Fast and Furious: Turbo Charge Your eLearning
As an instructional designer and eLearning developer, I am always trying to achieve learning outcomes in the most efficient manner. One way I accomplish this is by using eLearning templates to reduce the eLearning development time and streamline the development process. Once I select the right template for the project, I can quickly drop content and assets into the template. If I have several courses in a curriculum, I don’t waste time building a new structure for each course; I can reuse the template as many times as I would like. Templates also help to maintain a consistent look and feel that aligns with the company’s brand.
Now that you know that using a template can speed up your eLearning development process; and, you’ve decided to use one, you have two options. You can use a prebuilt template or you can create one from scratch. If you choose to use a prebuilt template, there are a few things to consider that will help you make the best decision for your project.
What to Look For
Before selecting a template, figure out the delivery method of the eLearning. Do you need a template for a virtual instructor led training (VILT) or a self-paced, eLearning module? If you are developing a self-paced, eLearning module, do you need it for the entire module or just one interaction within the module? The delivery method determines the development tool required for the template and the type of interactions you must include in the template.
Determine the development tool for the template. If you are developing a VILT, you may want a PowerPoint template that allows that allows the presentation of the information on a platform like Blackboard. If it is a self-paced, eLearning module, you want to the use the authoring you use to develop your other courses, which could be something like Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline. Use a tool that integrates well with your current learning management system or presentation platform.
Ensure the template aligns with your company’s branding and style guide. If you’re using a prebuilt template, the template should be customizable enough for you to add your company’s logo and change the color scheme to match your company’s brand colors, font and other style elements.
Get feedback on the usability of the template to make sure users can easily navigate and interact with the template. Ensure the template design aligns with the device users will use to access the module. For example, if users need to access the module on their mobile phones, the design should look and operate well on the user’s mobile phone. If there is a complex interaction or game, are there instructions so that user understands how to interact with it?
Ensure the template has the necessary elements and slides to present the content in the best manner for the user. If using a template for an entire self-paced, eLearning module, the template needs to include all the major elements within the module. You may want to include introduction, learning outcome, various content, quiz and conclusion slides. If it’s a single interaction, what type of interaction do you need? You may want a game-based quiz or a drag and drop interaction.
Here’s an example of a Storyline 360 template that has all the major elements of a self-paced, eLearning module.
Whether you decide to use a prebuilt template or create one from scratch, it’s important to think about the purpose of the template, which authoring tool you’re using to develop the course, does the template integrate well with your company’s brand and is it user-friendly.
If you already use templates in your eLearning development process, what tips and tricks have you found helpful?