Every company has unique training needs based on their market, products, and services. Custom e-learning is based on solid instructional design principles and a deep understanding of employee requirements, to cater to specific learning needs and the objectives of any organization.
Here are a few simple tips on designing custom e-learning, that will help you bring out a high quality learner-centric e-learning course.
1. Determine the Training Needs
The first step in determining your training needs is to understand and analyze your learners and their training requirements. What is the knowledge background of your learners, what do they already know, what is the knowledge gap the training should aim to fulfill; all these determine your training needs.
There are plenty of catalog courses in the market that cover topics of your industry domain. However, the goals and objectives of these e-learning courses may not be unique to your company. They can help your employees only in the same way they would help your competitors.
Thus, to develop an e-learning course that will have an impact on your learners’ workplace productivity and skills, you need to know what learners actually need to learn. A proper training need analysis will help find ways to fill in the knowledge gap of your employees based on organizational goals.
2. Set the Learning Objectives and Assessment Plan
Let’s say you’ve conducted a training need analysis for your sales team and identified that the team lacks negotiation skills. Now, the goal of your course is to enhance the proficiency of the team in sales negotiation. This is the stage where you decide on your learning objectives. In this case, one of the learning objectives for the sales team can be, at the end of the course, learners will be able to explain the best practices of negotiation.
Learning objectives are what your learners are expected to do at the end of a learning activity. Producing meaningful and measurable learning objectives facilitates the creation of a course that fills performance gaps. Similarly, only well-framed learning objectives can help you develop effective assessments, which will reveal how well learners have learned what you wanted them to.
If assessments and the learning objectives are misaligned, it can weaken both learner motivation and learning. Thus align your learning objectives with the assessments you create in the course.
3. Develop the Instructional Design (ID) Strategy
An ID strategy is used to design how a particular subject is to be taught. It is a high-level, holistic approach that serves as a guideline for learning experts while designing a customized e-learning course.
The major components of an ID strategy are the content, learner environment, and learners’ existing knowledge level. Then you have the visual part of it comprising the graphical user interface, pictures, and graphics that will be used in the course.
Various media elements including audio, video, and animations constitute the third component of the ID strategy and then of course, we have the assessments and technology. Based on the specific call of your training, mix and match these components to come up with the right ID strategy.
For example, if you want to educate your employees on the various cyber security breaches that can occur at the workplace, you can present them with scenarios that explain the cyber security issues and the consequences of not following cyber security laws. Scenarios would help learners identify and differentiate between safe and unsafe cyber practices.
4. Focus on the Course Content
The next essential part of custom e-learning development is content structuring.
Based on the performance-based learning objectives attained through the training need analysis, you can gather available resources and identify the content that’ll best meet your objectives.
Divide the course into modules and decide on the level of interactivity each module should offer. Media in the form of videos, infographics, quizzes, and games enable you to make the course interactive.
5. Choose an Appropriate Authoring Tool
Rapid authoring tools offer a wide range of flexibility in designing e-learning modules that are engaging and interactive. Three popular rapid authoring tools used to develop custom e-learning courses are Articulate 360, Adobe Captivate 2017, and Lectora Inspire 17.
Choose the right tool that offers you the maximum benefits in terms of function, features, and usability. Go for a user-friendly tool with an inbuilt stock asset library of images, graphics, sound clips, and videos.
With customized learning, employees no longer have to waste time on pre-built catalog courses, which cover a wide range of skills and topics that are irrelevant to them. This approach presents precise information based on the learning needs and organizational requirements. Thus, custom e-learning development provides your organization better control over the knowledge and skill sets you want to share with your learners to boost their learning, making the best out of this digital learning solution.