We have come to the final step in this series of How to Create a Customized E-Learning Course. In my earlier posts, we looked at the first two steps -”The Action Plan” and the “Instructional Design Process”. Today, I will be dealing with the final step – “Creating the Course.”
You must be thinking that the final step must be simple because all the main work has been dealt with in the first two steps. Well, there is a lot more you need to know at this step. Here, you either make or break your course, it doesn’t matter how great your outline or instructional strategy is, if it hasn’t been executed to perfection in this stage.
Let’s take a look at what this final stage is all about.
Players and their roles:
The final stage in Creating a customized E-learning course is all about team work. Helen Keller once said “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” This saying is apt because there is so much to do and many people are involved in creating the course. It is the focal point of the entire process.
There are five major or critical roles in designing and developing any eLearning course.
Before you begin developing your course, it is best to set standards on how you want to go about with the course. If the instructional designer brings out a new interaction or a new assessment somewhere in the middle of course development, it is likely to jam the production. So we need to standardize the format and have only one set of templates.
Standardization typically includes the Graphical User Interface (GUI) – how it will be throughout the course. Templates for presenting content and interactivities. The quizzing standards and last but not the least the overall look and feel of the course – making sure that the presentation is consistent in every screen.
E-learning Authoring Tools:
Deciding on the authoring tool is the main task at this stage. There are ample number of eLearning authoring tools in the market, such as Articulate Storyline, Articulate Studio, Adobe Captivate and Lectora. Ideally, the authoring tool is decided based on the on your content types, available skill-set, devices on which it has to be deployed, the budget and timelines. These rapid authoring tools are great for creating animations and interactions and adding audio to your elearning course.
For instance, if you are developing an elearning course using Articulate Studio, then here is what you need to do! Firstly, Articulate Studio is an easy to use authoring tool and runs as a plug in to Microsoft Power Point. So, you can create your storyboard using PowerPoint and import it into the tool. Then, you start to make them interesting with animations and functionality such as creating click on interactivities to retain learner attention. And finally, add quizzes and games to make the learning even more fun. It is so simple that literally any one can create a course in it!
And the best part of all is that these authoring tools are SCORM and AICC compliant, so much so you can upload it on any Learning Management System within seconds. These tools give the word rapid a whole new meaning. Most of the authoring tools in the market offer a free trial version, so that you can test the waters before buying the product.
SCORM and LMS
SCORM, an acronym of Sharable Content Object Reference Model, is a software standard that manages files on an LMS. A Learning Management System (LMS), is a software platform that tracks, documents and delivers online courses.
Creating an eLearning course is not as easy as you think it is and can be a pain at times. Unless and until you have the right team to do the job for you, your course can be a perpetual mess both for you and your learner. In case you don’t have the right team for this job, you can hire vendors who have expertise in this field. Outsourcing can not only reduce stress but also save cost and resources.
In this series, How to Create a Customized E-Learning Course, we have looked at the Action Plan, the Instructional Design Process and Creating the course. Hope you find these posts to be useful and informative.