HOW TO CREATE
Develop a Winning eLearning Strategy 4
How to Design Winning eLearning Courses 7
Whether you are a training manager, learning & talent development consultant or an
eLearning designer, you have seen it develop for quite some time now: Your learner profile is
slowly but surely changing. You now see many more members of Generation Y in the
workplace and taking your training programs. These are the Millennials or the modern
learners whose temperaments, attitudes and ways of thinking are vastly different from those
of their predecessors, the Baby Boomers.
Considering we are all short on time, it makes sense to maximize your efforts with a
winning eLearning strategy. The best strategies: will deliver compelling and
meaningful content that resonate with earners. They FASCINATE the learner from start to finish.
They appeal to learners´ unique personalities, distinct tastes, and learning preferences. Prepare these
essential ingredients to whip your winning content today.
This eBook will help you design eLearning courses that will get your learners hooked, and make them
wonder what more you have in store for them. It comes chock-full of simple tips and ideas on
turning your content from an overwhelming mass of gray text into something that engages learners.
Develop a Winning
Even before you design, develop, test or do anything related to the
project, you must define your vision, i.e., where you want to go. Get
everything down on paper, especially your objectives and limitations for
the project, and support them by establishing your target audience
and defining your desired outcome for the audience early on.
These are just some of the questions you have to ask yourself when
creating your eLearning strategy:
Understand — Audience and
3) Who is your target audience, what do they want?
Understand your audience: their current knowledge,
their abilities, job roles, and what needs they have for
your eLearning content. Research and define the ideal
target audience in terms of their expectations of
eLearning, IT literacy levels, tech-savvy, grasp of
mobile learning, and the training provisions you currently
4) What is the current technical status?
eLearning relies on availability of technology for its
delivery. Hence, you must assess the IT readiness of
your organization. Ask: do you have the right IT
platforms? Is the technology for implementing a
scalable eLearning training program available? What
changes are needed in the current IT environment,
and will the current eLearning courses integrate with
the future changes?
Define — Purpose, Scope,
and Goals of eLearning
1) What do you want to achieve with eLearning?
The questions to ask include: What will your
organization accomplish with eLearning? Why is it
needed? How will it help the organization or your client
meet their business goals?
You must assess the need for the training you are
developing and prioritize your audience´s needs.
2) What are your goals?
Your eLearning must directly impact organizational
goals. To do so, you must create a list of specific and
measureable objectives that you want to achieve with
the implementation of your eLearning course.
Plan — Access, Marketing, and
7) How will courses be accessed?
Your interactive elements will be designed according to
the network the course will be accessed from. Will it be
an LMS, mobile devices, or the company’s intranet?
8) How would you market the program?
Marketing should be part and parcel of your rollout
plan, and clearly defined in the strategy. This makes it
easier to design programs so that they can easily be
promoted. Your end goal is to engage the target
audience, and doing that should start with the first slide
or course you intend to make.
9) How would you measure results?
A final question to ask is, which results are
important and how will they be identified and
measured? Important KPIs include performance, ROI,
and cost of owning the eLearning course.
Realize — Stakeholders, Buy-in
Process, and Limitations
5) Who would be involved?
The biggest problem with implementing an eLearning
strategy is getting stakeholders’ opinion — and these
stakeholders can be varied and dispersed throughout
the organization. Finding them and understanding their
concerns is crucial for the buy-in process.
6) What are the inhibitors and limiters to learning
What are the risks associated with your strategy? Which
issues can sabotage the schedule and the timeline, and
perhaps the overall integrity of the eLearning strategy?
Profile the risks, individually qualify and prioritize them,
and build the right answers.
How to Design Winning
We’ve all met them. Ask about online courses they’ve taken, and they’ll
roll their eyes. Current eLearners are bored and can’t wait for their
courses to end. Whoever put together these courses – was it you? –
They didn’t have the right recipe to design winning eLearning courses.
Now that you have your strategy in place, it’s time you follow these design
guidelines to produce the best results:
#1 : Think Lean
Today’s learner has less time and more distractions
than ever before, making it unrealistic to assume that
employees can sit for an hour or more to complete
an e-Learning course without interruptions. They
prefer to know the gist of a story from a one-line update
than read pages about it. They demand that
information is made accessible to them on the go. This
is what’s driving the shift toward just-in-time, microlearning.
The thought is that it’s better to engage a learner for 10
minutes of truly productive learning time where
information is absorbed and retained, as opposed to
presenting them with an hour-long course that has no
There’s undoubtedly a large amount of information that you need to convey to employees during training, but to trim it
down, keep it manageable and maximize effectiveness, it’s important to keep it short and to-the-point.
Here are 3 tips that can help you achieve this goal:
1. Say it with a Visual: If you have content that needs to be shared, but you don’t want to inundate learners with an influx
of text, often a visual will do the trick. Diagrams, graphics, infographics or videos can be ideal ways to condense what
would be a lot of long, boring text into something that feels manageable and engaging to the learner.
2. Deconstruct and Modularize: Forget the linear way of conveying content as you would do for eLearning courses of
longer durations. Microlearning demands that you let learners choose their own path according to their needs and at their
own pace and time. If you have an hour-long course, breaking it up into six 10-minute modules, or three 20-minute courses
will help you keep your learner’s attention and content is more likely to stick with them.
3. Avoid Repetitiveness: Let’s say you’ve included a text- slide in your course and this same text is included in a script
read by a narrator. You’re not only boring your learners with repetitiveness, but you’re also demonstrating the idea that
they’re not able to read it themselves. This is a big turnoff in eLearning courses.
