eLearn Australia

 

Are you ready to convert your training into an online course?

Twelve things to consider before starting a new elearning project

You have a successful face-to-face course and you’re wondering if it’s time to make it available to a wider audience by turning it into an online course.

Classroom of adult learners

Before you talk with an elearning specialist, its good to be clear about your project’s aim and scope. Here are 12 questions that will help you see what’s involved before embarking on your new elearning project.

1. Project outcomes

As with designing your face-to-face course, you begin with your project outcomes.

So the first question you need to answer is, 'what do I want the course to do'?

Depending on your course, your project outcomes may be quite similar initially to those of your face-to-face course, with specific online course outcomes becoming clearer as you work through the discovery and design process. 

2. Type of resource

Man interacting with a course on an ipad

What type of resource do you want to create? 

Is an online course the most appropriate format for digitising your face-to-face content?

Would it be more effective as an educational app or learning resource?

Converting face-to-face courses into apps or resources come with their own requirements so it helps to be clear in your brief that you want an online course.

3. Course length

How long do you want your course to be?

The length of your course will impact the design and development timeframe as well as budget.

Could your course be broken up into several modules or streams?

Keep in mind that most people’s attention spans don’t last more than 20 minutes.

4. Target users

Who are your target users?

The design of your online course will depend on how many users you expect plus the type of user (student, staff, community) and their learning requirements.  

5. Assessment

Does your course require the inclusion of assessment or need to be accreditation-ready?

Do you require course completion tracking or more detailed student tracking for grading?

Assessment, accreditation and tracking requirements can all be built into your online course.

6. Content Ready

Documents to show elearning content conversion

What content do you have?  Is it fully written?

Let us know whether:
A) your content is fully written,
B) you have the basic knowledge base worked out, or
C) you are completely starting from scratch.

Training manuals, course outlines, slides, research, images, videos and case studies can all be used to develop online course content. Many clients come to us worried that their content is not ready. Don’t let this be a barrier as we can help you develop it. Just include it in your brief.

7. Facilitation

Will the online course be facilitated or moderated?

Your online course can be integrated with your face-to-face training (blended learning) or it can be run independently.

If your online course is facilitated then it’s a good idea to have the facilitator involved in the design of the course, especially the assessment components.

8. Learning Management Systems (LMS) and hosting

Which LMS or hosting platform will be used to deliver your online course?

Do you have an existing website (e.g. WordPress site) that could be extended using a LMS plugin?

If you don’t have your own LMS or hosting – or would prefer it to more flexible or independent from your organisation’s systems – then this needs to be included in the brief.

9. Style guides

Do you have an organisational style guide?

This will ensure your online course is consistent with your branding. Having it available as a reference from the beginning of the project assists in design and development decisions.

10. Interactivity and content

Online multiple choice quiz on a tablet

What level of interactivity do you need?

Do you want to include narration / voiceovers?

Online courses, like face-to-face courses, can have different levels of interactivity.

For example, a course with high-level video content will require different design and development resources than a course with interactive quizzes. It’s important to be clear about your interactivity preferences in the brief.

11. Timeframe

What is your timeframe?

A 20 to 30-minute elearning course usually takes about 12 weeks from the contract signing to course delivery.

It’s important to be realistic about your launch date and allow contingency for unforeseen delays (for example, funding delays, subject matter expert availability, the time it takes for your representatives to sign off on feedback and project milestones).

12. Budget

What is your budget?

The cost of design and development of most elearning courses begin at about $20,000 for a 20-30 minute course. The cost depends on the level of interactivity, the type of learning, the assessment strategy and your content’s readiness.

With these basic questions answered, you now have the information needed to brief your elearning specialist on your new online learning project.

Contact us today to start designing and developing online learning tools for your learner group.