Covid 19 has forced the schools and universities to close worldwide. The spread of viruses has accelerated the development of e-learning platforms. It has forced the universities to develop E-learning courses to keep the education process continuing. In many aspects, the education industry has gone remote. The only reason remote learning is so heavily promoted is due to the evolution of technology. Advanced AI and ML algorithms, coupled with deep learning, has made the transfer of education easy worldwide. Video conferencing platforms like WebEx and Zoom, Learning Management systems like Blackboard, and Google Classroom are heavily used for a non-disruptive knowledge transfer.
During this pandemic, educators are moving online and taking classes through the camera. Also, some are investing in the development of E-learning courses. For some, creating an eLearning course may sound a very difficult job owing to the number of things involved.
Hence, today in this article, we are going to present you with the steps to create an effective eLearning course. Read on to know more!
Step-by-Step Guide of an eLearning Course Development
Step 1: Know your Audience & Research the Subject Matter
Simply put, what is the objective of our course? Who is taking it? Importantly, what do they want to accomplish? The first step is to know our audience and define the requirements/expectations of the course. One of the major mistakes professionals can make while creating an eLearning course is market analysis. Effective assessment of the subject matter is of primary importance. If possible, gather the views of an SME (Subject Matter Expert) for knowing what content has to be included and what is to be omitted? Understand your audience via interviews, surveys, and social media groups to understand their purpose of taking eLearning courses. Determine their expectations before moving ahead.
Step 2: Gather the Source Material
Bring together all your source material for the course, including:
- Pdf Notes
- Test Series
Upon gathering all the elements, one needs to create eLearning content. This is to develop the course as it is the meat of the project. Create graphics, record audios, and use screen capture for generating videos.
Step 3: Choose the Right Authoring Tool
The right eLearning authoring tool is the ice-breaker of the situation. Therefore, it is very important to choose the finest authoring tool as that offers many features and functions. The eLearning authoring tool provides a perfect combination of flexibility and ease-of-use. The authoring tool has pre-made templates and a graphic library. These tools have features that are required for designing dynamic eLearning scenarios right from the start.
Step 4: Create an eLearning script
Leverage the above materials for creating an eLearning script based on the expectations of the course. Ensure that your content matches the expectation bar you set for your students. Before initiating the development process, make sure that SMEs have approved your content.
Step 5: Keep Audio,video, and Graphic Elements Simple
It could be tempting to go a mile extra when you’re coupling multimedia into your eLearning course. One may have an urge to incorporate too many graphics or deluge the learners with an abundance of stuff. Don’t go overboard. Resist the urge and keep things simple. If you know how to generate and implement advanced online learning scenarios, then feel free to combine those, but don’t consider this step mandatory. Keep the audios, videos, and graphic elements to the minimum. This reduces the complexity of the design and development process. Just keep the focus on the subject matter. Ensure that your content serves the primary objective, of course. Avoid lengthy paras and have the notes delivered into bullet points for avoiding cognitive overload.
Step 6: Add Multimedia and Resources through Links
If you don’t have the skill set or the right tools for creating multimedia elements on your own, then simply add these links to presentations, videos, and other resources into your eLearning course. It gives an opportunity for your learners to access information quickly. They don’t have to scour the web for the related multimedia. Also, it makes your course look more professional and polished as it is directly related to the content available on youtube and other channels.
Step 7: Have an eLearning template
There are several eLearning sites and tools that provide access to the page layout templates. Instead of creating the complete layout from scratch, one can just leverage these templates and reduce the development time. This gives an opportunity for the inexperienced ones to develop their personal eLearning courses without any technical knowledge. The eLearning veterans can also utilize these templates for designing the course, especially when they don’t have enough resources or time to develop the curriculum.
Step 8: Don’t Forget the visual Appeal
We tend to like what we see. This notion holds everywhere. Defining the visual appeal of your eLearning course again has an impact on your learners’ mindset. The outlook designing depends on colors, images, fonts, animations, movements you will use for creating an eLearning course that looks appealing.
