10 Tips for Creating Great eLearning





  • Do you create eLearning?
  • Are you about to create eLearning?
Yes? Hang around! This blog will add value to you.

Each of these tips have come from years of our eLearning design and development experience. Ultimately they will help you to create better eLearning solutions.

There are a number of ways that you can gain value from this blog. You can...

  • Read it all the way through and move on with your life
  • Skim through it, pick out what will add value to you and take notes
  • Apply all of the techniques to your eLearning project, one-by-one.
What is important is that you apply at least one of these tips to your eLearning project/s. Small actions lead to large impact. These tips will lead your eLearning project to success.

1. Use Theme Colours

Select theme colours for your eLearning course and use them for the design of your eLearning template. Having theme colours will enable you to achieve an aesthetic and consistent look and feel.

Practical actions:

  • Be inspired by some pre-picked colour themes.
  • If you have a style guide refer to that and use the theme colours specified. This will ensure that the eLearning is on brand.
  • If the eLearning requires accessibility, ensure that your colour selection results in an accessible course.




2. Identify the Need to Know Information

Before you create a storyboard for your eLearning course, take the time to identify the need to know information. You do not want to bombard your learner with information that they do not need to know. You will lose their interest and the important information will be missed.

Practical actions:

  • Become clear on your project goal.
  • Look through your content and ask yourself, ‘Will this information help me meet my project goal of X?’ If it will not, leave it out.




3. Create a Storyboard

Imagine building a house without any form of plan? You could imagine the possible outcomes. Well the exact same goes for eLearning. Planning and storyboarding your eLearning is crucial to creating a well thought out and effective solution.

The last thing you want to do is spend a significant period of time developing an eLearning course only to realise that the concept does not work or needs to be redesigned. If you plan your concept well at the very beginning, developing is a much easier and often more successful task.

Practical actions:



4. Make Important Information Stand Out

When creating your eLearning course, identify the information that really needs to be seen by your learner.

Practical actions:

  • Ask yourself the question, ‘What information is crucial for the learner to see on this screen?’.
  • Pretend you are designing a billboard. Consider how you would now redesign your screen for this important information to stand out.
  • Make the information stand out by formatting it differently to the other content on screen. For example, make the text italics, bold or a different colour to the other text on screen.




5. Create a Familiar Template

When you are designing your eLearning template, think about how you can align it to platforms, applications and websites that already exist.

It can be unpleasant and frustrating when learners are faced with an online learning experience that is not familiar. It is likely that they will not know how to navigate the experience and this leads to unnecessary effort and frustration.

Practical actions:

  • Look at how websites, applications and other eLearning experiences are designed in the world.
  • Search for ‘modern app layouts’ or ‘modern websites’ on Google and find consistent elements and themes.
  • Create a design that is somewhat globally recognisable.



6. Focus on Actions over Knowledge

To meet your project goal, it is likely that you will require some form of behaviour change from your learners.

For example, if you create a course on customer service, you want learners to not only know what good customer service is but also how to provide it. The knowledge that you share through your eLearning solution should lead to useful action.

Practical actions:

  • Transform your learning objectives into actions. To do this, for each learning objective ask, ‘What action would I see if I knew the learning objective had been met?’
  • When you are designing your eLearning, ensure that you focus each screen and activity on actions.
  • Find out more on designing for actions over knowledge by reading this blog, ‘Focusing on Behaviour Change over Knowledge Acquisition’ (Belvista Studios, 2019).


7. Conduct User Testing

Testing your eLearning with a group of your learners enables you to discover if your solution is fit-for-purpose. It also enables you to discover problems before you release your eLearning to the world.

Practical actions:



8. Make Your Writing Clear

What you write and how you write it can make or break your eLearning solution (from our perspective). Well-written eLearning can help you avoid creating a course that is boring, unorganised, overwhelming and well… hard to read!

Practical actions:



9. Put your Learner at the Heart of your Solution

Your project goal is likely to require behaviour change from your learners. In order to motivate and enable your learners to change their behaviour, it is important that you understand their needs.

Once you understand their needs you are able to create an eLearning solution that motivates them, empowers them to change their behaviour and in turn enables you to meet your project goal. This approach is commonly referred to as human-centred design.

Practical actions:





10. Explain the Why

To motivate your learners, you need to help them understand how the eLearning will benefit their lives. If the course will not benefit their lives, it is highly unlikely that they will be motivated to engage with it.

Practical actions:

  • Gain an understanding of your learners motivations/goals. This can be achieved through user interviews.
  • Make a connection to the project goal and the learners motivations/goals. Ask yourself, ‘What benefits will learners receive if they complete this eLearning course?’ For example, if your learners are motivated by work-life balance, you could explain that learning the skills in your eLearning will enable them to work more productively and therefore be able to leave work on time each day. 





That is it for this blog! Those are our 10 tips for creating great eLearning. We encourage you to focus on at least one of these tips and apply them to your eLearning project/s. Share one of these and make a public commitment to actioning it.

If you would like to learn more about creating eLearning check out our blog. It covers a range of topics for creating impactful eLearning solutions. There are also heaps of resources on our Creator Hub that you’ll find valuable. You can also contact our passionate founder Kim Tuohy by emailing kim@belvistastudios.com or by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

References

Belvista Studios. (2019). Focusing on Behaviour Change over Knowledge Acquisition. Retrieved from http://blog.belvistastudios.com/2019/08/focusing-on-behaviour-change-over.html.

Belvista Studios. (2020a). Storyboard Template. Retrieved from https://creatorhub.belvistastudios.com/courses/storyboard-template.

Belvista Studios. (2020b). How to Conduct User Testing. Retrieved from http://blog.belvistastudios.com/2020/04/how-to-conduct-user-testing.html.

Belvista Studios. (2020c). How to Write for Instructional Design. Retrieved from http://blog.belvistastudios.com/2020/03/how-to-write-for-instructional-design.html.

Belvista Studios. (2020d). Human-centred Design Playbook for Instructional Designers and Learning and Development Practitioners. Retrieved from https://creatorhub.belvistastudios.com/courses/human-centred-design-playbook.

Belvista Studios. (2020e). Human-centred Design Course for Instructional Designers and Learning and Development Practitioners. Retrieved from https://creatorhub.belvistastudios.com/courses/human-centred-design.

Grennan, H. [Belvista Studios]. (2020a, April 29). How to Conduct User Testing | How to Become an Instructional Designer [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/M3oPQe1hHMw.

Grennan, H. [Belvista Studios]. (2020b, May 5). How to Conduct User Interviews | How to Become an Instructional Designer [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/DxP3GR55T3I.

Grennan, H. [Belvista Studios]. (2020c, 3 May). How to Conduct User Observations | How to Become an Instructional Designer [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/WH-PyuwD_GE.

Grennan, H. [Belvista Studios]. (2020d, 27 April). What is Important to your Learners? | How to Become an Instructional Designer [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/hnrKrmfFiiw

Hemingway App. (2020). Hemingway Editor. Retrieved from http://www.hemingwayapp.com/.

MRMRS. (2020). Colours A11Y Stats 90 Combinations (Version 2.2.0). Retrieved from http://clrs.cc/a11y/

Tuohy, K. [Belvista Studios]. (2019, September 14). How to Create a Storyboard for Instructional Design for eLearning Projects [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgVcd3l-YmI&t=41s.

WebAIM. (2020). Contrast Checker. Retrieved from https://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/.





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