Time, budget, and employees, are the three most important resources an organization can boast of. But, even the most well-established organization will agree that these three resources are less abundant today than they were a decade ago, and therefore must be used thriftily. Often, the training department gets affected first; and ‘do-more-with-less’ is the order passed down to training managers, from the boardroom. So, the scenario today is this:
- Training managers must find a way to train employees within a limited budget.
- To be thrifty, resources that cost money (trainers), must be slashed.
- To increase productivity and ROI, employee training cannot be compromised.
- Classroom training is not an option because it costs time, money, and resources. Traditional eLearning (online training) is the only viable solution, but it is time-consuming, costly, and makes use of human resources (to ideate and develop).
Perhaps it was this apparent shortage of time, budget, and human resources that led to the creation of the next-generation of online course development technology (rapid eLearning). To the relief of the L&D fraternity, there is now a way of creating high-end, success-oriented, online training programs that encourage organizations to save their precious resources.
What is Rapid E-learning Development?
Rapid eLearning development is the development of online learning content, with the help of rapid authoring tools. The three big benefits it offers online course development are discussed in this blog.
Save on Time
Successful training – whether it is vocational, specialized, professional, military, academic, medical, or any other type, takes time to create; content must be gathered, collated, arranged in a manner that makes sense, story-boarded, edited, approved, developed – you get the point?
E-learning for example, although a powerful method of delivering knowledge, takes anywhere from six months to a year, to create. Each stage of the development process must be approved by stakeholders, before it proceeds to the next stage of development. The tools used to create traditional eLearning are outdated – and come from a time when programming was necessary to build online courses. The programming part of course development is complicated and time-consuming. Everything that needs to go into the course must be coded – text, graphics, images, videos, assessments – just about everything. If there is an error in the code, it must be reworked. Rapid eLearning development is the complete opposite.
Listed here are the time-saving benefits of rapid eLearning:
- Courses are mostly developed from existing training content. The development process goes through fewer reviews and iterations than traditional eLearning. Instead of wasting time by building full courses, learners can be shown where and how they can find reliable information outside of the course. The courses are quicker to create; and learners proactively search out the information they require.
- Rapid eLearning authoring tools have a short learning curve; this means that they are easy and straightforward to use; they require no programming/coding, and courses can be made quickly. A course that would take months to create with traditional eLearning, could be ready in a couple of weeks with rapid eLearning development. Also, courses can be updated almost instantly.
- Inbuilt features reduce development time. Templates to create simple assessments and interactivities are readily available within the tool itself. Using standard templates across several courses reduces development time. Reusable elements of a course (content such as texts, graphics, images, videos – that can be used across many courses), can be stored in a repository and reused whenever required, instead of recreating them repeatedly.
- It is possible to translate a course into multiple languages, simultaneously; it is also possible to create a responsive course that can be viewed on a variety of devices – again, this can be done for many devices, at once.
- Rapid authoring tools are constantly updated to make them progressively smarter and faster.
Save on Dollars
Traditional eLearning development is several shades better than classroom training development, in terms of costs. If you have been using traditional eLearning to develop your courses, and you think you are saving a lot of money by doing so, you will be shocked to know that rapid eLearning can drastically reduce course development costs even further.
- Rapid eLearning development reduces the time to create a course from months to just weeks, bringing costs down.
- Rapid authoring tools are easy to use; and courses can be created in-house. Organizations can save dollars by creating part or most of the content in-house. A reliable vendor can take on the important bits.
- Existing content can be repurposed and reutilized; using existing training content that is in the form of PPTs, printouts, videos, manuals, webinars, etc. will reduce the amount of content that must be created from scratch.
- Courses can be updated in-house quickly, bringing costs down further.
- Costs come down when there is less content to develop. Reusable content can be stored and used across a program consisting of several courses. Some of the elements that can be reused are the graphical user interface (GUI), interactivities, images, videos, and assessments.
Save on Human Resources
Human resources are costly in terms of both money and time. Traditional eLearning course development is complicated in terms of the tools used to create the content, the programming required to create these courses, and finding the right people to do this, successfully. Often, organizations lack the right people/team to create traditional eLearning courses and must outsource this to people who can do it (professional software developers or programmers). Rapid eLearning course development does away with all these complications, and SMEs can take complete control of course development with a small team, without having to depend on programmers.
- Because rapid authoring tools are so easy to use, courses can be created in-house.
- Subject matter experts and instructional designers can work together to create successful courses.
- With no programming or coding skills required, highly-skilled people who would have otherwise been required to create online courses (such as Flash developers), can be used in other projects that require their skills.
There’s no doubt that organizations can now make better use of their time, budget, and human resources, while providing their employees with one of the most successful types of training there is today. Rapid eLearning is not one of those trends that will depreciate and disappear in a year’s time. It’s here to stay and will just get better and faster, and continue to help organizations save their dwindling resources while providing a successful learning solution.