Why do you think most eLearning authors prefer rapid eLearning over level 3 or level 4 traditional eLearning programs? What do you think is the reason for the emergence of rapid eLearning? Is rapid eLearning a boon or a bane for every training manager? Let’s see how this blog answers these 3 questions.
Traditional eLearning development processes typically require 6 months to 1 year as they involve elaborate storyboarding the content, numerous rounds of reviews and intricate programming to integrate the content. In this Development process lot of interactions and iterations takes place between the client and the developer, hence consumes lot of time. Even a small update to the course can take a lot of time.
Here is a table which compares the steps involved in developing an eLearning project using rapid eLearning and traditional learning.
|1. Identifying the existing content||1. Content analysis|
|2. Content briefing|
|4. Design GUI and Navigation|
|5. Design interactions|
|2. Identifying existing media||6. Creating media|
|3. Development of courses using rapid authoring tools||7. Development of courses using Traditional authoring tools|
|4. Adding assessments||8. Adding assessments|
|5. Deploy||10. Deploy|
As you can see that the development of rapid eLearning involves fewer steps as rapid eLearning leverages on existing content, where as traditional eLearning involves development of content from the scratch and hence the long development cycle.
Emergence of Rapid eLearning
With the recession in 2008, training departments have seen a major cut in their training budgets, which forced them to consider those options that can deliver eLearning cost effectively. This paved way for the advent of new tools in the market called rapid Authoring tools that enabled people to develop courses quickly and cost effectively. On contrary traditional eLearning which requires instructional designers, graphic designers and programmers to design and develop courses that require months, or even years.
After training managers got a taste of rapid eLearning, they realized they don’t have a need for going to level 3 or level 4 eLearning programs that are highly interactive incurring huge costs. It is not because they don’t have money to continue, they rather felt that spending that money on rapid eLearning can yield more courses than traditional eLearning.
The findings of Forrester on behalf of Adobe lends support to my claims that, about 58% of the learning professionals opined that the growing need to develop content quickly is a key driver for the adoption of Rapid eLearning. About 66% have voted that the ability to update content easily is one of the greatest benefits of Rapid eLearning.
Authoring tool developers claim that a subject matter expert can also develop an eLearning course and needs no knowledge in programming. In my opinion which ever authoring tool you take, it requires certain levels of expertise. It’s not as easy as working on PowerPoint or word. So it’s a good idea for companies to either recruit professionally trained eLearning developers or outsource it to a specialist custom courseware development company.
I do agree that it may become less expense if you develop an eLearning course in-house. But there are other costs you may incur developing courses in-house, which you may not be aware of. Remember you are paying an SME for their primary roles and it is not worth asking them to develop courses as he is hired for his knowledge not for his course development skills.
It looks to me that rapid eLearning is here to stay.