Creating eLearningBy Bruce Graham - Added 7th of September 2009
Our eLearning Vision, and some thoughts...
eLearning and the Language of Business
We talk the language of business, and then build eLearning that is related to your business needs. Training should not be the end result of the eLearning, your business is, and this is missed by many learning companies. Our goal is to contribute to your business success.
To have training success measured in this way is still quite unusual, but will elevate the visibility of training within your organisation, as the real value can now be seen. You can start to measure and monetise your contribution (and ours...), in £s and $s.
You will hear this term used a lot in eLearning! Whilst the theory of good course design is important, it's very often just a way for production companies to justify more work and larger fees. We try not to get caught up in too many technicalities. We focus on the organisation, the business needs, what is the desired learning outcome, and how success is going to be measured. Once we know those things, we are in a good position to work with you and start to build your course. We'll suggest some ways that you might want to design your course, but in the end, it's up to you.
A lot of eLearning in the past has been dull, "Death by PowerPoint, on a PC" training. The output here is often that people just start to do read email.
The voice is a powerful tool if used correctly, and well-delivered audio on top of slides can make the slides and content "come alive". We would recommend you consider interactivity, (a standard feature of our production platform), to increase the likelihood of effective learning, (see below).
The addition of Exercises, (either before, during or after learning) makes a critical link between the learning, and the "real work-life" of the course-taker. You may want to consider this in your courses.
This term is used to describe the latest generation of eLearning tools, such as ours. They allow producers operate without needing teams of programmers. Using a number of templates that can be customised, existing content can be converted, or new content created. This is what allows us to be fast, responsive to your needs, and deploy at costs that may surprise you!
Interactivity, Quizzes, tests and Knowledge Checks
We can create Interactions, where your course-takers come out of "passive" mode and interact with the course. This may be clicking on different areas of a Timeline, or clicking on areas of a screenshot or product photo to learn more. We can attach FAQs, Glossaries, and Slides to courses.
If this is what you want, we'll work with you to produce these, adding audio, graphic and video multimedia elements if you request them.
"Branching" within a course allows you to set questions for your users, and have the course behave in various ways depending on the answers they take. Could this be useful to you?
Current eLearning technology makes it possible to easily add Quizzes, Learning Games and Tests into a course. These reinforce learning. You might also want to create a Quiz to check understanding before a course is taken; or a Survey to check how the course was received - these are also possible.
We know that your core aim is to focus on the success of your business, and training is only part of that business. We do not design our eLearning to have all the latest features and functionality, according to latest learning theory - we design effective eLearning, using features and functionality that ultimately affects your bottom line.
Many eLearning companies try and make the courses fit their aspirations, they want to use you as a Reference site before they have actually created anything! We have no preconceptions about your eLearning requirements - we design according to your needs, and what you want to achieve for your business, and your users. It's because of our client success that they let us use them as References.
Making it Real
Many companies already have a brand that staff members recognise - a corporate PowerPoint template. We will try and use this, and your corporate colours to create a professional "Look and Feel" for your courses. Using your logo and corporate graphics/music (if you have them) adds to an end-product that your staff will recognise. This helps with uptake. We can provide any of these elements for the learning if you do not have them available already. Of course, you may want a new Look and Feel for your eLearning deployment; we can help with this if required.
If you do not have existing collateral to turn into eLearning, we can work with you to rapidly create the content. We will go through a couple of QA/checking cycles with you, and some users if necessary, to check that the content fully meets your needs.
When we start to work with you on eLearning, we will start by understanding what "success" means to you. We want to measure success in business terms, in business results, not consumption. Agreement on this makes the production process even more rapid than it already is. A lot of eLearning makes no connection between what the course has taught, and what the consumer needs to do after finishing the course. You may want to consider ending courses with a "Behaviours for Success" section, i.e. a section that explains, easily and clearly to course-takers how they can now implement this learning in the workplace.
Lifespan of courses
When you start to produce a course, you should consider the lifespan of the course - when will the content need to be reviewed, and when should it be updated. This needs formal ownership and formal processes in most cases, or else you run the risk of just having a server full of useless content.
Credits & LinksWritten by Bruce Graham (www.the-development-zone.co.uk).
Information for PublishersThis article is copyrighted and you do not have consent to copy or redistribute it without written consent from the author.
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