Are you developing online training content (eLearning)? Do you want to save money and time? Are there multiple members on your team and you need everything to be consistent? Are there varying levels of technical expertise on the team?
These are just a few questions that we come across while building online training content. Using templates to build eLearning can address many of the questions above. Before discussing a few points let me describe what I mean by eLearning templates.
Templates can include many different assets. Many common ones are PowerPoint master slide layouts that have many different pages ready for you to insert content. There are also various tools that create template interfaces and GUIs for courses. E-learning templates can include buttons, icons, color schemes, images, quizzes, games, and more. Basically they can be used over and over in different projects. Now let’s discuss a few benefits.
Save Time and Effort
Wouldn’t it be nice to have the interface, page layouts, buttons, icons, colors, and the most often used components of an online course ready to go? Right there on your desktop and ready to drag and drop into place?
Having templates ready to go means that you don’t have to waste time re-creating the same pieces for each course. This can be very valuable for those who may not have a strong background in multimedia. It could take a novice designer a long time to create a flash movie or design an asset that an expert could do in minutes. Also, the quality will be very different.
Another huge plus is that the designers can now spend time focusing on writing good material and less on how to make a button look pretty.
Many organizations want their online courses to be consistent. They should have the same colors, look/feel, quality, etc. no matter who the individual designer was. Templates can help achieve this desire. Designers have a base to work from and are all using the same files.
You can also develop a template interface player. This would ensure that learners always have the same navigation options on each course. You could also standardize where links to job aids, outlines, bookmarks, and other features appear. The learner becomes familiar with navigating your course and doesn’t need to waste time trying to figure that part out. They can jump right into the training.
Are there certain requirements that your Learning Management System has for courses to function properly? Are there guidelines that the IT department has? Templates are a great way to build a file that works within all guidelines and then to share it with the entire department. As designers use the template it cuts down on troubleshooting time trying to determine why something isn’t working. That effort has already been done and only needs to happen once.
Move Beyond Your Talent
There are some amazing multimedia designers that can create some great content for online training. Not all instructional designers are good at creating multimedia. Templates can be created to add a lot of professionally designed interactivity and games to courses. All you have to know how to do is edit the template and then you can add content that is beyond your skill level to create on your own.
Increase Output and Creativity
I touched on this earlier but e learning templates allow designers to spend time on what they do best…writing course content. Templates can allow you to spend project time on the “meat” of the course and not on the “administrative” parts. This has two consequences: 1. You can spend time thinking of creative ways to make your course interesting and 2. You can build more courses in a shorter amount of time.
I hope that this article gave you a few ideas around how eLearning templates can help you and your team.
If you would like to see some templates here are some examples: