Elearning is a learning system based on formalised teaching but with the help of electronic resources. Elearning can also be termed as a network enabled transfer of skills and knowledge, where the delivery of education is made to a large number of recipients at the same or different times. Typically, eLearning means delivering all or part of a course digitally, whether it’s in a school, part of your mandatory business training or a distance learning course. For any eLearning course to be a success the content must be engaging, as well as effective and helpful for the learner. This requires efforts for creating and implementing certain practices for developing the best eLearning content.
Thus, in this article we are going to discuss about the best practices for eLearning content development.
What is eLearning Content Development?
eLearning content development is a serious business. It is a process which ensures that training is correct, impactful and creates a good learning experience for the learners. Developing a good and successful eLearning course requires efforts. Before the content is developed, it is important to determine whether the learning problem on hand is worthy of being researched and developed into a course. Once the key learning goals have been decided, training need has been analysed, and it is known what learners like and what they don’t, content for the eLearning course is developed. The richer the learning experience, the more difficult is its creation. Thus, good content development is based on several strategies and practices. The best practices for eLearning content development are –
- Convenient and Accessible: eLearning content should always be easy to access anytime, anywhere. It should always be less time consuming since eLearning courses are made available because they are more convenient for the learners. Content should also be easy to understand and comprehend for the learner.
- User Experience: Analysing the audience and understanding their needs is the most important part of developing any eLearning course. All eLearning content is effective only when it gives the learner an opportunity to explore the topic of interest, understand the content and reassess their knowledge. Thus, content must be interactive, engaging as well as successful in transmitting knowledge to generate a creative learning experience for the user.
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- Bite-sized Content: While developing any eLearning content, it is always important to keep in mind that people mostly access eLearning courses when traditional classroom learning is not possible. Provide content in bite- sized chunks that is only related to the subject matter, is to the point and not much time consuming. For instance, a 1-hour tutorial should be broken into 4 mini tutorials, so learner’s interest is maintained, attention remains focused.
- Customise your Content: eLearning content should be such that it suits every learner’s needs and requirements. Try to develop content that is easy to understand and sensitive to the needs of all and that can be accessible to learners at any time of convenience. Content must be equally impactful for all learners, including the disabled. For instance, Ginger and Ghotit for those who cannot write and Intel reader for sensory disability should be provided.
- Impressive Content Design: Effective eLearning content should be easy to grasp and visually appealing. Content should include short text blocks, larger and attractive font size and style as well as greater use of videos and images for better understanding and knowledge. Introduce animations and verbal explanations to create a fully immersive environment. Use striking colours, add stories and use examples to create an overall bold visual design.
- Multiple Learning Channels: Besides your own eLearning content, provide links to additional content such as websites or other programs that provide similar or related material, to enhance knowledge and provide detailed understanding. Add social media icons so that content can be shared and discussed with a wider audience. Also provide links to studies, researches and videos for a better learning experience.
- Evaluation through Competition: Competition helps keep the interest alive for learners. Include tests, assignments, projects and interactive games to maintain learner interest and evaluate performance. Give learners the option to review learning content and reassess their performance whenever needed. Competition helps enhance problem solving and cognitive abilities and motivates learners to widen their knowledge and constantly perform better.
There is no one roadmap to eLearning content development. The size of the team, the nature of the course and the specific demands of the users are major deciding factors. The best practices for eLearning content development necessitate a combination of creativity, technical skills, teamwork and good management. Regardless of how challenging content development can be, it is always a fun process and the results are rewarding.