However, with ever-changing technology it’s only getting easier to create an elearning course. More people have access to technology, so more is going digital and remote learning and working is on the rise. So why not create elearning courses?
Here at Near-Life™ we’ve been creating elearning courses for some time. Here’s the top 3 things we think you should do before you get started with your elearning course:
Without understanding your audience, your elearning will fail to meet objectives. Why’s that? Well, your audience may all be learning at different levels, or in different ways, so it may not be easy for them to achieve the end goal.
By understanding your audience you can tailor your learning. That doesn’t necessarily mean to each individual, but to the whole group. If the majority of your learners are visual learners, ensure you have more imagery and video in your course.
If they learn best through reading, ensure there’s more text in there. There are many small steps you can take to ensure your learners have content which is best suited to them. If you don’t match the course to their learning style, they may fail to engage.
That being said, it is proven that video improves engagement and retention levels – it may be worth adding in some elements of video just for this reason.
Most importantly, understanding the level of your learners is key. Try to group your learners into categories and provide courses to suit their capabilities.
This is important because you may have learners that already understand the topics, and so it could be too easy and they won’t be building on their knowledge. Contrary to that, some might find it too difficult and again not achieve because it’s too difficult.
Ensure your learning content is just the right level, so learners aren’t finding it too hard but are building upon their knowledge.
The next thing to consider before you build, is what are you actually looking to achieve? This means what are your objectives and how will you measure if your course has worked or not?
Before you lay out your content, you should sit with the wider team and figure out the end goal. You should brainstorm ideas of what you want learners to be capable of once they have done their course and why.
Once you’ve laid these out you will be able to form a short list of objectives. This can help you to separate your course into modules, if needed. Taking these steps will help you to understand how you’re going to measure impact.
You should also decide if you’re going to test learners at any point of the course. There are a few different options. You can do a pre and post quiz, you can do quizzes in between and you can even do practical tests if your area of learning is best done this way.
Again, you should decide what’s best for you and your organisation and if you have the resources to carry out tests.
If you want to quiz your learners, you should think about recording and measuring results so that you can analyse them. Your quiz analytics will help you to understand the level each learner is at, and if any further learning is needed, or if your course worked.
The last thing to consider before building your course is your approach, this includes the tools you will use. After discussion around your audience and your goals, you should figure out the best way to work with both of these things together. Without one, the other won’t work.
Consider how you are going to teach your course. Think about methods such as learning through scenarios, role-play, storytelling, gamification, teamwork as well as many others. You may even want to take a blended learning approach and incorporate the classroom with some digital methods.
For the digital side of your learning, you will need to think about the tools you’re going to need and how you will use them. Some tools may come with a cost, and you may need to work with a wider team to assist with any technical aspects.
It’s worth considering the use of an authoring tool. They’re a great piece of software to put your elearning materials together, with interactions, videos, images, text and much more. Authoring tools have been created to allow anybody to put learning courses together – not just those with specific, technical skills.
If you are using video, you can look into animations or realistic videos. There are various pieces of software to create animations. However, if you’re looking to create your own you may need a production team, actors and so on.
One thing that’s important to consider is making your learning user friendly, and mobile friendly. It’s 2020, and technology is improving right before our eyes. Most of us are using our mobile phones or tablets to work, learn and socialise. Ensure your learning is easy to use and can be optimised to more than one type of screen.
With these three steps and your wider team, you should be able to successfully create an elearning course. The most important thing is to always keep the learner in mind. You are creating your courses so that they perform better.