Developing an eLearning course from the ground up is no easy task. Asking the right questions prior to and during development ensures that the entire project stays on track and provides the right utility and usability in the end. Here are a few important questions a designer should ask to guide eLearning content improvement.
1. What is the eLearning Goal for the Organization?
Each eLearning course should address a specific goal or series of goals. The goals should be specific, concrete, measurable and actionable. Without a firm grasp on goals, instructional designers have no way to ensure that the course will meet the needs of end users/learners. Not only does this provide overarching guidance for the project as a whole, but it also guides smaller decisions such as word choice, graphic design and the use of other technologies, such as audio and video elements.
2. What is the Ultimate Deadline for the Project?
Never go into an eLearning course-design project without a firm understanding of the deadline. This will ensure that the project stays on track and determine the best use of management resources. In addition to the main project deadline, it is vital to know the timelines for each deliverable within the overall project. Finally, ensure that all other key dates are detailed. This should include marketing delivery dates, business dates that affect project completion or delivery, work plans and more.
3. What Problem Will the Training Solve?
The answer to this question should differ from the business’ goal for eLearning. This question explores the underlying issue at hand, whether it is noncompliance with professionals, training centered on employee promotion, or something completely different. Not only will the answer to this question drive course development, but it might actually help determine if eLearning is the right solution in the first place. Not all business issues can be solved with training.
4. What is the End Environment?
- While the line between traditional eLearning and mobile/mLearning has blurred, there are still some core differences. Different devices might require different forms and functions. Will the learners access the course material from a PC at the business location, from a mobile device, or from a device at home?
- What will the time constraints on learning be?
- Will the environment be formal (office or structured learning environment) or informal (home or on the road)?
5. What Language Support Needs to Be in Place?
It was once possible to develop business eLearning courses in just one language, usually English. More and more businesses are requiring learning materials created in English, Spanish or other languages, particularly if the business has a global reach and employees in other nations.
By answering these five questions prior to eLearning content development, fewer pitfalls and issues will arise, and the end product will be a better fit for the business’ needs.