How to Create E-learning Courses: A Beginner's Guide
Develop e-Learning courses that engage your employee for better results! E-learning involves everything from technical details to creating content. If you split the information into a series of segments, creating e-Learning courses are much simpler to accomplish.
When you create one your e-Learning courses, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed. It is not always easy making an e-Learning course but using a professional design team like Presentation Geeks to oversee this arduous task can help streamline the entire process.
For more details about creating e-Learning, keep reading to learn how to use a learning management system to create a e-Learning course!
How do I create e-Learning content?
You may already have a LMS to allow to manage your clients’ information for users. But wait – what about learning contents? Additionally, we have to update the e-Learning course with learning content.
The more time spent on creating an e-learning platform the higher your investment in the development hours as well as the developer time which many people can’t afford in creating an e-Learning course. Consider using templates if you have a limited budget.
Where do I start when making an e-Learning course?
A very good place to start would be to look at the requirements, and asking yourself how you will develop the e-learning course.
This step should be done to ensure that the correct course or e-learning programs can be taken for by your audience. How will you start to build the courses with an audience in mind?
Ask yourself what the “why” would be in creating your course? Does it help people advance current training or certify new people in the field?
Gather all your notes, materials and content and try to organize them before you even start creating content.
When everything is organized, start to write a script for your class. Think if you were to present this or teach it in person, how would you break the information down?
Design the look and feel of your project. This is where your branding or design skills will come in handy. This knowledge will play a significant role in choosing the appropriate e-learning content technology and producing appropriate and engaging content. You can also ask yourself whether or not the student can access the e-learning content training with mobile gadget and can hear audio (bandwidth, headphones etc).
At this point, you can develop the materials for your course and try to make it one cohesive course.
What do you need to know about content creation and how to use it?
A platform will often have user registration/authorization tracking, assignment of learning activities or lets users choose the learning route. The LMS lets you manage each customer as they choose. There are many LMSs available which add content creation ability and has instructional design.
We recommend the use of LMS for users management and tracking and the creation of content in an environment developed specifically for this purpose. Master the instructional design of e-Learning authoring tools.
For the other components, here are some good recommendations for free graphic or design templates:
- Canva: Create collages, charts, marketing promotions, or infographics with their easy-to-use software
- Easel.ly or Piktochart: Design beautiful infographics
- Google Charts: Turn your data into powerful charts and graphs
- Unsplash: Find beautiful freely useable images
- Audacity: Fantastic open-source, cross-platform recording and editing software
- Camtasia: Use their drag-and-drop video editing software to finish your videos, or add in special effects, music, or motion graphics (if you have a Macbook, you can use Screenshot Grab)
e-Learning course design
How can you track learner progress or engage learners? In brief, what would a person know already? How will the training address gap to achieve the job and the desired career goals? List the objectives of an examination in SME courses and define what a successful e-Learning project looks like to you for your e-Learning course design or employee training.
Create this outline of the courses, divide it in sections, and submit to the customer and SME for approval. Develop a detailed design document that shows learning interactions, themes, activities and navigational logic. Create the course outline from scratch for your customer or small business and submit them for approval.
The rise of e-Learning course design authoring tools
Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate and Trivantis Lectora are the commonly used authoring tools. An authoring tool enable non-technical programmer to develop e-learning modules for their work. An authoring tool also permit the course to be published on SCORM and xAPI (Tin Can) formats. ISpring, DominKnow, Evolve, Gomo, Knowledgebly and other are a few widely shared tools.
Although not a free plastform, a top option for authoring your e-learning course is using the iSpring Suite which offers a familiar interface to PowerPoint and lots of resources.
One hour of e-learning content created for the authoring tool will take up to 60 hours to develop, according to one authoring team who specializes in e learning content, so you may want to consider hiring an external company to help you or use a template.
e-Learning Industry and Target Audience Research
The first thing is to figure out the problem your learners may have before trying to solve it. Do people in an office need more Microsoft word training? Having deeper depths of knowledge in compliance training? Competitive sales training.
Not doing the proper e-Learning industry research would drive you off course and could be detrimental to your e-Learning development. e-Learning industry research should rank as the first concern with all the e-learning / project / process.
