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How to Develop eLearning Content?

How to Develop eLearning Content?

Elearning content development is always a challenge. And creating content that will appeal to learners and bring them maximum benefit is an even more complex process. You always need to keep in mind many nuances, and one idea is often not enough to create full-fledged educational content.

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Marketing Specialist, Raccoon Gang

Daria is the e-learning enthusiast with 6+ years of experience in Marketing. Holding the position of Digital Marketing Specialist at RG she explores trends and innovations in education.

How to Develop eLearning Content?

When deciding How to Develop eLearning Content, you need to be armed with specific knowledge. We've prepared some valuable tips to answer the most common question: “How do you develop eLearning content?”. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Tip #1. Learn Your Target Audience and Build a Concept

Without proper target audience analysis, you run the risk of not getting anywhere in eLearning content development. The better you understand your target audience, the more apparent it will be for you which type of educational material you need to deliver. To understand your future learners, you should study the following audience criteria:

  • Primary goals and objectives. All students enroll in a course with specific goals that they want to achieve. You need to understand what your students want to gain and build content that can satisfy those aspirations. For example, if your course teaches how to work with 3D graphics, students will want to create their projects to practice their knowledge. Set the final goal of the course to create a complex scene, and for which you will gradually prepare students through various units with new creative tasks.

  • Learners' educational background. Students' existing knowledge can also shape out your learning content. If you teach more advanced 3D techniques such as animation, it’s unlikely that your students will need to learn the basics of 3D again. Learners' educational background will help you more accurately determine the content of your eLearning material.

  • When, where, and how they'll consume your eLearning content. These nuances also greatly influence the format of your content. For example, if you have concluded that students can study your course in a public place, you should have a text version of audio and video materials. Besides, consider the student devices that will be used during training. They affect your course’s visual aspect (for example, not all images will look equally good on smartphones and laptops). And don't forget about offline access to educational materials.  Pack your learning material into various formats (for example, pack your text part into PDF, presentations into PowerPoint files and leave a download link at the start of each unit for later offline study).

Knowing your audience will help you move on to conceptualizing your training course, and these indispensable approaches will help you with this:

Conceptualizing your training course

Сonceptualize your training course

  • Mind mapping - Create a "note map" with educational material to determine the initial structure of the content and the importance of different material parts.

  • Storyboarding - A visualized sequence of content, written in a script, comic strip, or any other form for consistent presentation.

  • Action mapping - A handy approach for creating efficient practice activities.

  • Wireframing - The process of creating content layouts without going deep into the design.

Mix these approaches and create the first prototype of your content to show to unbiased people for feedback. Conceptualizing your training course will help you identify various weaknesses in your concept and help eliminate all flaws before entering the active eLearning content development phase.

Tip #2. Find Competent Person to Handle Your eLearning Content Development

The subject matter expert or simply SME plays a considerable role in eLearning content development. This is because these specialists have the necessary experience in creating courses, a large store of knowledge, and such a trait as insight, which helps to understand what the student wants to see.

While SMEs are mainly behind the scenes of course creation and do not always need to create live seminars or record video lecture series, time is an important criterion. Creating quality content is always time-consuming, and therefore you should look for a subject matter expert who is not currently involved in many projects. This will help you not pressure the content creators with strict deadlines and prevent the quality of the produced content from falling.

Tip #3. Draw up an Intuitive Learning Structure

Elearning content development is not only about research, writing text, creating videos and presentations. It is also a thoughtful structuring of all content, assessments, and other materials throughout the course. Content that answers specific questions and solves particular problems should be organized into separate modules, and this should be done with all training material.

Also, don't forget about the pace and progression during eLearning content development. The first modules of various topics should be devoted to the essential knowledge that creates the foundation for further delving into the subject. As you delve deeper into the matter, it is worth starting to add variety to the content, gradually changing the course towards more practical learning. Supplement the training material with various quizzes, tests, and assignments that will help consolidate knowledge in practice. And the final stage will be the significant knowledge assessment, which affects the overall result of the course.

