How to Create an eLearning or Online Training Course?
The internet has opened the doors to people building a solid business by sharing their knowledge and delving into e-learning. This concept englobes programs, classes, and courses you can access exclusively online. In simple words, eLearning is all about using digital tools to access and share educational content outside of traditional institutions.
It doesn’t matter if they're meant for a broad, public audience or internal purposes inside a business. Online courses are an effective tool to facilitate learning experiences. However, creating eLearning content can seem a bit overwhelming for anyone with little or no experience in the matter.
The good news, though, is that in this article, we will share how to create an eLearning or online training course that your learners will appreciate. So, if you’re tempted to dip your toes into this vast digital ecosystem, you can start here.
First, you need to know about the three fundamental pillars that hold e-learning together: content, technology, and distribution. And, most importantly, how these pillars should always focus on a single objective-- your learners.
Focus on Your Learner
Many people start creating eLearning by asking themselves what skills or knowledge they would like to share with the world.
Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t always work. You may spend a lot of time and money creating eLearning content that doesn’t always solve the real problems of real learners.
So what should you do instead? You might be asking yourself: “what kind of content should I create?” and “how to create this course?”, “where should I start?
The answer is before you start creating eLearning content, you need to ask your learners what problems they have and start from there. More specifically, you need to identify your perfect learner profile (PLP). They will determine what type of technology you’re using for your course, what kind of content you’ll create, and how it gets distributed.
Whether you’re sharing this with a public audience or using it in a cooperative setting, hypothesizing about what are their goals, needs, and expectations for your online course will determine the rest of the path.
Note that it’s crucial to receive their constant feedback continuously. You must incorporate this process from the beginning because the key to success is to connect your PLP with your content. Besides, with this approach, you will save time, money, and stress in the long term.
Creating eLearning Content Doesn’t Have to be Difficult
Content is where most people spend most of their budgets. Whether we’re talking about videos, text, audio, and even games or quizzes, all of these compose the knowledge you’re sharing with your learners and how you format it. It’s not necessary, however, to break the bank while creating content. On our eLearning Simplified Youtube channel, we share some of the best types of eLearning content you can create on a budget.
After you’ve talked to your learners, you should already know your area of expertise and draft a general idea of what the course will focus on. Here it’s important to know how in-depth you will go into the subject, as well as having a clear hierarchy between relevant and complementary information.
In eLearning, your content will always go hand-in-hand with technology, which we will discuss next.
Don’t Spend Forever Picking a Perfect Technology
Of course, you cannot have e-learning without technology. You need to consider the following five aspects when selecting your eLearning technology.
- How do you access the course?
- Does it include any tools to create the content itself?
- Structure of your online program.
- Where are you going to host it?
- How are you going to collect data on your learners?
To illustrate this point, think about how teachers or professionals upload their content to YouTube. This video platform is a type of e-learning technology because your PLP needs to access the site or app in order to get to your course. It allows you to create content in their video editor and enables users to host these videos in a channel. You can deliver these videos as a playlist, creating an online’s course structure. On top of that, YouTube collects data on who’s watching, which you can access from your account and analyze.
Of course, you’re not forced to create video content for your online course. But at the same time, it’s true that it’s an engaging, interactive resource in your arsenal that can elevate your online training course to the next level.
Distribution Is What Makes or Breaks a Successful eLearning
Once you have content and technology, there’s this final pillar that cements the basis of your course that’s distribution. Arguably, we can say distribution is the most important pillar for e-learning.
Why? Because if technology or content don’t exist, there’s nothing to distribute. However, if you’ve already put money, time, and effort into your program, without distribution, your learners will never get to it.
In this category, we can identify two ways to approach it: internal and external. These distribution types also define how you market and sell online courses to your learners (PLPs).
On the one hand, internal distribution refers to sharing your program with employees or contractors inside your business. On the other hand, it’s usually training programs that serve specific purposes within the organization so that you plan your content and structure accordingly.
External distribution, on the other hand, it’s building a course and sharing or selling it to your audience. Many people partner with a learning platform to upload them or sell them directly and market themselves through social media to reach their PLP.
Now that you know the three fundamental pillars sustaining e-learning, never forget what we discussed about your learners: they will always lead the way through the entire process. If they don’t engage with your content, don’t use the technology you’ve chosen, or fail to properly distribute your program to them, then your online course won’t accomplish any impact.
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