Questions to Answer When Starting an E-Learning Project
To ensure an e-learning project runs as smoothly as possible, you will have to provide information and/or make decisions. This will help the e-learning provider deliver a course that meets your objectives and expectations. What are the sorts of things you will be asked, though? Below are the main questions I ask clients before starting any e-learning project.
They are important because they clarify the scope of the project but they also ensure the content delivers the right message and achieves the right results.
Tip – be cautious if your e-learning provider doesn’t ask the vast majority, if not all, of these questions before starting a project. Each one has multiple answers and there is no way of knowing which one is right for you without asking.
To make it easier, I have split the questions you are likely to be asked into three main areas:
- General – questions about the project and your objectives
- Content – questions relating to the content and its creation
- Technical – questions mostly about delivery, compatibility, etc
Let’s get started.
There are three crucial questions that an e-learning provider should understand before starting a project:
- What is the objective?
- What are your expectations, i.e. what do you want learners to do once they complete the course?
- How will you measure results?
The answers to these questions will determine the overall direction the project will take.
In addition to these questions, it is also helpful to know the answers to the following:
- How much involvement do you want to have? This includes how you want the approval process to work, how much you want to be involved in the content creation part of the project (writing text, editing text, selecting images, etc), and whether you want the ability to update, manage, and control the course content and structure in-house in the future.
- What is the timeline? Specifically, do you have a target date for delivery of the course to learners?
- Who will be involved in the project? For example, who is responsible for providing information, answering queries, providing sign-off for modules, etc.
The most important question when considering content is defining the target audience. This can include their expertise, experience, education, job role, and more. The e-learning course will be more successful when its learners are well-defined.
There are then a number of other important questions to answer. This includes:
- What is the ideal length for each module? What is the ideal length for the course in general? You may need expert advice from your e-learning provider to decide on the most effective length but, ideally, you should agree on this at the beginning.
- What source content is available? This includes documents, reports, presentations, logos, images, previous course material, manuals, and more.
- How do you want to deliver the content? For example, will it be a mixture of classroom and online delivery, or online only?
- What tone and style do you want? Usually, I find this is determined by the target audience. After all, if you want the course to resonate, engage, and interest the learner, it should be in a tone and style they are comfortable with.
- What features do you want? Features make the course more engaging, interesting, and effective. Examples include animations, avatars, media (video, for example), gamification, and staged delivery. Your e-learning provider will guide you on this.
- What assessments do you need? For example, do you need in-content or standalone assessments?
The final batch of questions will concern the technical aspects of the project and the course itself. They include:
- How will learners access the content? Typically, will it be via a PC, tablet, phone, or a combination?
- Do you want to use a specific learning management system (LMS)? Can the e-learning provider use their own LMS?
- What are the narration requirements? For example, do you want to use someone in your company as the narrator or someone from outside? Do you have a preference for a male or female voice?
- Does your company have brand or design guidelines?
- Do you need the course to be translated into different languages?
Getting the answers to these questions will set the project on the right track. It also ensures a better quality end result.