Creating an online course is not an easy task. There are several challenges that need to be tackled, before beginning the training course development process. First things first: Learner Analysis. Who are your learners, what is their learning preference, their prior expertise, and current expectations? What type of LMS does your company have? What course material formats (pdf, doc, jpg, mp4 etc.) are supported by this LMS? Does it have a maximum video size limitation?
What course development tools do you have and what more do you need to purchase? Do training managers require interactivity? Will this be a blended course with some Instructor Led Training (ILT)? Analyze your requirements and determine your course development needs.
Course development and deployment in an eLearning platform might seem daunting. That’s why we have put together these basic instructional design skills, that will enable you to develop your first training course relatively easily.
Putting together the right content and determining its length requires teamwork. For any plan that involves creative output, a detailed roadmap is needed. As a novice course developer, we highly recommend an ID design diagram, in which you decide the logic and content of your course. Use those paper stickies! Write down the content of each slide in the sticky and stick it on the wall.
Create more to show the bird’s eye view of your course. This is a great planning tip that is both practical and guides towards better practices. The best aspect in this type of “hands-on” course design is that you can change the flow of the course easily. You can involve your team in adding lessons or learning objectives. Remember, involving the team in this early phase will create a culture of responsibility-to-learn. What’s more, your team will eagerly anticipate the course!
Audio / video editing
Create audio clips and video messages in your courses. We are not talking about just the YouTube videos. While they are a great idea, and offer a great reference source, developing your own course-related video leads to superior training material. Audio and video clips add the “human touch” missing in the eLearning environment. With a plethora of audio and video editing tools, you will definitely find what you are looking for.
Instructional designers are also creative storytellers who craft areas within the story to embed learning objects and opportunities. Writing the course content requires professional writing standards. If you can write compelling emails, you can definitely write your training content.
Learning objectives in a course are actually problems that need to be solved using instruction. As a training designer, you will need to create instructional strategies to solve the learning goal delivery problem. Is storytelling better? Can you add interactivity to your lesson? What real-life examples can you use as analogies?
Managing the training design and development process is crucial for meeting the budget and time limitations. You may lack some of the skills mentioned, for which you will need to outsource those specific tasks. A project management tool will enable smoother execution of tasks.
PowerPoint / Presentations
PowerPoint is a “universal” instructional design platform. It’s also a great place to start working with content. Explore the many interactive features such as buttons and animations in PowerPoint and use them to enhance your training materials.
Online instruction developers are also dedicated multimedia developers. They are proficient in the use of image editing software, text editing software and web-based presentation software. There are several freebies available that will empower your instruction design toolbox. Play with a few tools to create diagrams and custom images for your course.
Professional instructional designers are also well-versed in user interactivity feature development, through applications and HTML programming. This language is one of the easiest to use and with a relatively short learning curve. Try writing the “hello world” program in HTML using help from YouTube videos. HTML5 is similar too, but it enables mobile interactivity in your courses.
A simple spreadsheet can be used to maintain learner names and performance ratings. Other surveys like pre and post-course questionnaires can also be developed using Excel. The results can be computed efficiently to improve the course and delivery methods in the future.