical interactive base and save it as a template. Use this template, and just put the created contents in it. One of the key benefits of using reusable templates is that you can make the process of elearning course creation cost-effective. These days, various resources are available from the online elearning groups; make use of these valuable resources and tips.

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How to Assess a Competent E-Learning Vendor or Service Provider?

ElearningE-Learning is a current trend in training and learning domain; it has become an obvious option for Learning Managers or Learning Officers. The four major advantages e-learning offers are;

  • easy development/update of learning content
  • anywhere-anytime implementation/access
  • effective learning results
  • effective cost

E-learning has plethora of options to provide for your unique leanings needs or requirements. The major challenge lies in selecting the right e-learning vendor or service providers. This discussion will help you to assess capable e-learning vendor for all kinds of learning needs.

Learning Managers or Learning Officers has three important areas to assess in an e-learning vendor or a service provider, they are:

LEARNING EFFECTIVENESS

This is the first and the most important among other two areas. A learning manager must assess a vendor company with respect to the capability of delivering effective learning solution. There is no use of other benefits if a vendor company is not competent enough to deliver effective learning.

Following are the key capabilities must be possessed by a competent e-learning course developer:

  • Analysis - A vendor company should be able to identity actual or real problem or learning need. They must talk to real/key stakeholder (the person who raised the learning need, not who is awarding the project). Best idea is to meet him personally and get answers to custom developed questionnaire as per your learning need; if physical meeting is not possible, at-least a call must be done between stakeholder and the analyst.Sample of questions to ask key stakeholder:

Q: What is the actual performance expected from the resource/student.

    •  This should be answered in detail; complete expected performance action should be described with corresponding verb, criteria and quality standard.

Q: Where and how resources/students are failing to perform?

    •  Answer to this question helps to identify the area or gap to fill.

Q: Is the failure is common in all or larger group of resources/students?

    •  This helps to understand or identify the relationship between performance failure and specific profile of resources/students (if any).

Q: Other than learner profile, is there any circumstantial/infrastructural issue related with performance failure?

    •  This helps to identify any unknown artificial conditioning affecting resources/students to stop performing in expected way.

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Click here to request more similar questions.

  • Design - Ideally, the person or Instructional Designer, who conducts the analysis phase, should design the required solution. If all the observations and responses are recorded and documented in proper procedure, then other instructional designer can devise an effective learning solution.Components of an effective learning solution design:
    • Scope – The subject matter/ the content includes texts, animations, images, audio etc. It also covers the expected level of performance.
    • Format – Which e-learning format is the most suitable? Such as Synchronous, Asynchronous, Blended etc.
    • Instructional Strategy – The instructional strategy is about how you create a learning environment/package (including Scope and Format) so that the learner understand and realizes the expected performance.Click here to request the best design for your e-learning requirement.

COMMUNICATION

This ability of a vendor company describes seriousness towards understanding client requirement and delivery of expected solutions. The communication component is to understand requirements and resolve issues. It is very important component to avoid work delay and review cycles. Click here to request a better communication procedure for e-learning course development projects.

COST 

Though cost is not a real component in designing effective learning solution, but it does have major role in decision making to select real components such as what level of instructional design to adopt. In industry there are three levels of instructional design modals, they are:

    • Level 1 – A basic design with content and images on screen.
    • Level 2 – Content chunking, illustrations, moderate interaction, 2D animations and learning avatars.
    • Level 3 – Excellent content chunking (less text on screen, much in narration), extensive used of illustration, interactive slides, 2D animations and if required 3D animation. All components required to make learning effective.

Note: There is a direct relationship between the above levels and the cost.

It is suggestible to bargain the cost factor after a vendor is shortlisted for Learning Effectiveness and Communication.Click here to receive the best price for your e-learning service requirements.

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E-Learning Course Development Standards

banner Today e-learning is a large industry; it has variety of solutions, approaches, strategies etc. for unique learning needs of organizations and institutions. E-learning is a proved methodology for its learning effectiveness, cheaper cost and less time of development. Globally e-leaning courseware developers are mushrooming with claims of providing the best quality in the least costs.

As a Learning Manager or any authorized person who is responsible for training and development of resources must have enough knowledge of certain basic standards of e-learning course development. This will help you to understand your learning need better and assess vendors who can provide it.

