When setting up our e-learning courses, we are often faced with the question: should we configure it openly so users can browse freely around all content without a pre-established order, or should we make it sequential? In the second option, browsing is closed, so the user must visit every bit of content on every page and in every section before continuing. This is the dilemma: what is the best way for effective learning?
Two options, two ways of learning
The truth is that there is no correct answer. The type of browsing we choose for our e-learning courses should depend on the nature and objectives of each particular course.
In book-style sequential browsing, the most classic of the two styles, it is important that content follows a logical, well-thought-out structure. If the content isn’t methodically organised, students can become confused and learning will be negatively affected. For example, imagine a training course on a work tool, where every chapter is based on what was learned in the preceding classes. In a course like that, the order and structure can make an enormous difference, so we need to think carefully about how we organise information. Furthermore, it is recommendable to slip in theory and practice, text and images and interactive activities so students do not become bored.
Tip: Courses with sequential browsing are ideal for courses that students begin at different times, for example, some students will begin the course in March, while others will start in April. It can work for courses that have no face-to-face interaction with the teacher, with students teaching themselves. In these cases, a sequential set up makes sure students complete the course in the order you want them to.
On courses with open browsing, students can freely browse all content, reading the chapters that interest them most first and leaving others until later. This type of browsing is sensible for courses where the order of modules does not affect the end product. For example, a course dealing with the 25 most influential painters of this decade. In this case, the order the students study the content in doesn’t affect the quality of their knowledge, as every chapter works independently from the rest. This is an ideal situation for free browsing. Free browsing also allows you to include information or research that might interest students, but is not obligatory reading for the course.
How can I set the browsing courses up in IsEazy?
Remember that with IsEazy, it is very easy to set up the type of browsing for your course. In the project file, choose if you would like the course to be free or sequential. If you choose sequential browsing, the student must complete all parts of every slide before advancing until the next one, and all parts of every section to unlock the following one.
What type of browsing do your courses usually use? What were your results?
Share your experience with us.