With so many moving parts, e-Learning projects are complex. A lack of clarity in the early phases, or breakdown in the process along the way could cause a project to unravel. If you follow a proven & documented process to develop the training content, everyone involved will know where the project is at and what to expect.
We’ve honed a six-step process to make the elearning development process easy for our clients.
1. Project Kick-off
This is the foundation stage where the client and production company meet and discuss the details of the project. If not face-to-face meeting, a video conference can get everyone together.
During the meeting, both parties should clarify each person’s role within the project. There should be one key point of contact on both sides, and ideally, the client lead is a subject-matter expert who’s available to answer questions for the production company.
If available, all client’s existing training content on the topic is handed-over including resources like powerpoints, training documents, procedures, photos, videos and the company’s brand guidelines.
Most importantly, the learning outcomes are clearly articulated and agreed on. Agree upon the delivery date and timeline for key activities for the project at this point. The steps within this guide make for great milestones for your schedule – agree on a date to complete each of them.
2. Instructional Design
After the kick-off discussions the production team will have all the information they need to start work.
During the instructional design phase, the script and storyboard document is developed for the client to review. Storyboards are an easy way to see how all the elements – text, graphics, video, audio, animation, links, references and activities – fit together.
During this phase, the creative templates are designed and approved so the e-learning project has a consistent look and visual style. The client’s team will generally involve their internal communication or marketing team to ensure the module complies with their brand guidelines. Once approved, the team moves on to the production phase.
3. Location Production
During this phase, the camera crew mobilise to capture the creative content. Depending on the budget and production level, this phase may or may not be required. Larger projects usually use a mix of media including video, interviews, drone content, 360 VR and still photography to support the learning outcomes.
The key to a successful shoot is in the planning. Make sure everyone on site is aware of what’s happening, volunteers and props are organised and ready to go – the last thing you want is camera crew standard around waiting.
4. Content Build and Edit
Once the material has been captured, it’s time to begin the build. The first key activity is having the voice-over recorded which enables the editors to get the timing perfected. Video content needs careful editing, graphics are created and music is added. Meanwhile, the e-learning experts are busy authoring the module and creating all of the logic and interactions like menus, knowledge checks and quizzes. Once complete, the module is ready for review.
Once the content is complete, it’s time to review and test. The production company will usually do in-house quality assurance (QA) testing.
Stress testing may be included depending on how many people will use the program. Testing on multiple browsers and devices may also be part of the test plan. Once the production company is happy with their tests, they enrol the client for the first official round of reviews. Generally two to three rounds of review will be required.
The review and feedback capturing process should be clear and simple. All client comments should be compiled and vetted for double-ups prior to providing feedback. At Epistudios we utilise a templated review spreadsheet which correlates with the approved script and storyboard to keep everyone on the same page – an excel spreadsheet with clear, actionable instructions is all you need.
Once the testing and any amendments are finished and re-checked, the elearning program is ready to use.
If this is the first time your organisation is rolling out an elearning program, you’ll need an online Learning Management System (LMS). There are dozens of LMS’s on the market, do your research and find the right cloud-based platform to suit your organisational size, requirements and budget.
If your company already has a LMS implemented, at this point the project file (generally a SCORM) is handed over, the the production company should provide support and testing services before you’re ready to officially launch by enrol your learners.
Use a Proven Process For The Best Outcomes
Using a proven process to complete an eLearning project will ensure everyone involved knows what is being delivered and when. Clear and open communication is vital throughout process. If you let all project participants know the process using a timeline before the project begins then give them regular updates on progress and everyone will be happy with the finished product.
We hope this post has been useful. If you’d like a copy of our proven tools and templates head here, or head over the the Epistudios website to learn more. Or, if you’d like to discuss your organisation’s e-Learning requirements contact James at email@example.com.