Numerous classroom training sessions over the years would have resulted in you accumulating a vast knowledge bank on various topics in your organization. The material could be in the form of PowerPoint presentations, MS-Word documents, or PDF files – all reviewed, finalized and signed off by your Subject-matter Experts (SMEs).
Following the current trends in organizational learning, you decide to roll out eLearning courses in your organization. You have all the material at hand, so getting them converted into eLearning courses is a simple issue. But there are a few things, which if, followed can ease your way and make the courses more effective. In this blog, I will highlight a few of those.
- Design the course content
- Select the course GUI
- Select the appropriate authoring tool
1. Design the Course Content
The very first step to be done is organizing the existing content. You will have to decide on the approach of presenting the content. You can have individual, stand-alone modules based on individual topics or a curriculum designed to cover the entire topic.
If you opt for individual, stand-alone modules, you will have to narrow down the content to be covered in each of them. Have a maximum of 2-3 learning objectives per module and design the content around them so that all pertinent material is covered and the irrelevant material is not. The excluded material, if needed, can be designed into another module.
If you decide to go for an entire curriculum, you will have the luxury of including most of the content. Structure the curriculum so that the individual constituent modules flow in a logical order and facilitate efficient knowledge transfer. Have the learning objectives for the entire e-learning course and map them to the individual modules. Each module can deal with 2-3 learning objectives or even a single learning objective, if a complex topic is being dealt with.
Also, it might be a good idea to provide content such as statistics and studies as resources instead of presenting them in the course. Also, decide on the job-aids, if any, which can be provided in the e-learning course. These can include links to other sites, related PDFs, etc.
2. Select the Course Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Selecting the course Graphical User Interface comes after the inputs have been delivered to your eLearning vendor. Select the screen layouts, sizes, color palette, fonts, type of images to be used (real vs. line drawings) and the like. Deciding your visual strategy will help you make better decisions here. For example, if you decide to follow a scenario-based approach, you might opt for a wide screen layout with a hidden menu. Similarly, including resources and job-aids in your e-learning course will make adding a ‘Resources’ tab in your menu a necessity.
3. Select the Appropriate Authoring Tool
Selecting the authoring tool will depend on your budget and the type of interactivitites you need in your course. For instance, if you need high-level animations and a visually rich course, Adobe Flash would be the best choice. For courses with medium-level animations and scenarios, Articulate Storyline is the preferred choice. Lectora is a good choice for courses dealing with software simulations.
Keeping all these issues in mind will help you streamline things, eliminate unnecessary work and roll out eLearning courses with quick turnaround times.
Have other points which will help? Do share with us.