The learners are going digital, and so are the resources they use for learning. Many organizations are adopting digital solutions to create high-quality, engaging e-learning platforms which are easily accessible by everyone.
eLearning allows you to create and deliver interactive courses, quizzes, simulations, and learning paths helping you achieve your training objectives more quickly. Custom e-learning design takes this process to the next level. It offers courses that are crafted to your learners’ specific needs.
However, many people believe that creating custom e-learning content is an expensive exercise and thus stick to readily available material. This approach poses a disadvantage and prevents them from providing a comprehensive learning experience to their learners. Custom e-learning design does not have to be extremely expensive. You can design your course while staying within your budget.
Steps to create custom e-learning design:
- Conducting an appropriate training needs analysis:
Before we can create ‘learner-centered’ e-learning, we must first understand who the learners are and what they require. Due to time and budget constraints, it is tempting to jump right into e-learning development and skip the “training needs analysis” process.
Successful custom e-learning design begins with a thorough training needs analysis because it allows you to focus on the needs of the learners while also emphasizing the factors of engagement and motivation.
- Decide e-learning objective:
It is important to start with a clear learning objective when designing an e-learning course.
What are you attempting to accomplish? Do you want learners to learn fundamental skills or do you want them to be able to complete a task? These questions may seem apparent, but it is easy to get lost in the details of course design and lose sight of why you are creating it in the first place.
Keep in mind that design is largely about achieving your goal, in other words, making things happen. So, ask yourself, “How will I ensure that my learners achieve the learning objective? What design elements can I incorporate to ensure that students do what I want them to do?”
- Choose the right content:
Did you know that the average learner’s attention span is less than a minute? Consider the dreaded learners who must go through the content dumps. Adult learners are only interested in completing the course if the e-learning content is relevant to their day-to-day work activities.
Don’t overburden them with information that isn’t necessary. Consider their prior knowledge. Teach them what they don’t already know. To represent relevant and contextual e-learning content, instructional designers should collaborate closely with subject matter experts (SMEs).
- Assemble the course elements in an authoring tool:
Depending on the topic and complexity, the elements of an e-learning course can vary.
A course on installing an app or software may necessitate instructional text and imagery. A leadership course, on the other hand, may include a personal narrative from the instructor or short eLearning audio/video clips of interviews with experts in the field.
Whatever elements you include in your e-learning course, put them together in the authoring tool. Depending on the size of your project and the existing authoring capabilities of your team you can purchase robust software or use free cloud-based tools available online.
Choose software that your team is likely to be familiar with—this isn’t the time to be ambitious and select something you won’t be able to use.
- Make it visually appealing:
An e-learning course is similar to a movie rather than a book. It is essential to use visuals and interactive media so that your learners can focus on learning rather than scrambling to decipher what they are supposed to do.
The issue is that developing visual content requires time, skill, and money, all of which many entrepreneurs lack. However, you can overcome these challenges by utilizing various e-learning platforms.
Everything from coming up with ideas to creating custom graphics or writing storylines for your e-learning course, you can achieve all this on a single platform without breaking the bank or consuming days of your time.
- Create the course:
In the process of course creation, different teams will work on different sections of the course like- interviewing subject matter experts, authoring content, and building various elements within your e-learning authoring software. During this step, we recommend front-loading feedback and having multiple eyes review each course element, this helps keep major mistakes from flying under your radar.
- Publicize your course (Internally or Externally):
Why do your students require your course? How will they discover it? You know your e-learning course will benefit them, but now the learners need to know about it! It’s time to start promoting and marketing your course. Highlight the benefits to your learners to start engaging them in the learning journey.
Promotion should be part of your development strategy, and your first slide should immediately engage your audience. Developing an internal promotion strategy will save you the anguish of designing a fantastic course only to discover that no one is taking it.
- Use your organization’s LMS to deliver the course:
Make sure the course authoring software you choose is compatible with your organization’s preferred LMS so that you can offer the course to learners seamlessly.
- Measure and evaluate results:
Inquire with your learners about the effectiveness of your course. This will assist you in determining what you did correctly and where you can improve in the future. You can use Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation Model to determine whether or not this has been accomplished.
You will also need to consider factors like return on investment, cost, and performance to get the best idea of your key performance indicators.
You have complete control over the course’s future because you created it and customized it for your organization. Rather than starting from scratch each time something in your operations changes, keep updating the course as your training needs change. This will not only save money but will also simplify the training development process in the future.