The Steps For eLearning Content Development
With the advancement in technology, it is true that education and learning can be taken to a virtual platform. And this has been proved by many organizations and institutions that are already providing virtual courses and online classes. eLearning platforms have a lot of benefits for both eLearning content development companies and learners, as it offers the much-needed flexibility and scalability for the corporate sector and also saves money. So, we are here to discuss top factors to consider during eLearning content development.
What Is eLearning Content Development?
Earlier virtual education and learning were a choice but with the ongoing situations due to COVID-19, it has become the need of the hour, as people are avoiding stepping out of the house to stay safe. Also, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has clarified that education and learning cannot be restricted to a classroom environment and can be moved to a virtual platform.
As eLearning platforms have a lot of benefits and are nowadays the choice of most people, the challenging aspect of these platforms is the development of eLearning content for end users. If you are one of the corporate giants who are planning to execute eLearning in your office environment to train your staff or are an educational institution looking forward to shifting toward an eLearning platform, there are many factors that you need to consider before developing eLearning content.
It is best to keep a transparent eLearning development process and the people involved in the process must have good knowledge and experience in developing high-quality online modules and courses. Keep in mind that groundwork is the most important thing while developing eLearning content and therefore it must be strong to ensure creating high-quality and efficient eLearning content. You can even outsource your requirement to eLearning content solution providers to create high-quality modules
This article will talk about the top 11 factors that should be considered during eLearning content development. With the help of the factors discussed in this article, you will be able to set your goals, target your audience and efficiently promote your eLearning module after you are done with the development part. The aim here is to develop eLearning content that meets the requirements of your employees or learners.
Factors To Consider When Selecting Appropriate eLearning Materials/Content Development
Following are the steps for eLearning content development you should follow to create efficient, high-quality, interactive, and less time-consuming eLearning modules for your employees and learners:
1. Create Your Goals
Before you can actually start creating eLearning modules, the very first thing that you need to do is set your goals and objectives with respect to the eLearning content you want to develop. Always remember that the goals and objectives that you will create for your eLearning content will definitely impact the structure and type of content. You can set your goals and objectives keeping in mind the things that you want to achieve with the help of creating the content, and how you want to keep it beneficial for your organization’s employees or the learners.
Developing eLearning content that is not serving a purpose or is not capable of fulfilling the requirements of employees or learners is the last thing that you would want to do, as creating eLearning content requires a good amount of money and effort. Therefore, defining goals and objectives is very important to avoid the last moment confusion and unsuccessful attempts of creating eLearning modules.
To define your goals and objectives, you can reach your management and get input regarding loopholes or performance gaps that exist within the organization, and your content will help them fill in. Or you can even conduct a survey for management and they can fill in the required details, which you can use to set your goals and objectives with respect to the content that you are planning to develop. And your work doesn’t end here; after you are done listing the goals and objectives of the modules, you have to identify whether the listed goals and objectives are achievable or not. You have to keep the ones that can be achieved while leaving the ones that are unachievable, as working on them will be a waste of both time and effort.
2. Analyze Your Audience
Researching and analyzing your target audience is one of the important things that you need to perform before developing an eLearning module as it will help you in making decisions regarding what you need to keep and what you can leave in terms of content. You can research and analyze your target audience on the basis of their requirements, styles, backgrounds, interests, and motivations. Also, you can analyze the profile of your audience to get the accurate required information to develop a compatible eLearning module.
The fact is that the more you learn about your target audience, the greater your chances will be to develop an eLearning module that can meet the expectation and requirements of employees and learners. Also, you must keep in mind that the content you will be developing will be read by employees or learners that are either beginners or proficient, so try creating a module with varying levels of knowledge so that it can be a good match for every category of your audience.
Following is a list of a few elements that you need to know about your target audience:
- Level of education
- Prior eLearning experience
- Preferences of the learners
- Level of interest in eLearning
3. Choose The Device Type
Most people nowadays prefer mobile devices to perform their personal and professional activities, and similar to the case of eLearning modules. There is a good chance that your employees or learners will want to access online training content via smartphones rather than viewing it on their PCs or notebooks and sitting in front of them for hours. But still, there will be some employees who will prefer PCs and notebooks to access training material online. So, yes, you need to think both ways so that eLearning modules are user-friendly for the entire audience.
