As we’ve seen in my last blog “Quality Assurance of eLearning Courses“, quality is not just meeting client expectations; it is meeting the mutually defined and agreed upon expectations of the customer and vendor. This is the Key for a quality product!
Do you wish to develop high quality e-learning courses? Are you looking for ways to create error-free online courses that deliver first-rate training to your employees? Well, here are some tips to ensure your e-learning course meets all the quality standards:
TIP 1: Quality should be planned – It is said a good buyer is one who has a clear idea of his needs. Unfortunately, the buyers of eLearning courses are not so well informed. All they want is a good, highly interactive, engaging course. They do not seem to have any measurable quality parameters. Project managers and instructional designers should work with the e-learning stakeholders to define:
- Who are the learners?
- What are the learning outcomes?
- What is the performance goal that needs to be achieved after taking the course?
- What are the time, cost, and other constraints?
Answers to these questions will help us decide on the measureable quality deliverables of the course.
TIP 2: Quality is meeting mutual expectations – The client should be educated on what to expect from an e-learning course, and also on the key features of a good e-learning course. For example:
- The course should have ’What’s In It For Me (WIFM)’, so that learners are motivated to take the course.
- Learning objectives should be clearly defined and achieved.
- Course navigation should be easy and user-friendly, with a Help page to guide the learner.
- Depending on the various types of content, appropriate learning strategies should be used.
- Audio, video, visuals, and text should be balanced for easy learning.
- Each learning object should have a formative assessment to reinforce learning.
- Final quiz should be mapped to the learning objectives and assessed accordingly.
Based on the above parameters, quality standards should be mutually agreed upon. This will help bring out a course which fully meets client expectations.
TIP 3: Quality is about information sharing – Educating the customer on the process is an important key in ensuring the client will be happy with the e-learning course you developed. Most of the customers do not seem to have any inkling of what goes into developing an e-learning course. To give you an idea, a 1 hour e-learning course roughly needs about 150-200 hours of development time. The client should be involved at each stage of the process to ensure quality expectations are met, and there are no surprises at the end. Equal involvement of all stakeholders in the process will ensure the development of a good quality course.
TIP 4: Quality is about decisions – The three primary factors involved in any project are time, cost, and quality. We cannot compromise on any of them. A typical customer wants to get the product fast, cheap, and with good quality.
To develop a good e-learning course, one needs to strike a perfect balance between these three factors. This is possible when the vendor, with his vast e-learning experience helps the customer decide on the quality standards.
TIP 5: Quality needs vision – Finally, I would like to add that quality needs protection and motivation from the top. Here, I mean the client sponsor and the e-learning vendor you choose to work with. By trying to save on time and cost at the expense of quality, the ability to deliver a good quality course will be compromised. For example, if the client wants to just dump a PowerPoint presentation online or if the e-learning company’s top team doesn’t believe in a quality culture, then it is difficult to come up with a quality e-learning course.
Hope you find this post interesting. How do you ensure your e-learning course meets all quality standards? We’d love to hear your experiences.