In this discussion we have enlisted few important areas of consideration and will come-up with more things in future.

Following are the basic modals, strategies or standards of e-learning courseware development:

E-Learning Course Developmental Procedure

There are modals which helps you execute an e-learning project in a systematic process. Among different models, ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation) is considered as base and the most perfect modal for an e-learning course development. Dick & Carey Modal is another one used by e-learning developers.

Course Enabling Objectives

These are the complete sentences to describe what learners are expected to do or should be able to do after completion of the course. Benjamin Blooms and Rober F. Mager’s had significant contributions in preparation of instructional or enabling objectives.

Content Chunking

Cognitive educational theories are followed in content chunking. Content should be chunked for easy assimilation and retention.

Content Flow

Each and every chunk of content should have logical flow to help learner know, understand, apply and judge i.e. From Known to Unknown, General to Specific and Complex to Simple.

Content Sentences

The sentences should be succinct and in constructive or progressive structure. Every learner has learning pattern (as I mentioned in my previous discussion) as stepping pattern. So, as a good trainer or instructor, identify these learning patterns and encapsulate subject matter into sentences so that they create aha effect in learner’s brain.

Learner Interactions

Learners are best engaged if they are prompted to interact with the subject matter of the course. Interaction for the sake of interaction doesn’t help learner to experience effective learning; interaction should help learner to establish desired pattern of connections in brain. Assessments and navigation are not such interactions.

Formative Assessment

These are the best opportunities to practice learned concepts. These activities help learners to strengthen the connections established during the content presentation.

Summary

A quick and a brief recap to help leaner to practice recall and retain what has been learnt in the course.

Summative Assessment

This is for the course designer to get confirmation on achievement of enabling objectives.

                                                                       Cont…

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E-Learning Services and Concepts for Learning Managers

E-Learning

Learning Officers or Learning Managers are responsible to satisfy learning and training needs of the organizations they are serving to. There are various types of platforms and methodologies to satisfy these needs; off-course E-Learning is one the most effective among all the available.

Concepts

In this discussion we will restrict ourselves to the E-Learning Solutions and Services. Moving further, you may need to understand following concepts in brief:

Organizational Learning Needs – 

  • Understanding: Training or learning which may bring required change or improvement in resources or students to do or realize something in a desired way.
  • Benefit: It is a very skilled job to identify actual skill or change required for an organization which may satisfy its need or improve business performance. Learning officer could be the best person to help an Instructional Designer analyze and identify actual learning needs.

Learning Style/Profile of the Learner – 

  • Understanding: Every individual is unique but their personality traits do fall under few common categories. Similarly, learning style is also unique in all learners but they can be categorized under following three headings:
    - Kinesthetic Learners – Learners who learn by doing
    - Auditory Learners – Learners who learn by listening
    - Visual Learners – Learners who lean by seeing
  • Benefit: In general, learners have mix of above three styles; our job is to identify dominant style so that we prepare our learning material accordingly.

Learning Delivery Platforms – 

  • Understanding: It is platform to deliver learning, for example Classroom, Books, Desktop/Laptop computers, Mobile devices, Learning Management System etc.
  • Benefit: This helps us to understand the strengths and weakness of available platforms and deliver the learning solutions accordingly.

Learning Content Design –

  • Understanding: The content or material which need to be designed (if required convert) and developed in accordance with organizational needs and learning profile of the learner. The types of content are Facts, Concepts, Process, Procedures and Principles. Forms of content are Text, Images, Animations, Videos and Audios.
  • Benefit: Understanding of content design, types and forms help you develop the most relevant learning solution to the requirement.

Conversions –

  • Understanding: It is about translating existing courses into the learner’s preferred language. Along with translation, the look and feel of the course can be customized in accordance with location and its culture.
  • Benefit: We must understand the significance of language of instruction and its environment; it helps you make learning simple and relevant.

Services

Following are the three categories of solutions and services required in E-Learning domain:

Custom E-Learning Course Development

It is one of the most effective and traditional approach of e-learning course development. The name itself defines it as customized e-learning solution or bespoke e-learning solution; it is to solve specific learning problems.