Learn about who you are teaching and get the right content for the right audience.
From there you can set learning objectives, and define your instructional plan.
With this strategy in mind, you can produce content with informed data. You can storyboard your content, choose the right LMS/technology for your needs, protoype and create the course.
At that point, when you promote your course, don’t forget to get learner feedback and measure your success.
E-learning templates for custom e-Learning
Template E-Learning are predesigned and preprogrammed pages where you create a course quicker and better. They also follow the standards and trends of the e-Learning industry.
If you’ve chosen a reliable and versatile e-Learning authoring tool, you can fire away at creating a course even if it is not pretty at first. The most important thing during the process is to test navigability, whether by yourself or someone external. You will see your course develop before your eyes with this feedback while you work.
In e-Learning templates, usually you simply need to copy/paste text, add audio and video materials, delete the parts that you don’t need and then adjust the color scheme. Layers, triggers and actions are all done for you in a professional designed layout.
If you have a series of simple courses, you could use a template to save time. You can find lots of online training or instructor led training for custom e-Learning or for your e-Learning modules.
How do I create e-Learning content that my learners will love?
How do you make your course experience more enjoyable and more engaging? Let’s examine them one at a time to see how they can help create e-Learning courses that are going to capture the interest of employees.
First off, know your learners from the audience research we mentioned above. Understanding what they like and what’s relevant to them will make them feel seen and heard as they learn.
Think about the design and development, learning objectives, the overall e-Learning design and do proper research. If you’re familiar with PowerPoint presentation, you can apply the same design and development thought process to creating your content. Think of all the branching scenarios and create an e-Learning storyboard for those branching scenarios. Make your programs interactive by doing case studies or utilizing the learner’s lived experience.
Then think of how you will create graphics for your e-Learning design, so that it is visually appealing.
You can become a subject matter expert (SME) in no time when you create e-Learning design. For further information contact us to learn more about e-learning. (Another option is to get a professional designer to reduce time spent. Look at the end of this blog post for our contact information as we can help you with your multimedia elements, current training and written content.)
“UI is the table, chair, plate, glass, and utensils. UX is everything from the food to the service, parking, lighting, and music.” (Ken Norton, Partner at Google Ventures).
1) Cater to all learning styles in your design process
Even if you are a subject matter expert, a balanced mix of e-learning-related audio and visual elements are the best way to involve learners to the learning process. Use video based tools including written notes on a range of subjects. Treat all your customers consistently, especially learners despite their learning style.
Examples could be learners group assignment assignments as well as group scenario / activity. Of course there is a lot of repetition when the content is presented to meet all these learning styles. But it still benefits the learners!
Because repetition actually leads to better retention and enhanced understanding of a content, it can lead to better retention and better understanding of what was taught to students and teachers.
2) Create an intuitive learning path while creating a course
Start an e-Learning module with simpler content then slowly increase difficulty level. Learners can work on their knowledge at an easily digestible pace that helps them to feel confident and satisfied with their efforts.
Let’s aim to equip a person with a basic understanding of a concept or the ability to recall information.
It’s possible to create e-Learning content focussing in practice and opportunities for the learner to observe its own learnt. You can now try practical content such as quizzes with automated feedback.
3) Feel free to try active learning
Many corporate training courses and programs are as exciting as rice crackers. By balancing the amount and quality of passive material and of active content learners will become active participants into their own learning processes. Simulation is a useful starting point.
In customer service training, you could present a role-playing activity where each person is unhappy with the product and must solve the problem.
You could also try using discussions forums and group assignments which make it easy for the learner to brainstorm and solve a difficult problem together with other.
4) Keep it short and simple
Research has shown that consumers prefer short training content over a series of long modules. Less content must contain content that is more concentrated concise and carefully chosen.
One of the key stages of training course development is knowing what should remain missing in the course.
Only provide the content needed to a learning outcome. You can also leverage microlearning practices to develop bite-sized chunks.
Estimate the amount of time necessary to complete the whole course. Is it advisable to cut your content in half or it may be too long.
5) Speak the right language
Learning content is only engaging if it speaks for the audience the content has targeted.