Tip #4. Use All Possible Learning Styles

All students are different and perceive the teaching material differently. This aspect is crucial to consider when starting eLearning content development. For example, some students perceive material in video format better, while others better remember material structured in various tables and graphs.
Many people ask, "How can I make my eLearning more engaging?" Our answer is - “Use different learning styles and content formats.” There are six types of content in online learning:

Content types Description
Training Videos It would be folly to deny that video materials are often more interesting than static text or pictures. Video materials include such types as webinars, embedded videos, standalone training videos, video tutorials, and screencasts.
Dialogue Simulations This content involves the creation of a dialogue that encourages the student to express their point of view, argue for it, negotiate and come to a common ground using branched scenarios in a risk-free environment.
AR and VR Simulations AR and VR allow you to create various environments and scenarios around students to use knowledge in practice. These technologies are an excellent option for teaching complex professions and skills, be it an airplane pilot, neurosurgeon, and others.
eLearning Games Gamification is one of the most common ways to learn and improve engagement. It includes in-game elements such as badges, leaderboards, achievements, in-system rewards, and more.
Quizzes They help test and consolidate the knowledge in a calm atmosphere without a substantial impact on the final course result. Using them, educators can understand whether the training is achieving needed goals.
Slide Presentations The most basic and familiar content that is easy to create. It consists of sequential slides with text, illustrations, and various transition effects to structure the presented material.

Implement and shuffle different types of content during eLearning content development to ensure that the course is always fresh and reaches the largest possible audience of learners.

Tip #5. Implement Active Learning

First of all, let’s start with the basics. Active learning is a learning option that uses active discussion, case studies, role play, and other techniques that actively encourage students to discuss and engage in the learning process. 

Nobody forbids you to create your course without these elements and build it only with texts and tests. However, with active learning in your arsenal, you will significantly increase the course’s uniqueness, value, and ease of learning material assimilation.

Active Learning vs passive learning

For example, your course aims to train new support workers for a company. Introduce a small role-play task in one of your modules, in which one student plays the role of the client, and the other plays the role of the support service. Playfully, this approach will help the student apply the acquired static knowledge, teach to work in a stressful situation when there is little time for a response, and significantly diversify the learning process.

The above example is just one of the options for active learning, and with a good imagination, its elements can be implemented in almost any course.

Tip #6. Keep it Short, Simple yet High Quality

It’s essential to have a sense of proportion during eLearning content development. If you make content that is too long in time, you risk losing students’ attention. If you make it too short, you may not fit all the critical thoughts. Many experts believe that the ideal length for an online course is 15 to 30 minutes. However, how to include all the material into such a strict time frame?

We answer that you don't have to implement everything you have prepared. Include only content that is necessary to achieve learning outcomes. Various elements that look good, but do not carry any useful purpose, should be cut out so as not to take up valuable course time.

Also, do not forget about the quality of the content produced. Always ask an outside expert from your environment to take a fresh look at your eLearning content. Proofread your texts, check audio tracks for correct splicing and absence of background noises, view created videos evaluating the quality of editing and video effects. All this is extremely necessary to roll out flawless eLearning content.

Tip #7. Make an eLearning content Original

The final Tip in eLearning content development that we will tell you about is reasonably apparent. Your course must be unique. We are not saying that if your course does not reach 100% uniqueness, it does not need to be released. It is almost impossible to achieve such a high result since your course may have competitors. You can’t paraphrase the terminology in any way, and statistical data may be repeated, etc.

However, the more unique your course is, the better. This goal should be set at the very beginning of the eLearning content development process. Draw unique tables, infographics, and charts, create one-of-a-kind videos, audio tracks, and assignments for students. This approach will help you make genuinely unforgettable learning outcomes which will help your course to stand out from the crowd.

Wrapping Up

Content is the basis of every course, and you need to approach eLearning content development wisely. Poor content can scare away your audience or bring zero value, while flawlessly crafted learning material can teach thousands of learners and stand out from competitors. In our humble opinion, to develop eLearning content and online course, it is always better to turn to a professional team that can help you establish the educational process without a hitch.

We are at Raccoon Gang have in-depth expertise in creating custom eLearning solutions for all-sized businesses in different domains. Our experts can consult you on all your eLearning-related questions. All you need to do is drop us a line, and our representative will contact you within 24-hours. 

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