How to design an e-learning programme

Thu 16 Feb 2023

Learning & Development (L&D) teams are responsible for delivering development courses in the workplace to upskill employees. With the implementation of technology in the workplace, eLearning  programmes have become a great way to close skill gaps, empower employees and assist career progression. 

Learning how to develop eLearning programs is an essential skill for L&D managers. 

In this article, we will  be giving you a step-by-step guide on how to develop an eLearning programme for your next L&D project. 

What is eLearning?

Electronic learning (eLearning) is a type of learning process centralised around the delivery of education through means of electronic devices and platforms such as computers, iPads, and the internet. 

eLearning can be conducted in OR out of the classroom, but the essential principle is that computers or the internet form the main elements of learning. 

With the convenience and influence technology has on our lives and careers, eLearning plays an important role in delivering workplace teaching and development training courses. Knowing how to develop eLearning courses is an important skill to possess as an L&D manager. 

Step 1: Establish your areas of improvement

Before designing your learning course, it is essential to establish the objectives of your course. What are you trying to achieve? 

Identifying key areas of improvement within the business will allow you to identify skill and knowledge gaps among employees. Perhaps employees struggle to use certain software, or they lack sales skills? You will now know which training topic to target and what to base your course design around; for example, product training. Base your eLearning goals around your targets for improvement.

Before moving on to the next step, identify who you will target with your eLearning course. This way, you will know what skill level to base your learning design around. It is never “effective learning” to teach advanced-level content to trainee staff, so take that into consideration. 

Step 2: Create a prototype

Creating a prototype on diagramming applications such Visio will help greatly with the design and development process. You will be able to visualise where to place your media, quizzes, images and more by establishing a layout.

Determine the learning objectives you want for this course and what you want learners to achieve. This will be a great way to manage expectations of success from the course and will help you understand what materials and content you will need. Noting down a draft script will also help determine important educational aspects of your program .

You can test if this is an engaging layout by trialling your program out on peers and asking them to do a survey afterwards. 

Step 3: Plan and gather content

Gather any materials you need and check out eLearning design examples. Videos, images, audio, and past successful training materials all make for a great learning experience. Learners can be more engaged and stimulated if you use exciting content and make the digital learning experience more interesting with multimedia. Making materials on websites with a free trial such as Canva, can be a great way of creating interesting, engaging graphics. 

Plan your eLearning content around your source materials and content, and always focus on your objectives so you don’t lose sight of your main aim of the eLearning program. Once you have completed the final draft, it is vital to review your content. Check for typos or any technical errors to ensure an easy eLearning experience, and make sure your content links back to your objectives. 

Step 4: Course manual and training

Once you have developed and finalised your eLearning program, you now need to develop a manual to ensure those conducting the course understand how to deliver it. The manual should also include any technical IT aspects that are important in the program’s delivery. 

It can be useful to trial run the program on the IT system in the establishment where it will be delivered. This will ensure smooth running and fix any technical issues or address their solutions in the manual.

Once you have successfully established the smooth running of the course, you can train the course conductor and IT staff on the program and its technicalities. They will now be able to promote and deliver their course. 

Step 5: Measure course success 

Measuring course success can be done in a number of ways. Surveys before and after the course can allow you to assess the difference in learner confidence, however, surveys do not always produce reliable results.

Alternatively, quizzes before, throughout and after the course can allow you to see learner progression, however, this does not always showcase long term learner development. 

Ultimately, it is beneficial to monitor the development progress of individuals and the company during the weeks and months after the program. This level of assessment can be conducted by the L&D team.

eLearning design courses are a great way to learn how to design an eLearning program. Through online learning, our Digital Learning Design online course will give you the real-life skills to develop eLearning programs. 

Enrol in our Digital Learning Design course to give you the skills to progress your career.

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Digital Learning Design

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