No matter what customer you are working for, as an Instructional designer, your goal is to create instructionally sound e-learning courses with a consistent approach. You might have to develop many e-learning courses for your clients within specified timelines. Your customers might have their own set of requirements and expectations from the course. So how do you adapt to the demands of your customer and develop the course within the given time limits? How do you ensure that your solutions fit the bill? If you are aiming for quick alpha closures of your e-learning project without compromising on the quality of learning for your learners, then I am going to walk you through the approach that we have taken to develop one of the e-learning projects.
In my blog today, I want to discuss a few aspects that went into making an effective e-learning course, which was marked as quick alpha closure project in our project list.
Relationship with the client
The moment you take on a project, it is important that you communicate with your client on the project and live up to their expectations.
To remain in continuous contact with our client was the main aspect of developing the project quickly. After the content analysis, we set up calls with the client and asked queries for every doubt that we came across. Queries were also sent through e-mail and we received prompt solutions from the client. This way, we were able to comprehend the content and develop the project effectively.
The project that we were working on contained some animations and steps, which were not so easy to comprehend. Hence, we asked our client to explain the animations so that we could incorporate them in the course appropriately.
Every time we came across any ambiguity with the content, we communicated with the client. This left no room for re-work and we could develop the course quickly.
Right tool for storyboarding
The kind of tool that we use has a direct impact on the development time of our project. For this, it is vital that we use the right tool for storyboarding our content and sending it to our client and getting their approval.
We preferred using Microsoft Word over PowerPoint presentation for storyboards because word is the right tool for writing content. It comes with various built-in features, such as text formatting features, spelling and grammar check, track changes, adding comments and many more.
With Word, our client could easily review and add comments, if any, to the content. They could effectively provide feedback and any changes that had to be implemented.
Following an effective prototype
The next element that is significant in rapid development of e-learning is the prototype. A prototype has varied features – It demonstrates the instructional and functional standards and also provides stakeholders to get a ‘feel’ of the product that is being developed. Using a prototype helps increase the speed at which the Instructional designers and the course developer add content to the course.
We designed an effective prototype to match the content and used colors as per client standards. We defined templates for the introduction screen, learning objectives, content screen, assessment screen and the summary screen. Once the storyboard and the prototype were ready, it was easy for the designers to quickly add the content in the screens that were already developed. Designers were also accompanied by Instructional designers to document client expectations, convey image details, and explain the animations or the steps that had to be incorporated.
After the course was developed, it was delivered to client for his review. The client was very much contented with the course and this way we could close the project in the alpha stage, first round of submission.
To sum up, a strong relationship with the client, an effective storyboarding and prototype were factors that were important in quick closure of the project.