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Best Practices for Creating Online Courses

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There are many things to think about when creating eLearning. There’s no way that I can mention all of them in this post but I’d like to mention a few that come to the top of my mind.

Course Outline / Storyboarding

  • Know the audience
  • Find good SMEs
  • Always create an outline of the course
  • Storyboarding allows you to structure content flow
  • Decide what knowledge/skills need to be taught first
  • SMEs can take a glance at the flow and content
  • Content creating will go more quickly (it’s faster than creating content and then starting over)

Text

  • Learners scan, they don’t read
  • Keep it simple
  • Don’t introduce too much information at once (chunks)
  • Use bullets/lists
  • Avoid font color
  • Use bold and italics sparingly
  • Talk to learners or not (choose a style)
  • Formal or informal verbiage

Example: Bad

These are challenging times for the financial services industry.

Increased competition, recent uncertainty in the markets, and increasing expectations are just a few of the challenges we face as we seek to strengthen relationships with our clients.

Example: Good

These are challenging times for the financial services industry.

As we seek to strengthen relationships with our clients, we face:

  • Increased competition
  • Market uncertainty
  • Increased expectations

Consistency

  • Font (Headers, body)
  • Colors (text, images)
  • Grammar (tense, spelling, etc.)
  • Bullets
  • Image placement
  • Introduction pages, end of lesson, test launch, evaluation, etc.
  • Interface and navigation
  • Job Aids and reference material
  • Formatting of list of steps
  • Hyphenated words consistent (i.e. on-line vs. online)

Image Selection/Design

  • Learners scan text and often look at images first
  • Can learners understand your page by only looking at the image?
  • Make them meaningful. (not gratuitous images)
  • Explain the process visually
  • Import the.png, jpg, gif into PowerPoint for best quality
  • Can part of the text on the page be in the image?

Tests/Assessments

  • Ensure that the questions are answered
  • Decide an appropriate number of questions based on the needed score to pass
  • Will you have a pool of questions?
  • Should the questions be randomized?
  • Submit after each question vs. submit all at once
  • Quizzes vs. tests

Quality Review

  • Always click through the finished course before and after the final upload to the LMS
  • Have someone outside of your area click through the course
  • Don’t test the course on the same computer that it was created on

I hope that the previous list helps get you thinking while designing online training.

One Comment

  1. I really liked this information. I am new to this eLearning industry and I am getting all these concepts slowly. The information is adequate.

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