Ever since rapid eLearning forayed into corporate training, it has been a topic of debate among eLearning pundits. For some, rapid eLearning is all about easy authoring tools that enable quick development. For others, rapid eLearning means sub-standard output.
Here are 6 things every training manager should know about rapid eLearning:
- Rapid eLearning does NOT mess with quality and instructional design
- Rapid eLearning does NOT throw creativity out of the window
- Rapid eLearning leverages the power of authoring tools
- Rapid eLearning does NOT do away with project management
- Rapid eLearning takes less time and cost to develop
- Rapid eLearning services offer a lot of scope
Inputs for Rapid eLearning
Rapid eLearning converts existing training material – classroom material or legacy courses – into:
- Online courses
- Microlearning assets
- Digital performance support solutions
Whether the content is in the form of SOPs, PDFs, eBooks, documents, or ILT handouts, it can be converted to eLearning – as long as the content is aligned with the learning objectives and there are no gaps. PowerPoint decks can be converted to online courses using with rapid eLearning authoring tools such as iSpring, once they are reinforced instructionally.
Here’s a bird’s eye view of how ILT material can be made ready for conversion to eLearning:
Therefore, even if content is in place, there’s a lot more to converting ILT to online learning! The content will engage learners only if it’s supported by effective instructional design, including relevant learning objectives and assessments.
The other areas of expertise include project management, graphic designing, authoring tool expertise, quality assurance, and IT support to ensure you receive zero-error courses. Hence, it’s a wise move to outsource rapid design and development to an eLearning vendor who will take away your burden and deliver high-quality courses within timelines.
The 4 ‘R’s of Rapid eLearning
Now that we know of the inputs rapid eLearning can leverage, it’s time to see how exactly it uses the inputs to convert them to online training.
And this involves the 4 Rs – Record, Republish, Rebuild, Redesign
1. Record to Save SME Time
The Record strategy will help you minimize SME touchpoints during the design and development of eLearning to rollout courses at the speed of need.
Step 1: The SME puts together a rough PowerPoint deck with relevant & current content and sends it along with the explanation (highlighting important points) – a recording on their mobile phone or any audio recording app/software.
Step 2: The ID team works on the PPT deck to enhance it instructionally, transcribes audio into the narration script, and finalizes it after editing.
Step 3: SME reviews the narration script and the improved PPT (storyboard).
Step 4: The eLearning development team develops the final eLearning course with audio.
2. Republish for Mobile Compatibility
Courses developed in older versions of authoring tools can be republished to a newer version of the same tool to make them mobile compatible. This will also give us an opportunity to update interactivities and look and feel if needed. Minor content updates can also be accommodated.
Pro Tip: Check for alignment and spacing issues after republishing legacy courses.
3. Rebuild as Microlearning Assets
If you have courses developed a few years ago, they might be having a seat time of anything between 45 minutes to an hour. Such lengthy courses don’t fit in the busy schedules of today’s employees who want short and sweet solutions.
With rapid eLearning, such lengthy courses can be reconfigured as microlearning curriculums. The key is to ensure one microlearning module is mapped to exactly one learning objective.
4. Redesign to Get Started with Blended Learning
With the Redesign strategy of rapid eLearning, you can convert classroom training materials to online training – be it:
- Asynchronous (eLearning, mobile learning, microlearning)
- Synchronous (virtual instructor-led training)
For complete insights on the 4 Rs of rapid eLearning design and development, check this article by Dr RK Prasad, CEO – CommLab India.
Role of Instructional Design in Rapid eLearning
Though it sounds like rapid eLearning design doesn’t include scope for instructional design, its essence lies in following instructional design and adult learning principles. For instance:
- Using learning objectives to show learners what’s in it for them
- Keeping the navigation free to enable self-directed learning
- Avoiding the fancy bells and whistles to save time
- Using new-age learning strategies to provide memorable learning experiences
Here are 3 secret sauces to make your eLearning click.
What goes into making a memorable learning experience?
Address learners by name
Let learners choose an avatar
Metaphors and analogies
Empathy in Engagement
Take a look at 6 new-age learning strategies and how they can be used in eLearning:
Role of SMEs in Rapid eLearning Design and Development
Do you really think your subject matter experts (SMEs) — who are mostly on-the go, traveling to client locations, solving multiple million-dollar issues — have time to lead rapid eLearning projects? In fact, training – reviewing or finalizing eLearning courses – is the last of their priorities.
Rapid eLearning can help you save your SME time and make them willing contributors to. It reduces their touchpoints to 3 compared to the 9 touchpoints required by conventional eLearning design and development.
Explore 10 handy tips to reduce SME time in this mini guide. In a nutshell, the success of the project heavily relies on efficient partnership between the SME and the development team.
How do you Know you are Ready for Rapid eLearning Development?
Here’s a checklist to help you check your readiness for rapid eLearning development. If your answer is Yes to all questions, you’re good to go!
- Do you have content to meet the learning objectives?
- Are all content gaps closed?
- Do you have an SME for the rapid eLearning project?
- Will he/she spare time at the set milestones of the project?
- Does your vendor have expertise in rapid eLearning development?
- Does he have enough resources to scale up development?
- Is your LMS SCORM-compliant?