In this blog, I will present a few pointers to ensure that your eLearning courses are well developed – offering maximum cognitive advantage to the learners, easing confusions and making the process pleasurable and smooth for them. These pointers do not pertain to one particular stage; rather they are spread out throughout the cycle – right from the time we receive the inputs till the time the course is delivered to the client.
1. Have a clear idea of course requirements
At the outset, you should have a clear idea of the course requirements so that there is no scope for confusion in the future.
The points on which you need to obtain clarity are:
- Timelines: The submission date of the course, so that there is no scope for any mistakes
- Authoring Tool: The preferred tool for the course development
- Target Audience: The intended audience for the course so that the course is designed appropriately
Having a kick-off meeting or a call/email communication with the key stakeholders will help address any concerns in these areas. Once all the issues are sorted out and agreed upon, the course designing can commence.
This process also offers us a chance to communicate concerns (if any regarding the timelines, content etc.) to the stakeholders at the beginning itself, rather than having them crop up during development; disrupting the entire process and stretching the timelines.
2. Check the content and identify gaps (if any)
As an instructional designer, it is our responsibility to check the content and identify any gaps in the flow. It is a good practice to communicate such gaps to the key person and ask for appropriate content. This will help in preparing an effective eLearning course with a logical content flow so that learning becomes easy and meaningful.
3. Incorporate quality in the course
Abiding by quality standards should become a part of our work. Do not relegate it to the background. Conducting a spell check at the end is not ensuring quality. It has to be followed at each and every step of the design and development process.
At the design stage:
- Ensure that content has been chunked properly without altering the meaning or flow
- Ensure that proper parallelisms are followed for all the bulleted lists.
- Ensure consistency in all elements such as instructions, sizes (for screen titles), bullets etc.
- Ensure that images are used appropriately in line with the content (and not haphazardly)
- Ensure that the content is free of spelling and grammatical errors.
At the development stage:
- Ensure that every element of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) functions correctly.
- Ensure that the developed course is the same as the Storyboard (check for missing content, instructions etc.).
- Ensure that the bullets and paragraphs are aligned properly.
- Ensure that the images are clear and not blurred.
By checking for these issues in the respective stage, errors will be eliminated and there will minimal rework.
Following these simple, timely steps will ensure that your work is error-free. It eliminates tensions, facilitates proper communication with the project team, supports hassle-free development and offers tremendous gains in the form of:
- Positive relationships with stakeholders: Delivering a good, efficient course within the timelines will go a long way in building positive, long-lasting relationships.
- Confidence Boosts: Delivering a quality product will boost our confidence and help us face new challenges with increased vigor.
These are simple and logical tips to deliver quality eLearning courses. Can you add to the list or suggest other measures to ensure smooth eLearning development process? Do share with us.
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