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What Are the Different Stages of Custom eLearning Development?

In today’s highly interconnected yet significantly diverse world of business, the rise of an international workforce spread across the globe creates a challenge for traditional, in-person training. This, combined with ever-evolving business needs and a constant stream of new products and services, demands a more adaptable approach to employee learning and development. This is where custom eLearning steps in. Custom eLearning development allows organizations to create training courses that are specifically curated to address their employee skill gaps, learning objectives, and align with business goals. Custom eLearning ensures that employees receive relevant knowledge and develop skills that help them stay up-to-date in the competitive environment and excel in their respective roles.

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Table of Contents

What is Custom eLearning?

Custom eLearning refers to online learning experiences that are specifically designed and developed to meet the unique needs of a particular audience or organization. It's essentially the opposite of off-the-shelf eLearning courses, which are pre-made programs that cover general topics.

What Are the Benefits of Custom eLearning in Corporate Training?

Increases Engagement: We all love it when we can relate to what we're learning, don't we? Similarly, custom eLearning makes the learning process so much more interesting and motivating for the learners. They also get to see how all that they’re learning is going to help them achieve their goals, thus boosting engagement and efficiency.

Improves Knowledge Retention: Along with increased engagement, custom eLearning also makes sure that what the learners learn sticks in their minds. When they can connect with what they're learning in a way that makes sense to them, they're more likely to remember it and use it in their daily lives.

Enables Measurable Results: We all want to know that what we're learning is actually going to help us in the real world. Isn’t it? Custom eLearning allows you to track learner progress and measure the effectiveness of the training in achieving the desired outcomes.

What are the Different Stages in the Custom eLearning Development Process?

Now that you’ve seen what the different stages in the custom eLearning design and development process are, it’s time to explore each stage in detail. The following six stages give a bird’s eye view of the entire design and development process lifecycle.

1. Analysis:

This is the first step of the custom eLearning development process. At this stage, you need to analyze the learning content, learning objectives, and the profile of the target audience. You also need to look at the type of job or tasks that the participants are expected to accomplish after taking the course. Based on this, a broad instructional strategy is formulated to decide on the best way to present the content.

2. Design:

Next, learning experts create a design document that incorporates the recommendations of the learning management team. Specific requirements of the stakeholders, preferred learning styles, training objectives, eLearning assessments required, and design challenges are considered at this stage. This document also specifies the instructional, visual, and audio elements to be included in the course curriculum.

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3. Develop:

The specifications in the design document are executed by incorporating the content, visuals, and assessments into a storyboard. There are a range of eLearning authoring tools today, such as Articulate Storyline, Lectora, and Captivate, which can be used to give a definite shape to your custom eLearning course. These tools also expedite the custom eLearning course development process.

Check out this video that shares 4 tips to select the right authoring tool for your eLearning course development.

4. Evaluate & Implement:

Next is the evaluation stage where the quality of the developed custom eLearning course is tested to ensure accuracy of functionality as well as content. Editors, instructional designers, subject matter experts, and quality control managers check various components of the custom eLearning training modules to ensure perfection. Feedback is incorporated into the course and uploaded.

5. Translation:

If a course needs to be translated into one or more languages, it is done at this stage by following a separate sequence of actions to ensure accuracy and quality.

6. LMS Hosting:

Finally, the course is hosted on the Learning Management System (LMS) or any other learning portal. Using an LMS allows training managers to monitor and evaluate the training program at every stage – how many users have registered, how many learners have completed, how many have abandoned mid-way, etc. This helps in taking corrective action and ensuring maximum success of the training initiative.

What are the Benefits of Administering Training Programs through an LMS

How to Design Effective Custom eLearning Courses?

The process of creating high-impact custom eLearning courses has adult learning principles, learning styles, and instructional design principles as its foundation. It ensures that the content is not only relevant but also engaging and effective for the target audience.

Adult Learning Principles

Adults learn differently from children. According to the adult learning principles, adult learning:

  • Is autonomous and self-directed
  • Consists of different learning styles
  • Is time-bound
  • Is influenced by intrinsic and extrinsic factors
  • Is problem-oriented and goal-oriented
  • Emphasizes practical and relevant learning
  • Brings prior knowledge and experience into learning

In the case of adult learners, you need to facilitate rather than teach. You need to connect the current learning to what they already know, and you need to make the learning solve the problems they face at the workplace. You must clearly articulate their most common query of “What’s in it for me.” Pay close attention to all these factors while designing custom eLearning courses and you’ll be good to go.

Learning Styles

People have different learning styles. Some learn better by reading, others by seeing, and some by hearing or doing hands-on activities. Custom eLearning caters to these varied styles of learning to boost learner engagement and maximize the efficiency of the training program. So carefully integrate text, audio, graphics, and images into your custom eLearning courses to ensure a balance of stimuli that appeal to all learners.

 6 Adult Learning Styles

Instructional Design Principles

Finally, you must apply sound instructional design to facilitate learning for adults. There are many models of instructional design you can follow, depending on the audience profile and the subject at hand. But there’s one framework that helps you create and deliver information in a structured manner. It’s Gagne's 9 Events of Instruction. It includes grabbing attention, informing learners of objectives, stimulating prior knowledge, presenting content, providing guidance, allowing practice, offering feedback, assessing performance, and enhancing retention.

There are many more models at the disposal of learning experts, and they need to choose the right one based on different situations. Designing an engaging, learner-centric custom eLearning course involves the application of several principles and practices that are far more specialized than making a general one-size-fits-all eLearning course. This ensures that the custom eLearning course is effective, ensuring participants learn and apply what they learn to their jobs.

On a Final Note!

To summarize, creating a successful custom eLearning course hinges on understanding your needs, strategizing effectively, and employing the right tools for development. However, the journey doesn't stop there. Once deployed, your course must effectively reach its intended audience to maximize its impact.

To accelerate learning and enhance engagement, consider leveraging the 4 Rs of Rapid eLearning. These offer a robust framework to rapidly convert traditional training content into dynamic online learning experiences. Want to delve deeper into how these strategies can transform your custom eLearning initiatives? Download our eBook on the 4 Rs of Rapid eLearning today!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on May 9, 2023 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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