Features:

  • Thorough analysis of following important factors:
    - Learning need of an organization
    - Learner
    - Content
    - Delivery platform
  • Custom design and development of the course
  • Instructional strategy for engaging and lasting learning experiences
  • Can be delivered on specified platform of an organization
  • Can be developed for multi platforms

Conclusion:

In this approach, learning needs and its affecting factors are analyzed thoroughly to develop the most custom and effective learning solution. The analysis and custom part of the work efforts requires you to pay the deserving cost.

Rapid E-learning Course Development

It is about delivering e-learning course in less time with required effectiveness.

Features:

  • A brief analysis of learning need enough to understand specific requirements and standards
  • Rapid development tools for quick and quality output
  • Standard interactions
  • Effective engagement strategies can be implemented
  • Easy to develop courses for multi platforms

Conclusion:

A good quality in-terms of learner experience and look and feel can be made in less time and less cost.

Translations and Localizations

This service is about converting existing course content for learners of foreign language, geographical and cultural region.

  • Existing courses can be converted as they are or with enhancements
  • Course environments like images, color and theme of graphic elements can be customized to match with the local culture
  • Existing content like books and manuals can be translated and a course in other language and environment can be created

Multi-Platform Course Development

Multi-platform course is to maximize or provide easy and anywhere access to learning. A course to launch from devices of different utilities like Desktops/Laptops, Mobile Phone, Tabs etc.

  • Existing course can be converted for other devices using required tools and techniques
  • New courses can be developed to launch through multi-platforms
  • Few changes need to be done to create existing uni-platform course to multi-platform

Summary

Above listed are the common services demanded by companies. As a learning manager or officer you must be able to identify the requirements and select capable vendor to provide the best e-learning services and solutions.

 

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An Effective E-Learning Course – Design Elements for An Instructional Strategy

E-Learning
Learning Managers are needed to understand their specific learning problems and corresponding requirement so that they select right vendor company to develop and deliver the most effective e-learning solution.

Learning or Instructional Strategy is not something which can be demanded or instructed to learning developer to adopt; it is devised based on certain elements or parameters. In this discussion we will be analyzing only design related parameters. The other parameters are commercials, development tool, delivery platform technology etc.

The design based parameters to decide learning or instructional strategy are:

  • Learner – All about learner profile; academic, cultural, personal etc. all which can affect his/her learning abilities
  • Objectives – Enabling objectives; specific abilities to be developed after course completion
  • Content – Type of content; process, procedures, principles, facts or concepts

The above elements are the three pillars for an Instructional Designer to decide about course instructional strategy.

Among these three, Learner and Objectives are defined by learning problem; you won’t get much room to change or modify them. Content is a depended variable, you can chunk or modify it in-accordance with the Learner profile and the Objectives.

Let’s Understand Objectives and Learner in brief:

  • Objectives –Objectives can be considered as 100% independent variable; once objectives are decided, then everything in instructional strategy has to fall in accordance to it. Objectives are derived values from your learning need or problem. Your learning need is your problem and objectives are the desired change or required solution to solve those problems. In most of the cases you won’t get alternative learning solutions; for example, if learner is to acquire ‘Apply’ skill, then he/she has to have corresponding cognitive ability; if learner is to acquire ‘Drive’ (a physical activity), then he/she has to have corresponding psychomotor ability.

    For several issues, always the learning environment won’t be conducive enough to achieve set specific abilities; in that case you can target to achieve a skill higher than to it. For example, if it is difficult for you to achieve ‘list’, then try to acquire ‘describe’ which is a higher skill to ‘list’. This target or objective shift will cost you more.

  • Learner – In general, learners are also considered as 100% independent variable. While developing a course you may face few challenges or constraints that makes difficult to develop or convert the content which suits learner’s learning style. For example, it is very difficult to convert theoretical subjects into pictorial forms; in this case, you can prepare or train learner to learn in other than his/her style. It is difficult to bring significant change in learning style but you can succeed to an extent.

Conclusion:

We understood that, Content is a dependent variable and Learner and Objectives are independent variables. It is an excellence of a learning developer or an e-learning company which can bring little change or modify Learner and Objectives and deliver an effective e-learning course. So the final suggestion for learning manager is to identify right learning need and required learning solution, then select the most dependable learning developer to deliver you the most suitable learning solution.

To make things simple, below table helps you to map learning objectives, learner style and corresponding content type.
Elearning

Note: If required, you can add more number of problems.

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