Organizations making the transition to online learning are looking at converting their existing training material to e-learning formats. Most of the time, these are classroom training material in the form of PPTs and manuals that have to be converted to fit into the e-learning format. This material can be huge in size and converting them into e-learning can be a time-consuming process. Thankfully, with the use of e-learning templates, the process is made easy.
E-learning templates are basically blueprints to developing an effective e-learning course. They are the resources for e-learning developers when they want to create courses quickly. These templates are available at a cost or there are numerous free templates available on the web. Companies with years of e-learning development experience behind them would have developed their own templates based on the projects they have worked on over the years.
What are the reasons for using course templates? Apart saving development time which is a significant advantage, templates remove the need to start the course design process from scratch. They provide consistency, even if multiple people are working on the project. They provide flexibility to learning developers to think beyond presenting content and visuals, which are taken care of in the templates. This lets them focus on aspects such as interactivities or assessments to enhance the course.
Templates give learning designers the flexibility to choose a design that will meet their requirements. Learning designers are often at a loss on how to place different elements of their content and visuals in an e-learning course. But with templates, there is access to a large amount of resources, the designers can either choose a readymade template or design a customized one based on their needs. Once the template is decided, the designers have control over the look and feel of the course.
Simplify the Course Development Process
Templates make the course development process simple. The process of reading through a huge amount of training material and transforming it into e-learning content takes time. This includes selecting and organizing content, choosing the graphics, and making the course consistent. This consumes effort and money. But with a template, the process is made short and simple. The developer can follow the template to break down the content into smaller, learner friendly sections.
The original content might have common elements such as definitions and procedures, the templates have specific areas where learning developers can fit in these elements. This eliminates the need to develop courses from scratch and they can simply follow the pattern.
Templates give the learning developer access to interactions, ready to use designs, patterns and layouts which remove the need to program or design them. These customized templates meet your design needs from image sizes to interactivities. Once the e-learning content is decided, all they need to do is to place the content in the template.
The consistent elements in the course such as layouts, logos, fonts and colors can be reused in all e-learning modules without the need to recreate them.
Interaction and Engagement
When converting training material to e-learning, including interaction and engagement factors is important. In face-to-face training or ILT, this factor is taken care of by the instructor but this has to be included in online training.
With templates, this task becomes easier. They give you the flexibility to create different page layouts to meet the needs of your audience. They offer a variety to meet the needs and preferences of different types of learners. E-learning templates that include multimedia elements and graphs, give learning designers opportunities to experiment with them. Apart from this, most authoring tools today come with an integrated audio tool that can be used for including auditory content. These aspects make it possible to improve the interaction and engagement in online courses and a learning developer is sure to find a template that meets his design needs.
Branding is crucial to your e-learning course. It infuses a personality to these courses and provides individuality and identity to them. The brand is a visual reminder of what the company stands for and acts as a reference point for learners. To meet learners’ expectations, consistency is crucial when developing learning materials and every element of the course should reflect your brand. Once a template is selected, the only thing you need to do is to customize it with your branding as everything else is taken care of. With branding, you create a course with a uniform style and message.
Freedom from Technical Glitches
The use of e-learning templates eliminates the problem of fixing software bugs that may crop up when building a course. This is because these templates have already passed through many tests that make them bug free and ensure software consistency.
E-learning templates not only make the course development process effective but also ensure greater design flexibility, better learner engagement, and give learning designers the convenience of developing a bug-free course. Have you used e-learning templates to improve productivity and the quality of your online courses? Share your experience with us.