Cover image The stages of e-learning development
April 18, 2022

The stages of e-learning development

To ensure e-learning content for your learning management system is developed to deliver training effectively, follow the steps below.

1. Establish your business objective – Is there a problem you need to resolve? What do employees need to learn in order to be able to achieve this objective?

2. Assess existing training materials – Do courses exist already? Do they have weaknesses? Are there gaps? Is there existing content you can use or repurpose? What new content is needed to complement or replace it?

3. Consultation – Liaise with operations departments, learning and development teams, trainers, HR and line managers to establish what they want. Obtain as much background information as possible, including feedback from employees on existing training materials.

4. Identify information and key message – Define what information needs to be included in the training and how this needs to be conveyed. What background is needed to set the scene? What needs to be demonstrated? What acquired knowledge needs to be assessed on completion?

5. Select the developer – Do you have suitable internal content creation resources with capacity or will you use an external development company?

6. Assemble your development team – Appoint your project manager. What representation do you need on the development team from different departments? Assign responsibilities to each representative. This group will be responsible for approving each stage of content development.

7. Develop a storyline – Create a rough storyline to introduce the topic, deliver the learning and assess the learner’s understanding. Use this to identify what content formats will be most effective: video, animation, narration, virtual instructor-led training (VITL), blended learning, gamification, social learning, wikis, assessments, etc. Assess technical capabilities for producing and integrating all elements and ensuring compatibility of the finished product with your LMS, e.g. SCORM or TinCanAPI compliant.

8. Script the story – Develop the actual narrative, setting out what assets you need, e.g. graphics, video, audio, PDFs, programming, etc. Identify any assets you already have and commission those needed to be created or developed from scratch.

9. Build a prototype course – Create a rough working prototype to be previewed by stakeholders. You may want to hold back on the most costly elements, such as audio, until further down the approval process, so that fewer changes will be required. The course is likely to undergo considerable editing and revision to reflect feedback from stakeholders.

10. Build working version – After approval of the prototype, develop the course as it will finally be deployed in your LMS. This could include further revisions after preview by stakeholders.

11. Test and deploy – Test the final version of the content to confirm its effectiveness. Minor revisions may be required. Once satisfied that it meets your original objective, deploy it as part of your corporate training for employees.

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