This is a guest post by Brian Fieg one of our Chief Production and Development Specialists
Interested in creating your own e-learning course? Not sure how to organize your course content? Laid out below are the basic steps that we at The Training Factor have learned and developed over the years.
Step 1 – Plan out the e-learning course
The first and most obvious step is to brainstorm with your team to decide on what you want to teach in your e-learning course. Take time to figure out how in-depth you’ll go into the topic and the target length of the e-learning course. Decide on the type and amount of interactions, videos, voice-overs, quizzes, etc. that you will need to make the content understandable and engaging. This is also the time to assign the person who will be involved and responsible for creating the e-learning course.
Step 2 – Write the course content
The time you spend in this phase of the development will greatly affect not only the quality of the course content, but the time in which it will take to produce it. The more mistakes that need to be fixed in the building or quality assurance (QA) phase, the longer and more laborious the production will be. So take your time. Research your subject thoroughly or outsource it to a quality course content provider. Have the script proofed for grammar as well as content. Remember, making revisions now is much easier than making them down the road.
Step 3 – Choose your creative style
Now is the time to pick your theme, make some graphics, gather photos, and decide on the overall look and feel of the course. Decide if the theme will be used over a series of courses, or if there’s already a set style the course should conform to. Decide on the complexity and style of your animations if you plan to use them.
Step 4 – Building and staying organized
Organization is another area that can’t be emphasized enough. If you’re using Articulate to develop your course, take special care in organizing your assets into separate folders on a local drive and do it in that manner for every e-learning course you make. Moving or renaming assets or folders can cause problems, so avoid doing so. Once you’ve started putting slides together, don’t pass the project to another computer—this can also cause problems!
Step 5 – Get it checked for errors
You’ve finally put all the pieces together and it feels like you’re all done. If you’re new to e-learning courses, be careful not to set yourself up for disappointment—there will be mistakes and things that don’t work the way they should. But that’s ok, because you’re going to watch it and fix those problems before anyone else ever sees them. Once your first round of QAs are done, it’s time to get the course content checked out by the rest of your team. Make another round of fixes and publish again. If your QA checkers are good, don’t be surprised if they still find mistakes! Make your fixes and publish again. When it returns with no more comments, NOW you can CELEBRATE!
Written by Brian Fieg
Editor’s note: This article will be particularly helpful to our clients who use our custom course developer tool. These are practical suggestions that will help you utilize and fully optimize the function.