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Asynchronous Online Learning Materials: Best Practices

This guide is for librarians and library staff that create asynchronous online learning materials, primarily videos tutorials.

Design Guidelines

Table showing 8 guidelines with corresponding considerations for designing video tutorials.



1. Provide easy access. Give videos meaningful titles and organize them so learners can easily find relevant material. 
2. Use animation/visuals with narration. Use a spoken human voice for the narration. Ensure that actions on screen are in sync with narration. 
3. Enable functional interactivity. Give learners controls (pause, go back, etc.) to allow them to access the video at their own pace. 
4. Preview the task. Use advance organizers and contextual cues to let learners know where they are in the training and how what they are 
learning fits into the overall learning goal. Use a conversational style to enhance perceptions of task relevance. 
5.Provide procedural rather than conceptual information. This guideline is specifically related to tutorial videos, which typically focus on procedures instead of concepts. There are many cases, of course, when conceptual information can appropriately be taught in a video. 
6. Make tasks clear and simple. Assist learners in schema construction by providing simple explanations and showing the interconnection of user actions and system reactions. Use highlighting to guide attention. 
7. Keep videos short. For more on length, see Length Considerations.
8. Strengthen demonstration with practice. Practice consolidates and enhances learning and allows learners to judge their own learning.