While creating a storyboard for online courses, I usually turn to templates to make my task simple. If you’ve more than a few members of your team working on the same project and you need the look and feel of the course to be consistent when done, it is ideal to use templates.
Templates include various different elements such as buttons, icons, color schemes, images, games and much more. Tools such as PowerPoint master slide layouts allow you to have a range of pages ready to insert content. The whole idea of a template is that you can use the elements an infinite number of times for different projects. Let me tell how I benefit from using templates while developing online training course:
- First, it saves time and effort. Re-creating buttons, icons, colors, etc, each time when I create a storyboard is time-consuming. It is nice to have a few sets of interface, layouts, icons, buttons, colors and frequently used components handy. I enjoy dragging and dropping the elements into the place and voila, I’m ready to roll out a course!
- A library of templates elements is valuable to whose (like me) do not have web or multimedia designer at their disposal. An amateur takes a long time to create a Flash movie or design a button than an expert. Besides, the quality of work may not be up to the mark. I prefer to focus on creating good learning materials for the course rather than drawing a pretty button.
- Many of the clients I have worked with prefer their courses to have a consistent look and feel – same colors, quality and more. They provide me with their readymade set of templates to use for developing of course materials.
- If a company is using LMS, there are certain requirements for proper functioning. By having custom-designed templates compatible with the LMS, life is easy for all of us. Templates mean less troubleshooting time and faster turnaround of course development.
- Not all IDs (yours truly!) have web designing or multimedia skills. It is best to have various elements of templates created by experts as it gives a touch of professionalism to the courses. I just need to edit the template and its elements to add the course content.
- As I mentioned earlier, an ID has to create good learning material and not design templates and elements. By using templates while developing courses, IDs can think of creative ways to make a course interesting and churn out more courses in a short span of time.
These are the few benefits that I see from using templates while creating an e-learning module.
Do share your thoughts with me on the same.
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A Subject Matter Expert (SME) is an expert in an organization on a particular area or topic. To create good e-learning courses, inputs from SMEs are vital. To get the best out of your SME, you need to first understand him and know his role. The SME’s role is to help instructional designers (ID) understand the content. An SME is a knowledge hub looking for the best ways to transfer it, and we IDs are the people who lay the path for it. We generally face many challenges while dealing with SMEs such as variation in timelines (the major challenge), lots of changes in the content and few in the GUI, huge variations in visualization, etc., once the course gets developed. In order to overcome all these issues, and to get the best out of your SMEs, you need to follow a few steps. Let us see what they are.
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