Rapid eLearning Vs. Traditional: A Comparison of Development Time

What exactly is rapid eLearning? How is it different from the traditional methodology? This blog answers these questions.

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Rapid eLearning Vs. Traditional eLearning: A Look at Development Timelines

Do you have stacks of ILT (instructor-led training) material? Do you need to convert them into online courses quickly? Are you short of training budget? If you’ve answered ‘Yes’ to these questions, you need to go for rapid eLearning. But what exactly is rapid eLearning? How is it different from the traditional eLearning development methodology? Find the answers to these questions in this blog.

What is Rapid eLearning?

As the name suggests, rapid eLearning refers to the development of eLearning quickly using rapid authoring tools. Unlike the traditional eLearning development methodology, which takes several months to develop an eLearning course, rapid eLearning drastically reduces the time taken to develop courses. This is not an exaggeration as the methodology cuts down the time taken to develop e-learning courses by more than 40% compared to the traditional methodology. For instance, we can develop a 60-minute course in about 3 weeks using the rapid eLearning methodology.

When we talk about shorter turnaround times in rapid eLearning development, a concern most of us might have is “Is quality compromised?” But, that is not the case with rapid eLearning. With the help of easy-to-use rapid authoring tools such as Articulate 360, Lectora Inspire 18, iSpring Suite 9, and Adobe Captivate 2019, high quality courses can be developed in half the time, compared to the traditional eLearning. This is done through reusable templates that make it possible to quickly convert existing classroom training material to eLearning.

Here’s a training manager’s guide to rapid eLearning to help you unlock the secrets to successful training.

Comparison of the Two Methodologies

Here is a comparison table of traditional eLearning and rapid eLearning development. It gives you brief idea of why rapid development takes less time for eLearning development.

Traditional Methodology

Rapid E-learning

1. Content analysis1. Identify existing content
2. Content briefing 

3. Prepare storyboard

4. Design GUI and navigation

5. Design interactions

2. Make the storyboard instructionally sound (if it is not so already).
6. Create media3. Identify existing media
7. Develop courses using traditional authoring tools4. Develop courses using rapid authoring tools
8. Add assessments 

9. Review course

5. Add assessments
10. Deploy course6. Deploy course

As you can see from the table, half of the tasks are eliminated in rapid eLearning as you utilize existing course content. Thus, rapid eLearning helps organizations develop eLearning courses faster and meet their learning needs on time.

Benefits of Rapid eLearning

Apart from cutting down development time, there are a few other benefits of adopting rapid eLearning.

The traditional methodology needs more manpower whereas in rapid eLearning, the existing ILT course material and rapid authoring tools help cut down the number of resources deployed on an eLearning project. So, with rapid eLearning you don’t need a huge team of eLearning developers.

Rapid authoring tools are easy to use. Unlike Flash, developers hardly require any programming knowledge to work with rapid authoring tools. Because these tools have an easy learning curve, it facilitates the active participation of learning experts such as instructional designers and Subject Matter Experts who lack coding skills in the eLearning development process. Course reviews too can be completed quickly by SMEs. Tools such as ReviewLink facilitate reviewing and tracking of comments from multiple reviewers.

The traditional methodology needs you to create the training content, graphics, simulations, and animations. But in rapid eLearning you have to ensure that content is instructionally sound and then import the existing training content, graphics, simulations, and animations into a tool to develop the course (Note: Graphics, simulations, animations may not be always readily available for all rapid eLearning projects, while you can use existing classroom training material).

Rapid eLearning is based on robust instructional design principles and involves SMEs throughout the development of the project. Rapid authoring tools come with templates which can be re-used across projects to help reduce development time and costs. Courses developed with rapid authoring tools are quite easy to update or modify.

Since rapid eLearning reduces the time required to develop a course and you don’t need to hire programmers or developers, it allows you to complete an eLearning course on a cheaper budget than the traditional methodology.

These are the advantages rapid eLearning development has to offer over traditional e-learning development. So, which methodology do you use for your eLearning development? We would love to hear from you in the Comments section.

And if you’d like to know more on the best practices of rapid eLearning, check this eBook that unravels information on rapid eLearning for instructional designers.

Rapid eLearning: The Ultimate Implementation Guide
Rapid eLearning Vs. Traditional eLearning: A Look at Development Timelines
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