Step 9: Choose a Cloud-Based System
In this eLearning environment, professionals have numerous tools and technologies at their bay. One can even design the complete system right from scratch using a cloud-based learning management system. Even with a no-design background, one can easily avail these fantastic platforms. The cloud-based systems have the ability to make your e-learning course interactive by integrating various quizzes, calendars, reminders, and much more. The highlight of this is that many cloud-based learning management systems charge monthly fees. So, it is essential to determine how much of your budget can go into this?
Step 10: Get it verified
Bring all the elements together under one platform. There are several solutions that can aid you in bringing these sections into one cohesive course. One can also get the SMEs and other stakeholders to verify and approve the project.
Leverage these steps for creating eLearning courses in spite of the fact that eLearning courses cost a lot of money and time. Using the above techniques, it is easier to produce meaningful online courses.
Tools Helpful in the eLearning Course Development
In the above steps, we have mentioned some areas of development, including-
There are certain free eLearning tools that help you get started with the process.
Free Graphics Tools and Resources
Creating infographics, beautiful charts, or visuals online is easier, even for the people who don’t have any previous design experience. Few of the graphics tool are as follows-
- Canva: Used for creating collages, infographics, charts, and marketing promotions.
- Gliffy: Allows the users to generate up to five public diagrams, org charts, flowcharts in a month for free
- Piktochart: Leverages premade designs and templates for creating infographics.
- Pixlr: Allows the editing of graphics or photos for free.
- Venngage: Helps in presenting your data through infographics.
- Unsplash: Helps in finding beautiful and free usable images.
- Easel.ly: Helps in designing and sharing visual infographics online.
- Google Charts: Translate your data into powerful graphs and charts.
- Wordle: Generate word clouds for illustrating different themes or idea clusters.
Free Audio Software Tools
Following audio tools help in recording segments, and then editing, mixing, and downloading them to utilize in your custom eLearning course:
- Ardour: Allows recording, editing, and mixing your audio files across all PC or Mac devices.
- Audacity: Audacity is an open-source, and cross-platform recording and editing software.
- Voki: The software launches speaking characters in the presentations, powered-by customizable avatars.
- vozMe: Translates written text into the downloadable spoken mp3s.
Free video and Animation Tools for eLearning
Animations help in making custom eLearning courses more powerful. Some of the tools are-
- Camtasia: This drag-and-drop software helps in finishing videos, adding special effects, and music graphics.
- Snagit: Generating and editing of video or screenshots and converting them into animated GIFs.
- Screencast-O-Matic: The software allows the recording up to 15 minutes of on-screen activities for presentations and short tutorials.
Tools for eLearning Interactions and Asessments
Quizzes, polls, Surveys, and other assessment tools ensure the learning of students during the course. Some of the tools available in the market-
- Easy Test Maker: Helps in creating fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, true/false, and short answer questions.
- Google Forms: Helps in creating surveys using a simple online form with the results organized in a spreadsheet.
- Formsite: The software has more than 100 customizable templates and 40 question types for generating surveys, forms, and quizzes.
- SurveyMonkey: It is the world’s leading survey platform with an easy-to-use interface.
Free eLearning Authoring Tools
The authoring tools have useful features for creating a custom eLearning course. The software helps in creating scenes, videos, graphics, interactions for your course.
- iSpring: Use your PowerPoint presentations, integrate quizzes, and publish them directly to your learning management system.
- SmartBuilder: Creation of Flash eLearning courses.
- Udutu: The software allows access of assessments, templates, SCORM conversions, and interactions using the platform.
- Easygenerator: The software has a free option which permits the creation of up to ten courses, coupled with pre-packaged interactions.
- LCDS by Microsoft: The software helps in creating qualitative and interactive online courses.
Take Home Message
Quarantining is the sole solution for ceasing the spread of this deadly virus. In this isolation period, launching an eLearning course comes handy in serving the masses. All the age learners can benefit from this online mode of education and keep expanding their learning growth chart. In this article, we have discussed the development of eLearning courses in detail, covering the range of tools utilized for the same.
At Matellio, we wish to play our role in serving mankind. Feel free to contact us with any queries you might have. Our experts will get back to you within 24 business hours.