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  • Tom Brooksher

Back to Basics: 8 Steps for Creating ELearning

Every day, someone realizes they need a training program. It could be to provide onboarding to new employees, to launch a new product or customer, to minimize errors, to grow revenue, or to meet compliance requirements. They decide that an online program would be more beneficial than classroom training.

Then they run search terms like: “how to create online training,” “help me develop elearning,” or “online course development.” They get back millions of results, look at the first few pages and are more confused than ever.

What are they missing? A fundamental understanding of what it takes to create elearning courses.

Let's say you’re an expert at your job. You know the vocabulary, key issues and workflow. But online learning is a different job with a new language and process flow. Unless your job is to create elearning, you may feel like you’re in a foreign country and you don’t speak the language.

But you still need to create training. Where do you start? The best first step is to understand the process involved in creating elearning courses. Then you can begin to speak the language, understand what you need, and find someone who can help.

Eight Steps to Create an eLearning Module Here are the eight steps that most elearning experts use when they create an online course:

  1. Needs assessment: Determine why you need the training, what it needs to accomplish, who the audience is and what's the best way to teach them.

  2. Source material: Find out what material you have to work with. This includes presentations or manuals, product specification sheets, workflow documentation—anything that may help you understand what the training must cover and what should be taught.

  3. Subject matter expertise: Talk to subject matter experts and harvest their knowledge on the topic.

  4. Instructional design: Create the framework that the training will use to teach the material.

  5. Instructional assets: Write a script; develop a storyboard; and gather photos, illustrations, videos, audio and any other assets that will become a part of the course.

  6. Program development: Use a professional authoring tool (such as Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline) to build the screens and incorporate the instructional assets.

  7. Publishing and quality review: Produce the final version and perform a quality assurance check.

  8. Monitor and update: Review the effectiveness and improve or update it as needed.

That’s Lesson #1 in your own training to develop elearning courses. You may still feel like a "stranger in a strange land," but hopefully you’ll begin to find your way around and enjoy the experience!

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