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Educating New Internal and External Clients About Developing eLearning

Lately we have had a lot of clients who are new to eLearning. For many of us who have been in the training industry for the last 5-10 years, we have been accustomed to most people using eLearning as the predominant method of training and it always comes as a bit of a surprise to us to encounter an organization that has not used eLearning at all (due to various reasons such as not having an internal Learning Management System (LMS) or for other reasons such as employees preference for classroom training or lack of programming capabilities in house to use eLearning authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline, Captivate etc.)

As experienced developers of eLearning we tend to assume clients (be it internal or external clients in an organization) know the process to develop eLearning and the various attributes that make an eLearning course effective.

Here are the top 3 thing that should be covered with anyone who is new to eLearning (these tips might be helpful for instructional designers who are new to eLearning as well).

Review the Entire eLearning Process – Don’t assume your clients understand the eLearning process, walk them through both the programming and storyboard development phases. Take time and specifically highlight the following:

  • Storyboards are for content reviews.They are meant to show content flow and ensure the content is correct prior to programming.

  • Programmed screens will look very different and much more impressive when programmed (many new clients to eLearning have difficulty understanding that the storyboards are not the same as the final programmed screens and the lack of involvement by graphic designers at this stage, is often something that new people to eLearning, have problems with).

  • The content will look static and it will look different with motion and animations when programmed.

Course length - Review typical standards for eLearning length with a client. Explain typical eLearning length is considered 1-2 storyboard screens per minute of eLearning (highlight the fact that length of eLearning time factors in screens where there are activities or a video etc. and it is based on the length of time it takes for the learner to actually complete the course.

  • Most people underestimate how long their eLearning course will be based on their content (you may have to explain to your internal or external client that 200 PPT slides will not result in a 15 minute eLearning course. Note – this is something that really happened to us, and educating your client about why 200 storyboards screens will not result in a microlearning module, is part of your job at the beginning of an eLearning project).

Typical Process for eLearning Reviews and Number of Reviews that Will Take Place – Explaining to stakeholders or internal client that typically there are only two storyboard reviews and two programming reviews (not unlimited reviews, which can impact timelines and lead to “analysis paralysis”. This is sometimes difficult for new clients to eLearning to understand, and it can be particularly costly if professional audio talent is being used, with multiple revision requiring updates to audio as well, in the eLearning course).

At Pathways Training and eLearning, we have created over 500 eLearning courses. Based on our experiences, educating your internal or external clients and stakeholders who are new to eLearning about the three items listed above, will result in a much smoother eLearning project for everyone involved!

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