Creating Good Courses

E-learning expert Tom Kuhlmann has, in the past, tackled the subject of how to create engaging e-learning in his Rapid E-learning Blog. Not long ago, he decided to pull together

E-learning expert Tom Kuhlmann has, in the past, tackled the subject of how to create engaging e-learning in his Rapid E-learning Blog. Not long ago, he decided to pull together 10 fundamental ideas that he compiled from his experiences.

Here are his top three rules, verbatim from the blog:

Rule 1: Don’t Create the Course

This is probably not the advice your client wants to hear. But let’s face it: There’s quite a bit of e-learning that’s just a big waste of time. If the course isn’t tied to real performance improvements, it might not be worth building. During the initial project meetings, I try to get the client to tie the course to real performance goals. If he or she can’t, then I suggest that a course might not be the best option.

Besides, many of the courses we create are just sharing information that’s already available in other places like the organization’s intranet or via job aids. Why build an e-learning course that rehashes information available elsewhere? If anything, build a course that teaches people how to find the resources already available to them.

Rule 2: The Course Needs to be Relevant to the Learner

Most boring courses are the result of the content not being relevant to the learner. Even if you build simple compliance training, there’s a way to make it relevant. Talk to your learners to find out how they use the compliance information. Then place the course in a context where it makes sense for the learner.

Also, consider that not all learners are created equal. They come to the courses with different levels of experience and knowledge. By creating a learner-centric course, you can accommodate their diverse needs.

The key to interactive courses is not multimedia, rollovers, or drag-and-drop interactions. Instead, it’s how the learner will interact with the content. Create courses where the learner doesn’t just passively receive information. Instead give him or her opportunities to reflect on and use the information to make decisions and get feedback.

Rule 3: Understand Your Objectives

If all you’re trying to do is share information and track completion before December 31st, then build a course that’s appropriate for those objectives. The best bet might be to make it easy for the learners to find the information, complete the course, and get back to productive work.

On the other hand, if you’re building a course where you desire to change behaviors, an information dump is not going to work. In that case, you want a course that builds the skills the learner will need to meet the performance goals.

The Rest

To see the other seven rules, visit the URL www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/here-are-ten-rules-to-create-engaging-elearning/.

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