The Secret Formula to Great eLearning
By: Jessica Arenz
Anyone from any company size and industry can create great eLearning -- I truly believe all teams inherently have the ability. All your ingredients are there, it's just prepping and serving the correct way.
Start with solid production guidelines
You can plan out, develop and executive great eLearning when you have production guidelines in place. Some key elements include:
Production team model: Set out roles for content experts, design and production team members.
Module planning sequence: Learning objectives should be supported by a session plan and storyboard.
Design elements: Ensure that design elements are called out so that they're consistent with your organization's brand.
Quality assurance: Outline the required editing, testing requirements and develop a model for feedback collection.
Resources: Identify extra resources for your learners in the event they need more information.
Sprinkle in some new perspective and collaborate
Seek collaboration from your peers and regularly seek feedback from your colleagues. It’s proven that collaboration pools talent, develops the skills of those around you and fast-tracks progress. Get a teammate to proofread your storyboard, or get a second opinion from another instructional designer or graphic designer.
Know your audience and trim the fat
Seasoned instructional designers are probably all too familiar about what their eLearning should contain, and just as important, what it should not contain. It’s very tempting to add all the bells and whistles, but by removing extra features and excessive information, your eLearning can offer a clear, simple experience for your learners. Or, if you have a lot of content to communicate, break it up by topic into micro-modules so that the information can be easily digestible for your learners.
Keep all your ingredients fresh
Use fresh ingredients that will engage your learners, such as the following:
Gamification: Gamify your learning with a mascot, badges and more to incentivise your learners.
Microlearning: Break up the content into small 5-10 minutes chunks or by topic so that learners can easily consume the information.
Mobile compatibility: Ensure the content you’re creating is mobile-friendly so that your learners can access from any device. If you have a shoestring budget, I highly recommend H5P -- a free, HTML5 open source rapid content authoring tool.
Aesthetics are everything
There are plenty of resources out there for those who may not have a design eye, or you can loop someone in from your team that may be able to help. Here are some helpful resources when it comes to design:
Test before serving
It’s critical to perform thorough quality assurance check to ensure there aren’t any errors in your eLearning. After your content is developed and is ready for testing, I recommend three separate reviews before roll-out. You’ll be able to catch more things when you’re focused on a particular area versus trying to focus on multiple areas at once.
Functionality Review: Do a test strictly on functionality.
Proof/Grammar Review: Test strictly on the textual content, ensuring there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
Outside Perspective: Have someone that hasn’t seen the content get an outside perspective. Maybe one page seemed to flow, but not to someone looking at it for the first time.
Get rid of your leftovers (a.k.a legacy content)
At one point, your legacy training was fresh. But now, it’s run its course and just hasn’t kept up with advancements in the corporate learning landscape. It’s important that those lengthy courses get broken down, become more responsive, and that the new training needs of your company are covered.
Got some legacy content in desperate need of evaluation? Webanywhere is offering a free one hour course evaluation and consult for a limited time. This is a no-obligation hour where one of our Instructional Designers will help you personally with the direction of your legacy content.
Jessica Arenz brings out the best of both worlds as an Instructional Designer and Marketing Executive at Webanywhere. She's passionate about proper brand messaging and retail training and development. Throughout her career she has worked on eLearning for companies like Walmart, Sam's Club, Kroger and Saks Fifth Avenue, to name a few. Jessica is one of many talented individuals on our team ready to collaborate with you on your next learning solution.