It is not at all possible that the entire eLearning course can be made available on all the device categories and therefore it is very important to research what your audience is comfortable with. Also, before designing your eLearning course, make sure that you have analyzed whether the employees or learners will be using their personal devices to access the course or the devices provided by the organization of the institute. Always remember that making eLearning modules compatible with multiple devices, especially smartphones, makes them user-friendly, as your audience can access the required modules wherever and whenever they want to.
4. Is Your Audience Ready?
The next important factor you need to consider before developing eLearning content is to determine whether your organization or institute is ready for eLearning. Readiness means a lot of things, like are the employees or the learners comfortable with the eLearning platform and have all the required assets that they need to embrace the new way of training. Also, is management ready to move the entire system to a virtual platform and can they manage things virtually, keeping in mind that there will be fewer or no physical interactions with employees or learners?
Besides this, there can be many other factors that can actually determine whether your organization or audience is actually ready for the virtual change. These include infrastructure, employee inclination, training goals and objectives, guidance, trainer support, and leadership. eLearning readiness is very important to analyze, as it is the only way you can determine to what extent your organization or institute is ready to adopt the new way of learning and interacting. In case you find that your organization or institute is not ready for an eLearning platform, then do not worry, as this is not the end of the journey. You can list all the challenges and find a solution to them in order to move your training or educational material to an eLearning platform.
5. Budget And Time Frame
It is always wise to set your budget and time frame before developing eLearning modules. Budget and time frame are both important, and fixing the budget will set a boundary within which you have to develop the required content and the time frame will help you in creating and delivering your eLearning modules on time.
To fix the budget, all you need to do is revisit the goals and objectives that you have set for the entire project and the features and elements that you want to include in the eLearning content. Both of these things will help you set an approximate budget for the project.
While fixing the budget and the time frame for the modules, always keep in mind that the figures that you are presenting in front of management should be realistic enough to avoid the unnecessary challenges in achieving them. Also, having a realistic budget and time frame will help in maintaining interest while developing eLearning modules, as you won’t have to quit in the middle of development because the goals and targets are unachievable.
For information regarding how to make eLearning courses more interactive, read this article.
6. Video Creation Platform
It is always wiser to use videos as a part of your eLearning content, and the reason behind this is videos are not only interesting and engaging but they are an easier way to make the audience understand even some of the most complicated things. Therefore, if you are planning to include videos in your eLearning modules, then do not forget to think about choosing a video creation platform that is both affordable and flexible. The thing is to choose a video creation platform that fits your budget and is capable enough to meet your requirements.
Picking a flexible and affordable video creation platform will help you in creating eLearning content that will be compatible with the required subjects and audiences. Also, a video creation platform that is both affordable and flexible makes your entire eLearning content development process easy and effortless.
7. Create Engaging And Digestible Content
Creating eLearning content that is engaging and easy to digest is one of the best ways to make your employees or learners make the best use of it. Easy and engaging content interests the audience, therefore, you can use numerous kinds of interactivities in your eLearning content. Also, using real-life scenarios can be one of the possible ways to keep your content easy and engaging for your target audience. With real-life scenarios being part of the content, users can easily link the scenarios with related events that they have faced in their lives at some point in time.
Also, creating eLearning content that is engaging and easy to digest will help you in sharing the bulk of information with your audience easily in a short amount of time without any challenges being faced by them with respect to understanding the content; this actually saves time. You can also use a microlearning model to create your lesson plan. In microlearning, the content is divided into small lessons that you can feed to your audience step by step to easily transfer the bulk of the information at one time.
8. Take Feedback
After you are done with the development of your eLearning content, the first thing that you need to do is take feedback from management and employees. This will not only help you find areas of improvement in the modules but will help you determine whether the goals objectives that were set have been met or not. Getting feedback is one of the best ways to determine whether the effort, time, and money that have been invested in the development of your eLearning content has paid off.
Basically, there are two ways to get feedback, you can either approach each and every individual inside the organization and get their opinion regarding the eLearning modules or you can receive mass feedback by creating feedback forms. But always remember that when creating feedback forms for mass feedback, create intelligent questions to determine whether the developed eLearning content met the set goals and objectives. You can ask questions like: “Was the eModule helpful?” “Do you have any queries after reading the module?”
