A Q_A with the Queen of Customizable Courseware

Today I sat down with Chris Willis, Senior Product Manager for Customizable Courseware, and got the scoop on this growing catalog of fully built, fully customizable training courses. Chris lives and breathes Customizable Courseware and is a huge part of how quickly we’re building our catalog for you.

 

When we first brought up the idea of Customizable Courseware to you, what was your reaction?

You mean, my reaction after, “If I could design my dream job, it would be bringing Customizable Courseware to life!”

Seriously, from a learning product standpoint, I was blown away by the CC (Customizable Courseware) concept of offering interchangeable Instructor-Led Training (ILT) and eLearning. In my former life, leading a custom learning development company, we developed a lot of training programs for large, geographically dispersed workplaces. They would engage us to develop the same program as eLearning, then create coordinating classroom materials their internal managers could deliver to business units and regions where eLearning was not practical or culturally desirable. That experience opened the door to many interesting blended learning scenarios. It also made me a huge proponent of blended learning.

So, I immediately recognized the vision and the market need for the Customizable Courseware model. There are many mid-size and small organizations that have the same training needs as big corporations, but don’t have the budget to develop completely custom learning from scratch—and certainly not in both eLearning and classroom formats. I know from working closely with internal training departments that the people developing eLearning are almost always overburdened, and those delivering classroom training are most often not professional facilitators.

It was as if all roads in my past experience brought me to being uniquely positioned to build a product specifically designed to benefit the Customizable Courseware customer.

Opening up a Customizable Courseware module is basically like Christmas, right? Can you walk us through all the different files and resources that each course includes?

Yes, if Santa was an Instructional Designer, he would bring you Customizable Courseware on Christmas morning!

Start by downloading the eLearning package for your course in your favorite eLearning development tool. In that ZIP file, you’ll find a nifty little Getting Started doc that provides an overview of everything in your course package, for both the eLearning and the ILT/Classroom components. I highly encourage all customers to start there to save time and make sure you don’t miss something.

The eLearning package includes multiple LMS-ready, published formats of your course files for SCORM and xAPI, so you’re ready to rock right out of the box. If you plan to edit your course, there’s a Course Map or, new for our Safety titles, a comprehensive course transcript with thumbnail screen images to help guide you. Source files are available in Adobe® Captivate, Trivantis® Lectora, and/or Articulate® Storyline file types.

We also give you all the graphic source files for images that are not natively built within the tool. That’s part of our Customizable Courseware commitment to keep you in control of the learning.

The course Job Aid is a nice touch. It’s a printable reminder of key points from the course that customers can post to promote the training, or as a take-away reminder for participants. We make the job aid in PowerPoint so customers can brand it or coordinate it with any changes they make to the course. That control thing, again. The Job Aid is included in both the ILT and eLearning packages, for customers who start with only one mode of learning.

Which is a great segue to the ILT download. That includes your Instructor and Facilitator Guides in MS Word, and coordinating PowerPoint deck. Your ILT also includes your quiz files and any supplemental classroom materials.

You host some great webinars showing off how Customizable Courseware works. What’s one common question webinar attendees ask?

The first thing participants ask is about Customizable Courseware licensing. And, to be honest, our licensing has evolved based on customer feedback. Customizable Courseware is now licensed with a one-time fee for the lifetime use of the course by the purchasing customer. And we now offer different subscription and bundle options so that we can better meet the needs of different types and sizes of customers.

So when participants ask, how much does Customizable Courseware cost and where can I get it, I know they would like an immediate answer, but I’m always going to direct them to their eLB account rep. Our folks will be able to best match your needs with the package that offers the greatest value based on your current and future business needs.

Here at eLearning Brothers, we work with everyone from learning developers to CEOs to ensure that they have what they need to create and deliver rockstar training. What do you think the biggest benefit of Customizable Courseware is to the front-line eLearning developer who is in the trenches every day, trying to creating engaging content AND meet deadlines?

Control. Control. Control.

Did I mention … control?

We give the in-house instructional design and development team full control of our Customizable Courseware courses in every way. Every word, every color, every image… down to how we include the transcript with our safety courses to give them an easy way to receive a single, clear markup from their internal compliance team. This takes away the burden of reading minds and trying to make complex interactions work, especially in mobile, and let’s them focus on the fun part of customizing and developing interactive learning.

And on the flip side, if you were talking to senior level executives about Customizable Courseware, what would you say the benefits are to them?

The customizable aspect of Customizable Courseware offers an intrinsic business value in enabling targeted, engaging, and relevant learning. But the Customizable Courseware benefit specific to the C-Suite is in giving the business a greater Return On Investment (ROI), by helping their internal training department do more with less.

We understand that these modules are like your children, and it’s impossible to pick a favorite child…but…really, which Customizable Courseware module is your favorite?

Is it a cop-out to say that each new title is my new favorite? Because like our devs out in the field, we, too, learn something new with each new course. The courses keep getting more blendable, and we keep coming up with new little twists of humor. We’re eLB, so, yeah, we have days when we crack each other up.

If you press me, I will say that there is a special place in my heart for the Business Ethics course from the Soft Skills library. On a very personal level, the idea that our CC course is positively influencing ethical business practice across customer organizations truly ties together my own personal values and eLB culture.

 

Thank you, Chris, for sharing your time and insights on Customizable Courseware with us!

If you’re reading this and thinking “I need to get me this Customizable Courseware thing ASAP!” just reach out to your account rep or give us a call at 801-796-BROS. Or visit our Customizable Courseware page to get more info.

 

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