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Designing a Visually Alluring LMS Training Course


Designing a Visually Alluring LMS Training Course

Coggno Inc. | Apr, 7 2009

Have you ever thought about designing an LMS training course? Or do you already have your own learning material and brilliant course content prepared, just waiting to be released to the public?

In the process of designing an online course, it’s essential to your keep learners in mind. How? By understanding multiple intelligences and using them to your course’s advantage.

Howard Gardner, whose multiple intelligence theory provided scholarly and scientific support for what many educators already believed to be true, created a small revolution in the educational community in the 1980’s with his book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Twenty-five years later, his theories have been widely discussed, criticized, discredited as unscientific, reinterpreted, and embraced–though not necessarily in that order.

“Instead of human beings possessing one generalized mental computer,” Gardner says, “human beings are better described as having a number of relatively autonomous computational devices.” In other words, we’re all programmed a little differently.

According to Gardner there are eight intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.

Despite controversy over Gardner’s findings, most experienced teachers and trainers possess an intuitive understanding that there exist more than one kind of intelligence. Even if you don’t buy his theory exactly, it’s hard to deny that everyone is differently gifted with assorted talents and personalities. And as Gardner insists, it’s true that we spend too much time testing learners in the U.S. when we should be dedicating time to helping them.

Understanding the theory of multiple intelligences will aid in the creation of a more effective and robust LMS training course.

Many educators and trainers find that responding to learners’ unique cultural backgrounds, interests, and world knowledge results in a more interactive and dynamic learning experience. An LMS can be an invaluable tool in not only tracking learners’ progress, but in providing an organizational and educational tool that caters to the needs of all learners.

Coggno is just one growing online training platform that understands that all learners are distinct–and that this fact enriches, rather than detracts from, the quality and effectiveness of a learning system. Coggno’s suite of course development tools enables interactive learning that lends itself to differentiated instruction.

It’s all about choices. Providing learners a choice is one way to take advantage of the spectrum of intelligences, creating a more vibrant and exciting learning experience.

An LMS training courses for employees can include assignments, quizzes, projects, activities and exams that cater to a wide spectrum of intelligences. Of course, this doesn’t mean that trainers or educators should assign different learners separate tasks. But within the same assignments or exams, learners can be given a choice. This means that within the same task, learners may choose which questions or exercises to answer.

While any given group of learners will most likely constitute a motley batch of learning types, many are probably strong visual-spatial learners. As an LMS training course developer or a corporate trainer, you can make simple efforts to enrich your course and speak visually to these learners.

Visual-spatial learners process information better when reading, taking notes and making lists, and learning from books, videos, and demonstrations. They use mental imagery, associating colors and shapes with ideas.

In your online training course, create videos and incorporate visual data into your students’ learning experience. Use graphic oragnizers. These include brainstorms and idea maps, webs, plots, and illustrations like stack plots and Venn plots. Showing the relationship between ideas and images, teachers can help all students–not only visually-gifted ones–digest information more quickly.

The creative instructional tools offered by LMSs like Coggno can be wielded to effectively express information spatially and with images. Use Coggno’s Text Tool, Video Tool, Scorm Publisher, Template Tool, and Question Bank, engage your students in active, visually-interesting learning content.

Does more visual information actually improve learner performance? Absolutely. A study conducted by the Institute for the Advancement of Research in Education at AEL showed that visual learning improves student performance in four major ways: critical thinking, retention, comprehension, and organization.

While listening to someone lecture for hours doesn’t suit many visual learners, watching a dynamic speaker demonstrate an idea will. Visual learners are sensitive to body language, and often have an advanced ability to “read” people. Include videos with demonstrations, simulations and screencasting.

The effectiveness of a course depends on the designer’s tapping into the right resources. These include not only the tools offered by the LMS, but the students themselves. By understanding learners’ needs and learning styles, designers are better equipped to create a more helpful, engaging, and successful LMS training course.


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