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5 Best Practices to Help you Create Content for Custom eLearning


We constantly hear it from our clients. And now Brandon Hall has validated our experience. According to Brandon Hall Group’s 2014 Business Focus Survey, content development is one of the biggest concerns for a learning organization, and sourcing that content is often a challenge. 62% of companies surveyed stated that content development is either a high priority or critical to their business. Sourcing this content for custom eLearning courses is sometimes a challenge since most of what is available out there is generic, off-the-shelf material that is usually not relevant.

So what do they do?

They hire us. (Ha ha ha! Had to get that one in there…)

What happens is most times, companies try to build their own content. And this can be tricky if a process and certain critical steps are not taken into account. Here are our 5 best practices for helping our clients compile and create great and effective content for elearning courses:

1) Project Management: Make sure you have a project manager who will own the content creation task and keep people on track. It’s a good idea to have an executive sponsor to hold people accountable to deadlines.

2) Content Outline: Determine a content outline that will meet your overall training objective. Usually the best way is to meet with the SME’s and stakeholders and zero in on the most important parts needed to ensure learning objectives will be met.

3) Gather Existing Content: Gather any existing relevant content and identify any gaps. Fill in the gaps by developing any new content needed. Interviewing SMEs and top performers is your best bet for new content. When confronted by an unresponsive internal SME, get the executive sponsor involved!

4) Analyze and Synthesize: Categorize the content into need to know versus nice to know content and have the SMEs and sponsors sign off on it.

5) Instructional Design is King: Have expert instructional designers who will know how to take this content and turn it into an engaging and effective learning experience that focuses on how learners will apply the knowledge learned when they are back on the job.

One thought on “5 Best Practices to Help you Create Content for Custom eLearning

  1. I’ve thought the term eLearning has been dead for a long time. I only use it bcauese people know what it means. In my mind it’s always been an aspect of training and I somewhat resented it being categorized as something different. I never thought about the how to describe my skill set if the term eLearning is dead, but I do like your idea. It’s sort of like a musician. That’s a pretty generic term, like training specialist’, but violinist is pretty specific and is a much better indicator of skills and abilities. Every musician can read music (presumably) but a violinist doesn’t necessarily play harmonica. Different specialties in the same discipline.

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