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How to Create the Perfect E-Learning Course

How to Create the Perfect E-Learning Course

Deciding on the right approach and content for your e-learning course is challenging, especially when you consider the time commitment and resources it will take to achieve it. Adding to that challenge is the pressure of making certain that the course is useful to your target audience, as well as addressing any translation needs.

Follow these steps to ensure you are starting on the right track for designing your e-learning solutions.

Analyze Your Needs 

Although you might have an idea about what you hope to achieve with the course, taking the time to analyze your needs is an essential first step. By carefully considering your goals, you can make certain that the training will be useful and worth the effort.

Your analysis should focus on what gaps exist in the current training, as well as new courses that would make your learning plan more effective.

As you conduct your analysis, consider the following questions:

  • Is there a challenge that e-learning will solve? If there is one, dig deeper to find out specifically what issues need to be addressed.
  • What are you aiming to achieve with the course?
  • In what ways will e-learning aid the organization or client in meeting business goals?
  • How will the course help your employees move forward?

Define the Audience

Once you have analyzed what you are trying to achieve, the next step is to define your target audience. Think about who will benefit most from your content, as well as what will make them interested in taking your course. When considering your audience, think about ways to make sure that the group’s interests are not so broad that the content will end up not applying to them.

To ensure that you reach the right group of learners, spend time researching possible user segments. By conducting focus groups, surveys, and interviews, you will gain valuable insights from your potential audience. As a result, you can learn whether you are selecting the right group for your course, as well as use the information to guide decisions about the learning modules and overall curriculum, based on the users’ needs.

When considering global audiences, select an e-learning translation services company that specializes in your required languages to ensure that the class will be helpful to users in all regions.

Outline the Content

Now that you are clear on your objectives and your audience, it is time to outline the content. Think about what information you have that people would benefit from learning about. Additionally, consider whether your content will require e-learning translation for learners.

Before you delve deeper into the content, you should decide on the type of material you want to present. Two primary types are:

  • General: If you plan to share basic information about a topic, you will design your course with no clear expectation of performance or process improvements. This type, of course, is less complicated to create since the goal is simply to provide information and enhance knowledge.
  • Instructional: Oftentimes, training is geared toward teaching about specific processes or products. The content for this type, of course, will usually be more involved since the goal is to teach a user how to do a task. For instance, instructions for using a certain software would fall into this category.

As you begin to gather information for the class, seek input from others, including:

  • Subject matter experts: These are the people having expertise in the content you are trying to teach. With their help, you can start by defining the main ideas and then drill down to the details of the course content.
  • Stakeholders: This includes potential users, project managers, technical experts, and trainers. Each of these stakeholders will likely have valuable input about the content, as well as the overall course structure.

Define Your Learning Objectives

As you design your class, you must be clear about the course’s learning objectives. These objectives will state the overall course’s goals and each lesson’s expected outcome. Additionally, the objectives will include the goal for each learner’s ability upon completion of the course.

As you define the learning objectives, follow these guidelines:

  • Be specific. You should be able to clearly state what learners can expect from taking the course.
  • Make sure the objectives can be measured. Think about how you will know whether the goals are being met.
  • Ensure that the objectives can be achieved. It is essential to consider whether the objectives are realistic, particularly considering the timeframe and resources involved. Sometimes, objectives sound workable, but they end up being unattainable.

Establish a Plan for Instructional Design

Next, you should determine your instructional strategy, which is the approach you will use to engage the audience. There are many ways in which you can achieve this, such as through situational learning or storytelling.

When you consider your strategy, it is important to evaluate the following:

  • Content-type: The type of content is a vital factor in determining how to present the information. For example, teaching interpersonal skills will likely require a different approach than training employees in safety procedures.
  • Impact: When developing the instructional strategy, a key aspect will be to know how to make certain that the material is useful, meaningful, and relevant.
  • Translation needs: If the training will be geared toward international markets, then an e-learning localization services plan will need to be part of the strategy.

Start With a Prototype

Developing a prototype is a vital step that e-learning teams often overlook. However, taking this step can save quite a bit of time and money later, especially if you sufficiently test the prototype with potential learners.

The good news is that this prototype can be quickly created with graphics software. To achieve the prototype, follow these steps:

  • Write a simple script that captures some of the initial ideas.
  • Ask colleagues to help with narration or role-playing, if necessary.
  • Create an overall template that includes basic animation, photographs, graphics, music, and some sound effects.

Select the Right Technology

As you explore possible learning management systems and course-authoring tools, analyze the features you need, to effectively design and execute the course. Read reviews to learn what has worked for other designers and consider the cost and what you will receive for your investment.

The following questions can help you determine the best option for your company:

  • Are your computers and servers updated and able to manage the new technology?
  • Approximately how many people will access the program at the same time?
  • Will the learners be required to use their own devices? If so, what applications will they need to install?
  • Do you currently have the means to ensure data security, or will you have to upgrade your security systems?

E-learning is an excellent option for businesses seeking to provide training for their employees, as well as for teaching customers about their products and services. If the training will reach global audiences, partner with an translation company to make sure that the course resonates with learners regardless of their location.

Summary

Designing an e-learning course requires expertise and resources, so ensuring it is done correctly is essential. By following certain steps, including defining your audience, establishing your learning objectives, and selecting the right technology, you can ensure that your course is successful.

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