Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Content for Your E-Learning Course
Curating and preparing content is an essential step in creating an e-learning course. One of the most important elements is often the written content as this determines how the course will ultimately develop.
Even when you work with a professional e-learning course developer, you will almost always need to provide the written text. The developer brings training/education, design, media, and programming expertise, but your business has experts in the topic.
So, if you have to create content for an e-learning course, here are the steps you should take.
Before You Start
There are several steps you need to go through before you begin gathering content from SMEs (subject matter experts) and others. These steps will ensure the content creation process stays on the right path.
Step 1 – Define the Objectives of the E-Learning Course for Your Business
You first need to identify and define the objectives of creating the course in the first place. You can have multiple objectives (most courses do) but limit it to about four. If you have too many, the course can become unwieldy and/or it can begin to lose direction and purpose.
Step 2 – Define the Objectives for the Learner
You should also think about objectives from the learners’ perspective. What should they want to achieve by completing the course? This could be anything from learning a new skill to helping ensure the company doesn’t get into any legal problems because of compliance issues.
Step 3 – List the Benefits to the Learner
In many situations, the above might not be enough for learners. Therefore, it can help to list out the benefits to the learner.
Remember, if learners understand the benefits and the objectives they should be striving to achieve, they will be much more willing to do the course and do it properly.
Step 4 – Know the Audience
It’s also important to know your audience, i.e. what is their level of seniority, what are their current skill levels, what motivates them, what would keep them engaged with the course, where are their knowledge gaps, etc.
At the Beginning
With the above information, you will now be ready to start more practical work on actually creating the content. Here are the main steps.
Step 5 – Outline the Main Content Sections
Outlining the main content sections of the course at the outset will give it structure. This can change as you get further into the content creation process, but it’s helpful to know the main sections before you start sourcing the content.
It will also help you identify who will need to actually write the content.
Step 6 – Categorise the Content According to Priority
Using the above information, put the content sections into one of the following three categories:
- Good to have
- Not directly important
Obviously, the content in the first category can go into the course while it is almost always best to remove anything in the last category.
The middle category, however, will come down to a judgement call.
Step 7 – Identify Individuals Who Will Write the Content
Following the previous step, you will know the content you need. This enables you to identify the people – or SMEs – who will write it for you.
The biggest tip with this part of the process is to make it as easy as possible for the SMEs. They will be busy and will see this as an additional task in their already hectic schedule. So, outline the benefits to them of taking the time to create and give you the content you need.
Creating the Content
You are now at the stage of pulling everything together, with a clear foundation for doing so. Here are the steps:
Step 8 – Get the Content Written by the Individuals Identified Above
Make contact with the SMEs identified previously and give them a deadline when you need the content back. Remember to include enough time for reviewing, editing, and making changes.
Step 9 – Focus on the End Result
It is easy to get distracted when creating content as you can go off on tangents or include information that is not strictly necessary. You should constantly re-focus, however, both on the end result and the defined objectives.
Do they look like they are going to match up? If not, you will need to revisit some of the content.
Remember also that it can be helpful to go back to putting content into categories again and again. This will identify errant “not important” information that has crept back into the content, so you can get rid of it.
Step 10 – Make the Content as Easy to Read as Possible
The best e-learning courses are those that are easy to get through. In other words, courses where learners focus on the subject matter rather than trying to wade through lots of hard to read text.
So, do plenty of paraphrasing and breaking content into list form to make it more readable. Remember, the shorter the better (so long as the shorter length doesn’t impact the quality of the content).
Navigation elements can help too, i.e. where the content is too long for a single screen you can add navigation buttons and then spread the content over multiple pages.
Step 11 – Use Non-Text Elements
It’s also important to identify any parts of the content which would be better presented in non-text form. Would a video or infographic be better, for example? Using scenarios can also be helpful.
Step 12 – Use an Appropriate Tone and Appropriate Language, and Check Everything
Finally, you should make sure you use language and a tone that is professional and that will appeal to your audience.
Finally, you need to proofread the text multiple times to identify spelling and grammar mistakes as well as sentences that don’t read well.
Guiding You Through the Process
Creating the content for an e-learning course will take time, but your e-learning developer in Dubai will guide you through the process. In fact, the process itself will be beneficial to your business.