Can we use same experts from classroom training programs to design contents for eLearning? In order to answer that question, let’s first understand how classroom trainers develop training content?
- The general path followed by these trainers is: Analyze the training need,
- Collate the relevant training content, and
- Develop the material for live instructor led training.
The content could be a PowerPoint presentation, or it could be a combination of PPT and handouts, or training manuals. Any knowledge gaps in the material are easily filled, with the physical presence of the instructor. However, the same is not possible in case of an online course, because, in order to develop an online course, you need a combination of:
- Expertise in the subject matter
- Knowledge of instructional design principles and
- The ability to integrate the content using authoring tools, images and audio/ video media elements.
Many classroom training curriculum developers successfully develop eLearning curriculum, after getting trained in instructional design principles and authoring tools.They just need to appreciate the fact that classroom material (as it is), from an instructor-led training class, cannot automatically function as eLearning course material. After all learners, who are willing to sit through a two-day classroom training session, may not be willing to sit in front of their PCs, for the same duration, when taking an eLearning program. Shorter modules will need to be created, taking into the account short breaks that learners might want to take.
One of our clients shared that when they were introducing eLearning in their organization; they took senior trainers into the loop and recruited a separate eLearning design team, which included instructional designers.These senior trainers, understood and appreciated, the special skill-sets required for developing eLearning curriculum.They, in turn could now, focus on high-skilled training programs, which needed to be conducted in classroom.
Many companies invest in training their existing ILT curriculum developers, in eLearning design and development, giving them basic inputs about principles of instructional design and using of authoring tools. However, it would really depend on individual, as well as team’s interest and willingness to handle eLearning tools.
In short, if I were to answer the question, it would be “Yes, experts can design eLearning content, provided they are given training in instructional design principles and use of authoring tools.”
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