How to create a structured e-learning?

Renate de Jonge

Creating an e-learning is a lot of work, and this can seem very confusing when you start. You have heaps of relevant information that you cannot wait to share, but how do you structure all of this into a great training? One that does not only meet your users’ needs, but is also appealing and interactive?

 

The answer is: divide the job into manageable parts. This is probably exactly what you want the final design of your training to look like: orderly and easy to operate. The steps in this article can help you with this.

 

Step 1: Start with why

Every training needs to start with why. Why do your employees need this training? What are the organisation’s and employees’ needs? Attending a training is always the means, never the end. You do not train to train, which is why it is important to start developing your e-learning by establishing the end-goal. These are examples of questions you can ask yourself and your potential users:

  • What issue or what challenge are you overcoming by using this e-learning?
  • What do we hope to achieve with this e-learning? What is the anticipated result? 
  • How can the organisation help to achieve the business goals?

 

Your analysis of the needs will become the design plan, as you have become aware of what your users truly need.

 

Step 2: The right content for the right target group

As soon as you have determined why the training is necessary, you examine who your users are. Is your content appropriate for a basic training about a particular topic, or is it an advanced training? It is important to take the level of your users into account. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ is usually too easy for one user, while it is too difficult for another.

 

Step 3: Formuleer leerdoelen

When creating an online training, it is easiest to start by defining the knowledge or skills you want your users to gain. You can do so by drafting learning goals, first for the training as a whole and later for the various modules or chapters. Formulating the anticipated results of every module is a big step to putting all information into orderly parts. It is advised to rely on the learning goals as a common thread and not deviate from them too much.

→ Read our article on learning goals

 

Step 4: What training styles are you going to use?

During this step you will decide which training style you want to apply, which is important in the process of developing your online training to keep your users involved as much as possible. How do you guarantee the interactive element of the training? Think of narrative teaching, discovery learning, situational learning, using videos or podcasts, etc. And how are you going to test this knowledge? You can ask self-assessment questions, take mock exams, add homework assignments, and more. Decide which styles you want to use beforehand.

 

Step 5: Creating the training

And finally, you are ready to actually create your training. Because you completed all the previous steps, one of the last tasks that remains is grouping your information into modules or chapters, and you can do so by using your learning goals as guidelines. Your overall end-goal is to order information in such a way that you can answer your users’ questions and solve their problems.

 

Step 6: Finetuning

Make sure someone proofreads your training. First, for example, by someone who is specialised in your field, then by a potential user, and lastly by someone with a background in linguistics. Process all the feedback and comments and your content is ready for a beautiful layout made by the designers. 

 

Obviously you must follow the results of your training after it has launched, because this is how you will find out what went well and what could have been done better.

 

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