#2 : Relevant Content
The modern learner is not only short on time but
also gets easily distracted. Social media,
smartphone, emails, deals on the Internet, their
favorite blogs, whatever is being shown on the
television—there is no lack of “attractions” vying for
their attention. So you have to make your point right
away; beat around the bush and your learner will leave
Here’s how to keep your content relevant:
Make it learner-centered. Your course content
should be relevant to what your target audience needs.
Provide plenty of examples: Use examples to clarify
concepts or theories, and make those examples
Keep it real: Let learners experience an authentic setting
by using realistic dialogue and fictitious yet believable
Create clear course objectives: For many students,
knowing why they are there and how it will help them,
makes the eLearning course more rewarding.
Make your content actionable: Cut to the chase. Do
away with the history, the background information, and
the theories. Deliver the “how-to” right away. Remember,
your learners are looking for just-in-time solutions.
Improve your user experience (UX) design skills with
This Isn’t a Novel, Don’t Write it Like One. Keep large
blocks of text to a minimum. They’re hard to digest and
even more difficult to stay focused on. Incorporate visual
cues that will help learners follow along and know when
key information is being presented.
Don’t Let Design Interfere with Function. An eLearning
course is not the time to use all the crayons in your 120-
color box. Sticking to a color scheme with good,
contrasting colors is the first step to making sure your
course looks cohesive and doesn’t force your audience to
give up due to eyestrain.
Figure Out your Navigation so Your Users Don’t
Have to. Your users should be tested on course
material, not their ability to navigate a convoluted
system. The navigation of your course should seem
almost too easy as if it requires no thought, because it
shouldn’t require any.
#3 : Make the Course
While engaging students and making sure content
is fully covered are very important parts of course
success, it is just as important to go through and make
sure your user interface (UI) ducks are in a row. Taking
the time to go through and check for user-friendliness
will help ensure that your students don’t lose out simply
because the course is difficult to navigate.
Keep in mind that taking a course isn’t often optional
for most people. They are taking it because they
have to and will have little patience for guesswork.
Make it clear what the user needs to do in order
to advance in the course. Learning is difficult enough
without the added annoyance of having to hunt for what
to click on.
Do not focus on technology at the cost of creating
compelling content. Follow these tips:
Storyboard your eLearning course first. This
will help you include only what’s necessary rather
than including too many animations, interactions, or
other “bells and whistles”. Read this step by step guide.
Use a minimalist or uncluttered design approach to
give learners the bare minimum of information needed
to get them “up and running” on the task to be learned.
Identify the most important content and cut
the nonessential parts. Research has proven
that eliminating unnecessary text, audio, visuals,
and pictures reduces information overload for
users. Include animations and interactions only when
absolutely necessary to support specific learning
#4 : Content Before
Bells and Whistles
While quality eLearning courses can and should
include graphics, photos and charts, this is only half the
battle of making them memorable. A course that is nice
to look at but that doesn’t engage the audience is just
a pretty face without substance. However, throwing in
random interactions too often or asking the audience to
answer questions about less relevant information will
make your course seem juvenile, as if you’re just
checking up on your students as opposed to truly making
sure they understand key concepts.
“Don’t try to dazzle with technology. It doesn´t
matter if you have a plethora of tools available to
create courses that wow users. They will fall flat on its
face if the content fails to motivate or engage them”.
– Hazel Alpizar, Innovation Manager
#5 : Motivate Learners
All The Way Through
Your basic premise is that all learning depends on
motivation. No matter what we as learning professionals
do, we can’t get eLearners to commit new data or
information to their memories unless we motivate them
Winning eLearning courses are desirable and
motivating by design. They offer an attractive learning
environment for learners, who find it worthwhile to click
next and stick to the course until they finish.
So, what is the key to motivating learners and
ensuring that they stay on track throughout a course?
The trick is to design the course with elements
that promote motivation before, during, and even
after course completion. You cannot make someone
learn but you can create an environment that promotes
Communicate expectations and goals before the course
starts. By sharing with the learners what they can expect,
you are already motivating the students to meet
standards set forth.
Design for active participation: Create activities that
encourage exploration. People learn best from
experience, and the more authentic and participatory
the experience, the greater the learning. Present a
common problem and provide the resources for the
learners to create their own solutions. Taking control
of the learning process provides self-motivation and
deeper engagement in the content.
Celebrate course accomplishments: people remain
motivated when they are aware of their
accomplishments. For instance, provide a certificate or a
prize when the student completes the course.
READ MORE ABOUT RESPONSIVE
ELEARNING DESIGN IN THIS EBOOK
#6 : Go Responsive
Modern learners love to have things go their way. They
want to be able to control the pace of their learning and
decide when and where they can take your course. So
don’t create courses that tether them to the desk or
make them reschedule their already-overflowing
calendar. Create courses that they can take on the go.
Make the most of available technology to reach out to
your learners in the way they prefer. Go responsive to
make learning accessible.
Design device-independent courses. As more and
more companies go the BYOD way, it is foolish to
restrict your courses to specific devices. Do not make
your learner hunt around for “approved” devices; they
will probably choose not to take your course!
Choose LMSs that accommodate responsive design.
Design in bite-sized chunks that the learners can gobble
up as they wait at the doctor’s office or during their lunch
START YOUR FREE 15-DAY TRIAL
T 040-652 52 30
F 040-689 10 30
Heinz Léon Wyssling
Content Links erstellen