Standardization is very important when you are creating the eLearning curricula. This process makes it easier for the designer/developer to understand and quickly process the content. The standards will help in adhering to quality and ensuring consistency in the courses, which will in turn create effective learning and make the development faster. It will ensure consistent output even when multiple people create the courses. Once you make the standards, make sure that everyone in the team follows them.
One of our clients came up with the requirement that he wants to train his people on risk management and safety standards. They provided content in the word format and as PowerPoint presentations. The content was very huge and so we divided it into modules.
We simultaneously started working on all the modules without creating any standards. As different people worked on different modules, we followed our own styles to present the content and instructions. We took two weeks to complete the first draft. When the course was presented to the SME for evaluation, we received too many corrections from the SME for each module.
We had not followed any consistent standards while developing the modules and this was the result. There were many rounds of development and ultimately the output could not be finalized. Instead of developing one module at a time, we started work all the modules simultaneously because of which only a lot of time went down the drain. Even the client got totally confused by reviewing all the modules that were not at all consistent.
After this experience we realized our mistake we first created the Design Standards Document and sent it to the client. After some modifications we have finalized the standards document.
Design Standards Document contains:
- Instructional Design (ID) Standards: These standards play an important role in developing an eLearning course. These standards create an environment for learning to happen by structuring content and creating activities that engage learners and make learning meaningful and effective.
- Visual Design Standards: Play a vital role in developing an eLearning course and engaging the learners. The objective of having VD standards is to do more in a standardized way that reduces development time. It involves how to use visual elements and how to establish visual patterns in the content to enable ‘at a glance’ learning.
- Media Standards: These standards will include audio, resources, additional information that can be shown in downloadable format.
- Assessment Standards: An Assessment is the measurement of the learner’s achievement of the learning outcomes. Learning happens when learning objectives, content and assessments are aligned. These standards include the types of assessments that are to be used, instructions for those assessments and feedback after successful attempt of each assessment.
- Technical Specifications: This section refers to the type of development tool, environment of the course to be launched, that is, operating system version, browser version, screen resolution, etc.
After finalizing the standards document we have developed all the modules based on the standards. The client was now very impressed with our course development. Within a short period of time we were able to develop a eLearning course with quality and consistency. I hope you found this blog informative. Do share your views.