10 Design Guidelines for Developing Interactive Learning Web Pages
Think about what you want the learner to walk away with. For example:
Consider that learning may be indirect, taking place in order to perform some other task
Plan the uses of text, media, and interactivitity and assessments to support your learning goals
Combine presentations "telling or showing" the learner, with opportunities for them to practice or apply what they've learned
Use activities appropriate for the learner level that build on one another, allowing the learner to progress
Provide realistic contexts for learning activities, in which learner participates. For example:
Provide opportunities for learners to have options and make choices
Provide practices and questions for which there is not just one right answer
Use audio, video appropriately, when voice, and/or movement contributes to experience, enhance authenticity
Avoid gratuitous use of media or letting the technology drive the learning experience
Give users a degree of control and manipulation -- let them click, manipulate, try new things, navigate
Consider alternate formats of media presentations for differences in learning styles and learner preferences
Take advantage of the web as a resource (and check links regularly for currency). For example:
Use a repeatable lesson structure and names for repeatable elements such as Units, Topics, Practices, Quizzes
Use text elements such as headings and subheadings, topic menus, advanced organizers, or outlines
Use graphic elements such as meaningful icons, colors and page layout to distinguish sections or direct attention
Let the user know where the lesson begins and ends and how to move through, (with elements like a description, welcome, a summary, checklist, clear navigation paths)
Even if an activity is purely exploratory, give guidance of what to look for and where to focus attention
Communicate expectations -- what should the learner know or be able to do as a result of the lesson?
Try out your design ideas in a low tech way and get feedback and reactions before investing in technical development
Use rapid prototype methods, such as paper and storyboards
Get feedback, make changes, get more feedback during the design and development process for overall course design and specific activity design
Provide temporary support for difficult tasks, helping a learner go beyond current capabilities. For example:
Present general, overarching supportive information first
Present specific procedural information at the point where it is needed
Consider what technical capabilities your learners will have, such as operating system, age of computer, data connection speed.
Use web page elements that can be effectively delivered and supported within the available technical infrastructure.
Communicate technical requirements to learners at the outset of lesson
Have a technical support plan for the learners. Who will they contact for technical difficulties, and how?
Have "Plan B" for outages or for learners with special requirements