Creating your eLearning course for the first time is an exciting venture; there is so much to do and so much to learn. However, most times, we tend to jump into the sea without learning how to swim, and drown. The same goes for creating an eLearning course. You can’t just jump and start creating the course, there is much more that meets the eye. Like any project, you need to follow certain methods or steps in order to execute well.
In the same way, you need to follow a few techniques or approaches while creating your eLearning course. In this post, I will be taking you through step 1 – The Action Plan
Set Timelines: Time is precious; this saying reflects how important time is, when you’re planning your project. Setting a timeline is the first and the most important aspect in the creation of an eLearning course. In this phase, you accomplish two things:
- Get the big picture – the overall time needed to finish the course
- Divide time – the time taken to accomplish a small task within the big picture.
In doing so, you look ahead at the hurdles you may meet and calculate time, according to specific tasks and not all at once. Complexity is one of the biggest barriers in any eLearning course. When we speculate time, according to the task, we need to consider every single facet of the task, especially in terms of the problems we may face. It is a safe bet to keep sometime aside, in case of such a happening. It is smart to include a little extra time, while setting timelines, so that both you and your client don’t have to see a stressful and time crunching timeline.
Define Objectives: There is one question we always need to ask, before beginning an eLearning course – Why?
Why is the course being made? If you know the answer to this question, then creating a course will be a piece of cake. “Why” answers the learning objectives. In every eLearning course, your objectives are the pillars and foundation of your course. In this phase, you:
- Collect all your learning material – Gain an overview of the content
- Create a Draft objective (s) – Set the general objectives for your course and determine your target audience.
This allows you to craft an appropriate strategy for your course. Defining objectives gives you a better perspective on how your course should flow. It is important to note that every eLearning course begins and ends with an objective in mind. So, setting those objectives before you start developing your course can reduce re-work in the long run.
Objectives are the alpha and omega of any eLearning course.
Organize Content: Once you have defined your objectives and set the tone of your course, the next thing you need to do is organize your learning content into understandable objects. Objects mean small units or lessons of learning that are related to your learning objectives. In doing so, you set a sequence for your course and unintentionally create an outline of your course.
When you order your course according to the learning objectives set in the previous stage, you automatically organize your content in a linear and logical manner that consists of two main parts of your course.
- The objective
- A quiz or knowledge check (based on the objective)
Once you have organized your content, it will allow you to move seamlessly into the next stages, i.e. instructional design strategy and storyboarding stages.
So, creating an action plan can not only be useful in the long run but also is essential for a smooth sailing course. Next time, we will deal with the step 2 The Instructional Design Process and how it impacts your eLearning course.