Steps to Create Online Learning Modules
E-learning is growing fast. Most of the world’s most respected universities currently offer some sort of online course, and those numbers are rising quickly. E-learning isn’t just for academic institutions, however. Many small, medium, and large businesses are implementing online training for educating new hires and keeping current employees updated with the latest strategies and procedures.
If you want to create online learning modules for your organization, the first step is to choose the right learning management system (LMS). In short, an LMS is the platform that allows instructors to create, store, and manage course materials, and it’s also where students go to take said courses. In this guide, we’ll briefly outline the five basic steps you will need to take to implement e-learning effectively.
Discuss Features Your Course Requires
First, you need to determine the goals you hope to achieve, and then figure out what types of features you will need to make them possible. For example, an online graphic design course needs to be able to handle all types of media such as PDFs, Flash, video, HTML, all types of images, and so on. A higher education course should be capable of providing some sort of accreditation upon completion. Make a list of what your perfect online course looks like, and then you can find a learning management system to facilitate that.
Here are some features that you may want to look for:
- Responsive across all types of devices (desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets)
- Able to handle all types of media (PDFs, images, video, PowerPoint, Flash, etc.)
- Allows students to communicate and provide feedback
- Easy to use even for tech novices
- Awards, badges, leaderboards, and gamification for motivating learners
- Cloud storage
- Customization features
- Easy course creation
Test LMS Software
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution in the world of learning management systems. You’re going to need to try various platforms first-hand to determine which is going to work best for your organization’s specific needs. Fortunately, many of today’s top LMS options do offer demo versions and free trials. Spend some time getting familiar with the software, and then make an informed decision once you’re confident that you’ve covered all of your bases.
Arrange a Meeting
Once you’ve decided on a vendor (or a few vendors) that seems promising, schedule a consultation. While an in-person meeting is ideal, talking online or by phone should still give you the information you need. Be prepared to ask specific questions pertaining to your online module needs.
For instance, if your course is going to be used specifically for training new employees, you can ask why this software is better for corporate use. After all, the needs of a business and an educational institution can be very different, and the learning management system you chose should be able to target your niche. If your course is for children, you could ask about options for scaling down and streamlining the LMS. The right vendor should be able to provide clear examples of how their LMS will directly benefit your organization.
Create the Course and Go Live
Now that you’ve chosen a training platform, you need to populate it with high-quality content. If you’re not familiar with course creation, spend some time doing some research online so you can be sure that you’re offering a competitive course. You may need to hire professionals to help create engaging content, and it may take a significant amount of time before you’re ready to live. Don’t rush it. Your learning management system is a long-term investment, so do things right the first time every time.
Continue Improving Your Course
Nothing is set in stone. If you’re not seeing positive results, or if you’re receiving negative feedback from your learners, assess the problem and fix it. Keep your course current and updated with the latest information. Over time, your course will naturally evolve, and what works will remain and what doesn’t will be shed and left behind. Creating an online learning module is a big responsibility, so make sure you work hard to provide accurate and engaging content at all times. Start planning today, and enjoy a high ROI tomorrow.