In specialized software engineering classes you could use terms such as “Noob” and “yak shaving” to make information relatable more relevant.
Being relevant and aware of issues of your learners can make them feel seen and heard during their time learning.
6) Be original
At least 50% of your e-Learning course content has been uniquely designed by a topic expert. Write notes, create infographics and films which the learners haven’t seen elsewhere. Find out our suggestions for content creation tools in our Cheatsheet.
Discover the best way for writing your own ed learning content using a good tool. Find out what tools to use to create a new online e-Learning Course.
Create content for the next cohort of students using your online course. Use these tools to create and distribute content that the learner cannot locate. Learn what this tool can do and how to build you own online course.
7) Make quality a priority
No one cares about a poor made movie or a splattered book. In addition errors are distractors which affect learning experiences and may lead to unpleasant learning experiences. Get a fresh look at content proofreading. It helps prevent those spelling and grammar errors.
Where there is voice (like talking heads videos and podcasts) there shouldn’t be any background noise creating distraction. For writing notes always add adequate quality assurance.
When designing e-learning materials it shouldn’t be distracting in any way. We shouldn’t have background noise which causes disturbances to others.
8) Start with why?
One useful way to demonstrate the purpose behind the training is to organize e-Learning content into learning outcomes (LOs). Imagine the LOs created the company’s employee development plans.
The word “create” tells us that some online notes will probably not suffice as we expect learners of varying skill groups. So we could also include an online workshop or webinar where students can train their skills as case study specialists in an interactive manner.
9) Find your “who”
Subject matter experts often play a ‘hidden role’ in developing e-Learning.
An SME with huge depth of knowledge and expertise can create online learning courses that are incredible and the course can be downright addictive. Their training courses can make e-learning course development a breeze to create on your learning management system. Take advantage of SME and influencers when creating online courses, they can create content and save you time.
Budget time for a LOT of instructional design
This usually results in creating a simple structure for the course. This gives you a sense of how to carry out training activities.
Now you can edit, adjust the vocabulary and so on (you’ll also have to think about who to talk to). Finally you will have to build a story board. It can be a document (.docx,.ppt,.xlsx or any other format you prefer) that contains information about layouts, images interactivity navigation and other details.
Be resourceful of the time and money spent on marketing e-Learning courses. Use the data and metrics that evaluate the effectiveness of the eLeanring programme available through LMS and surveys to determine the ROI of the training.
Record issues and integrate with training plan. Determine the issues and feedback and develop a revised version of this course. Monitor effective training programs. Measure success in training using measuring and LMS methods.
E-learning for Android tablets iPad and smartphone should be responsive to all devices. Responsive training can be used on computer screens, tablets or phone. The modules sometimes look bad on mobile devices and sometimes the content is hard to read. Ensure that your courses are responsive on all platforms.
The steps of exceptional e-Learning course design
To be successful during the development process of your e-learning programs, consider yourself as a key communicator, educational designer and developer who controls the team and shares milestones with the customer. Your job is to answer customer’s questions and start from scratch. Consider yourself as instructional designer developer and management of staff.
Determine instructional needs
E-Learning course can positively impact their learning development as they help increase productivity in workplace.
Discuss organization’s requirements and expectations within the course. Determine the scope and parameters of the content that must become integrated during the program for e-learning.
Create e-Learning courses with a positive impact on skill development or job productivity. Pay attention to things you want them to learn.
You should not limit yourself, regarding your content. Produce video, create pictures, record talent voices, score and record music and sound effects.
If you don’t have an arsenal of media, consider subscribing to a service that makes them available.
Buy photographs voice talent, visuals etc. Buy photographs and voice talent for your training classes.
Test your content
One thing you shouldn’t forget when implementing an e-Learning solution is testing it!
Examine the course to ensure compliance with the scope and goals quality of the media errors as well as software bugs or technical glitches.
Make reasonable corrections and improve the course accordingly from customer feedback.
Final changes and testing
Excellent e-Learning course development takes effort, testing edits and error testing. Make changes on e-learning course based upon Beta Review feedback.
If feedback is offered, you may update or add content to the e-Learning curriculum. With feedback, you will become great instructional designers in and learners no time.