We hear a lot about Rapid E-learning these days. What does it mean and why is it being talked about so much in the learning circles?
Rapid eLearning actually describes the production process that is used to create eLearning courses. The production of eLearning courses is done with the help of rapid authoring tools. It is fast and efficient, as there is no need for developers to be software programmers.
This non-dependency on programming skills and knowledge enables non-technical people to develop eLearning courses quickly and easily greatly expediting the development process.
So, is speed the only reason to look at rapid eLearning development? Not really, there are other compelling reasons why you need rapid eLearning. Let’s look at them one by one.
1. Learning Experts and Training Managers Get to Call the Shots
Earlier, learning experts or training managers had to be greatly dependent on programmers who would have to execute and develop the ideas expressed in the storyboard.Training managers or SMEs may not be programming experts and programmers are not really learning experts. As a result, there was a gap in conception and actual outcome resulting in lots of iterations and frustrations on both ends.
As rapid authoring tools are easy to understand, subject matter experts, learning experts or training managers can learn what these tools can do and cannot do. They don’t really have to be experts in the tool but if they have a sense of how to incorporate the features in these tools, they can provide a great direction to developers as they develop the learning curriculum. Providing feedback and incorporating the feedback from SMEs also becomes relatively easier thanks to the features present in the tools. So, they are no longer at the mercy of the programmers, but can actually call the shots about what they want in their courses.
2. Development of courses is quick and cost-effective
A few years ago, I remember a training manager ruing that all his efforts to make online courses engaging and interesting hit a road block the moment it reached the programmer who was to execute his ideas. Either the time or the budget ended up being a great constraint. Highly engaging and interactive courses took lot of time and resources for development, a few years ago. However, with rapid authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline, Captivate and Lectora, developing engaging and highly interactive courses is much easier. Now, SMEs can translate their imagination and creativity in developing courses into storyboards that can be developed via rapid authoring tools. All this can be done at a fraction of the costs and time when compared to traditional methods.
3. Courses can be updated easily on a regular basis
Course content is no longer static. It needs to be updated periodically even if it involves minor changes. This is practically impossible in traditional format of eLearning development. However, thanks to the advent of rapid authoring tools, courses can be updated easily. Simple changes in the courses can be done even by the SMEs themselves or training managers without being referred to the developers. This ensure that learners get authentic and up to date information instead of old content with addendums or footnotes.
These are some of the benefits of rapid eLearning development from the point of view of an organization. If you are involved in training and development in your organization, do you consider these are compelling reasons to switch to rapid eLearning? I would really like to know your thoughts on this. Please do share in the comment box below.