5 Great Ways to Optimise Your E-Learning Development Process
The success of an e-learning course is hard to really tell until the course is delivered and used by the end learner. But there are several precautions and best practices you can rely on to be as close to your goals as possible. By incorporating certain processes and approaches you can increase the probability of success with your e-learning course. Here are a few tips that can greatly improve your e-learning development process –
Have Clear Objectives:
Based on your research and assignment, lay out clear objectives for your overall project and the various processes involved in it. Is your e-learning project for corporate training; is it about dispensing information on a difficult topic? Be clear on what your larger objective is. At the onset of your project develop requirement sheets and communicate your timelines and goals to all involved. Keep the development team in the loop, even if they aren't the ones making your curriculum it is very important that they are aware of the context and aim of your course.
Let the Learner Lead You:
Get back to the basics. Remember that all the effort you put into developing an e-learning course is pointless if you are unable to connect with the learner. Do good old groundwork; try to gather as much information about your learners as possible. Incorporating surveys, interviews and some research at the beginning can go a long way in helping you set out in the right direction. Knowing your audience thoroughly also means you will be able to employ the right tools, multi-media, and approach to reach out to them. Your curriculum and course will have a much higher chance of being relevant and useful.
Know What is Involved:
Don’t reinvent the wheel and try to figure out processes with every new e-learning project. There are certain basics that form the backbone of every e-learning course. The quicker you learn and master these, the more efficient you will be. The basic processes involve at least six steps you need to familiarise yourself with. The first is the creation of the instructional design document that determines your approach and format of the course. This is followed by fleshing in information with ‘scripting’ your course. The content is finalized and classified into modules in this phase. Then comes the development of a prototype where all aspects of how the course will be presented are determined. This is followed by the development of the course with and without audio. Finally, the learning management system version of the course is created. As an e-learning company, you can preempt requirements and challenges of each of these phases and work accordingly.
Get Feedback All the Way:
Don’t relegate feedback to the distant future. What if you spend months painstakingly working on an e-learning course and then receive unfavourable feedback about the same? Try and develop a system where you receive feedback throughout the process of developing your e-learning course. This will ensure that you eliminate errors and are able to tweak your course to stay on track. Constructive interaction between those developing the curriculum of the course and those integrating it with technology is crucial.
Outsource to Experts:
There isn't a more inefficient way of working than to focus on your weaknesses. As an e-learning company, it may be the best course of action to get help in areas you are lacking in. For many, it means focussing on getting new businesses and working on strategies and curriculum. E-learning development is best handled by experts who are backed by robust experience. If you take on the technical side of the job without infrastructure and experience you are setting out to lose time, money and energy. What's more, your final outcome may suffer.
Use Tools Thoughtfully:
Remember when it comes to e-learning one size does not fit all. It’s wonderful to be able to incorporate the latest trends and tools of e-learning when you are working on developing a course. It might be tempting to cram your course with as much multimedia as possible. But keep in mind that the effectiveness of your course depends on how focused you are and how well you are communicating your information to the learner. What is more important than the number of tools you use is how relevant these tools are in achieving your e-learning objective. The tools including your communication tools such as social media, blogs etc. must add value to the e-learning course you are developing.
Each new course will bring with it new challenges and lessons, but minimise your margin for errors by being as well prepared as you can.
If you are an e-learning company looking to outsource aspects of e-learning such as content integration and e-learning development, we would love to collaborate. Contact our experts at Gaja Digital Agency for more information.
Elizabeth Raj | Blogger