What Exactly Should an ID do to Develop an Effective E-learning Course?

What Exactly Should an ID do to Develop an Effective E-learning Course?

As an instructional designer(ID), my job does not just start and end with dumping content into PPTs or making storyboards. The job of an ID is to make sure that learners actively participate and learn with complete interest and motivation. An ID should add their experience to courses with a view of how people learn and help to enhance learning in a better way.

And all this can be done only if you study the detailed requirements and delve deep into the project.

In this blog, I would like to share the role of an elearning instructional designer in developing courses and what is that they actually do to come up with an effective course.


Understand Client Requirements: Before you get into the development part, we need to understand what exactly the client is expecting from us. What are his expectations in terms of visualization? What kind of approach does he prefer? Does he want to apply restrictions to the course? Does he have any specifications with regard to colour?

Understanding client requirements correctly helps me a lot while developing an online learning course because it makes my job much easier and faster now that I know what is expected from me.

Content Analysis: The first step after receiving the inputs and understanding their requirement is to study the content and check for the content gaps.

Identify and fill the gaps: Sometimes we find the flow of content to be abrupt or irrelevant. In such cases, we need to check with the client to understand whether any additions can be made or whether they will provide new content. This confirmation process with the client will avoid any gaps in the inputs that could lead to major rework at a later stage.

Clarify with Subject Matter Experts: Discussion with SMEs will help you identify what the learner should learn from the content as they have immense knowledge on the subject, reference links, topics and concepts that have to be prioritized. Also SMEs can help us understand the topics that are to be prioritized and this will help us in highlighting them in much proper way.

Decide the Instructional Strategy: After understanding the content and the requirement, we should decide on how to represent it in an effective way. The strategies that we decide to use should be shared with the SME and their approval taken. If there are any changes or additions they must be clarified before developing the elearning storyboard.

Decide the Visual Strategy: Then depending on the instructional strategy ,the media elements should be decided and implemented. Visualization adds value to the elearning course as well as helps the learner retain knowledge through the visualization onscreen.

Finalize the storyboards: Once the storyboard is developed, it should be reviewed twice in order to check for grammatical errors, fonts size, design styles, alignment etc. Once the quality check is done, the storyboard is finalized and sent for client approval.

Client Approval: At this stage, in case the client comes up with certain changes and additional requirements, they have to be incorporated in the SB.

These are the tasks of an instructional designer. An ID is respondisble for making the eLearning courses attractive, interesting, and engaging. Do you want to add anything to these ? Please do share your views.

View Presentation on How Instructional Design Helps in ILT and eLearning?