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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Recently, I read the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design” and in it, I saw the great news for which I was waiting for a while. I thought I should share it with you all. The developers of Articulate Storyline, Lectora Inspire, Lectora Online and other authoring tools are in the process of adding responsive design feature by the end of 2015.
Here is some information from the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design”.
|Scales to multiple screen sizes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Responsive design features||Coming by end of 2015||Yes||Coming by end of 2015|
2016 will be a watershed year for mobile learning as all courses may be made compatible to all mobile devices. Storyline may become the first choice to develop e-learning or m-learning courses because of its intuitiveness. This may force all learning management systems to be compatible with mobile devices. MOODLE is ahead in this regard, and it has a responsive design feature and works on all the mobile devices.
Hope you find this post useful. Do share your views.