Creating eLearning courses can provide an immense sense of satisfaction, knowing that the content is going to help someone learn something new. With the help of a subject matter expert (SME) and an authoring tool, eLearning courses can be created on any subject. The following tips can be taken as guidelines to create stimulating and exciting content that will engage the learner in a creative and fun way.
Tips for Creating Engaging eLearning Modules
1. Put Yourself in the Learner’s Shoes
In other words, great content comes from empathy with the learners, and thinking back to what you enjoyed learning in school and why. It is important to think about the best ways of imparting knowledge that will capture the interests and imaginations of learners. The content development team should think back to lessons in school that were boring, and try to keep their common elements out of their own content.
In most eLearning content development firms, the SME provides the content matter – images, text, videos, photos, test questions and so on – and the Instructional Designer then takes this material and decides the best way to present it. The instructional designer also plans the order in which the content is to be presented for learner engagement. This is where a good strategy or plan comes in. The plan will be converted visually into the storyboard.
2. Keep Organised from the Get Go
You can cut down on content development time significantly by staying organised right from the beginning. Make sure to collect all the multimedia elements that you will use the work of voice artists and colleagues who will offer you feedback on the quality of your work. It is also wise to create templates for your work. A good, workable template you can start with can be one that contains title and end screens, a quiz, objectives, menu, help screen and recap of the course. You can use the template across the project to keep the modules consistent and more beneficial to the learner.
3. Develop the Storyboard in Two Stages
In small eLearning content development enterprises, the Project Manager, the eLearning developer and the Instructional Designer are often the same. However, in other firms, it is the eLearning developer’s role to follow the Instructional Designer’s plan and come up with a storyboard.
Creating the storyboard is an important step in every content development project. The storyboard may accurately represent what the module looks like and its goals. During the storyboard planning stage, you must also factor in the learning styles for your audience, the budget constraints that you have and the timeframes involved in the project.
Typically, the first draft of the storyboard should contain all the text and the multimedia to be inserted. After the client’s feedback is received on this, the second stage should mostly involve implementing any changes that the client suggests. It should be of higher quality since it is the final draft the client usually sees before the course is tested on an LMS and then signed off.
4. Keep things Interactive
The best way to speed up the learning process for audiences of your eLearning module is to offer plenty of interactivity. Whether your audience is young children, teens or adults, you can speed up the development process by explaining concepts with diagrams, animation and videos.
Also ensure that there is a good balance of formative information as well as feedback to sum up what has been learned. Quizzes at the end of sections can add value to the learning process, embed the information in the learner’s mind and also help to evaluate progress.
5. Use Blended eLearning
Experienced eLearning content developers will tell you the importance of blending cannot be understated. Blending is the process of using two or more learning technology methods or applications, helping audiences pick up real world skills through real world scenarios. Whatever subject your instructions are about, you should be able to offer actual job tasks in order to create harmony between the acts of learning and working.
To Sum Up
The tips above are only guidelines for eLearning content development. It should be kept in mind that there is no one single road map to developing content for eLearning. The size of the project, team, the courseware available, the training needs of the audience, the requirements of the client and other such factors can affect the process in many ways.
eLearning content development involves a combination of team work, technical skills, creativity and time management. The process may be stressful, but overall the rewards of the process are immense.