9. Evaluate The Module
Evaluating your eLearning module is one of the most important activities that you need to do after you are done taking feedback from the management, employees, or learners inside or outside the organization. Evaluation not only helps in determining the effectiveness of the course but in also finding out what value it will bring to the end users. You can evaluate the effectiveness of your eLearning module in the following ways:
- Quizzes and tests
Forming quizzes and tests and presenting them before the employees and learners are ways to evaluate the effectiveness of your eLearning module. Just make sure that you are including intelligent questions on the quizzes and tests that will help you determine the knowledge that the end users have gained from reading the module.
- Impact on learners’ behavior
Calculating employee behavior or response after taking the course is one of the other ways to evaluate the effectiveness of your eLearning module.
By following the above methods, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your eLearning module. Evaluation is the only way to determine whether the efforts that you have made in developing the eLearning module are paying off and you are getting the desired results.
10. Promote The Module
After you are done creating your module, taking feedback, implementing the required changes, and launching it on the virtual platform, you can now proceed to promotion. Yes, promoting your eLearning module is as important as creating it in the very first place. There are various methods to promote an eLearning module depending upon the type and category of the module that you have created. If you have created the module for internal use within the organization, then you can promote it with the help of internal communication channels including HR, or various chat platforms available inside the organization. You can even promote your eLearning module via email. Always keep in mind that nobody will actually use the modules unless they know about the actual content and the value that it holds.
If you have created eLearning modules for external use to target a huge audience, then doing the above activities won’t get you to the finish line. To promote external eLearning modules, you need to invest in ad campaigns, including CPC (cost per click) and PPC ( pay-per-click). Also, you can use digital marketing, including creating articles, blogs, and videos to give viewers information about the content that the module holds and how it will benefit them. Social media marketing can also be a good approach for promoting your eLearning modules. You can promote your modules on social media both organically and through paid posts, whichever suits you the most.
11. Track The Performance Of Your Module
Last but not the least, tracking the module’s performance is as important as any other factor that we have mentioned in this article. You will reach this step once you are finished with every other activity required in developing, evaluating, and promoting your eLearning module. Now is the time to test the performance of the module for which you have been working so hard on till now. There are various ways to determine the performance of your eLearning module, and a learning management system (LMS) is one of the best ways to track the accurate performance of your eLearning content.
LMS platforms come equipped with an analytics dashboard using which you can accurately determine the performance of your eLearning content. There are even chances that the LMS you are using does not have an analytics dashboard and in that case, all you would be doing is checking the emails that the learning management system will send you to track the performance of the course. And if you do not have a learning management system deployed, then you can definitely talk with your IT team or contact support for assisting you in setting up the system in the correct way.
You can track the following metrics with the help of a learning management system:
- Course ratings
With a learning management system, you can give users the ability to rate courses after they have completed them. These ratings provided by the employees or the learners will help you in determining whether the users were able to complete the courses without any challenges. Such feedback and ratings will help you in developing future eLearning modules that can be more user-friendly.
- Completion rate
Learning management systems help you determine the completion rate that you are getting with respect to the courses that you have created. This will ultimately help you in determining whether your targeted audience is actually completing the courses. An average completion rate of more than 10% is considered good for eLearning modules and if you are getting similar figures, then consider that you have created high-quality and interactive eLearning content for your target audience.
With the demand for eLearning content increasing with each passing day, developing effective and high-quality content is the need of the hour. From identifying your target audience to developing realistic and interactive eLearning content for end users, you will need a thoughtful and strategic process. Also, you will need to consider device compatibility and accessibility in order to make the eLearning course easily available for your target audience and satisfy their requirements.
In this article, we have discussed the top 11 factors you need to develop your eLearning content. By considering the above factors, you can easily set your goals concerning your eLearning course, identify your target audience, and efficiently promote your modules. The aim here is to develop eLearning content that meets the requirements of your employees or learners.
eLearning platforms have a lot of benefits for both eLearning content solution providers and learners, as they offer the much-needed flexibility and scalability for the corporate sector and also save money.