AGILE eLearning Course Design: A Step-By-Step Guide For eLearning Professionals

Are you looking for a rapid corporate eLearning course development strategy that doesn't come at the cost of lackluster results? If so, in this article you'll find the steps to follow for optimizing your corporate eLearning development process using an AGILE approach.
AGILE eLearning Course Design: A Step-By-Step Guide For eLearning Professionals

A Step-By-Step Guide To An AGILE eLearning Course Design

Your employees need to develop their skills and increase task proficiency in order to keep up with the competition. Thus, time is of the essence, and your corporate eLearning program must be developed sooner rather than later. This can only mean one thing: it's time to take the AGILE eLearning course design approach. The AGILE design has been used in software sector for years, but now it's also a common practice in the eLearning industry. It centers on flexible, adaptable, and rapid eLearning course development. In this article, you will find a step-by-step guide on how to use the AGILE process for your next corporate eLearning course design.

How To Develop Corporate eLearning Using An AGILE Approach

  1. Align
    The first step in AGILE eLearning design is aligning with the needs and goals of both the learner, and the organization. This may include an in depth analysis of the current online training program, performance gaps, and how the training must evolve to meet the growing needs of the company and its staff. eLearning developers should also identify the desired outcomes and how the online training program will serve to meet these outcomes. For example, a blended learning strategy may be the ideal approach if your goal is to integrate more technology into your corporate eLearning strategy and offer employees more interactive online training activities. Conduct extensive research to determine online training goals and objectives. This may involve surveys, task observations, and eLearning focus groups, as well as analysis of Big Data. Speak with managers, supervisors, and any other important team members to collect their feedback regarding the existing online training program. Determine how it can be improved moving forward in order to fill the performance gaps and increase employees' productivity.
  2. Get set
    Once you have developed a clear set of goals, desired outcomes, and objectives, it's time to gather resources and determine how you are going to tackle the issues at-hand. Carefully examine all of the tasks, skills, and information that employees need to know, and then gauge their current proficiency levels. Choose tools, software, and systems that are going to help them get from point A to point B most effectively. Conduct a task analysis and skills assessment to break every topic down to its most basic components. For example, analyzing a task will help you deconstruct the process and identify all of the steps and skills involved. It will also allow you to determine what information the employees need to acquire in order to get the job done.
  3. Iterate & Implement
    The third step in the AGILE approach consists of 2 phases. First you must iteratively develop a solution that addresses the problem or conveys the key takeaways. The primary goal is to create an online activity, module, or lesson that offers employees all of the skills or information they require to improve their performance. After doing so, you must then move onto implementing the solution based on the timeline you've set. To do so, determine the ideal online training activities based on the background, needs, goals, and preferences of your employees. Enlist the aid of your eLearning team or collaborators to develop a prototype, carry out user testing, and then make any necessary revisions. When your finished product is complete you can deploy it to your corporate learners. Once again, conduct research to identity their preferred delivery methods, such as what mobile devices they commonly use to access the online training materials.
  4. Leverage
    After the core online training materials have been developed and deployed, you should then decide how you are going to offer ongoing support to your employees. This will be done by leveraging all of the resources at your disposal, including your staff members, technology, and tools. The key is to create online training materials that capitalize on the software and systems you are currently using. For example, creating branching scenarios or simulations using an eLearning authoring tool so that your employees can discover the real world applications. To apply this step in your corporate eLearning course design, create a continuous online training strategy that allows your employees to hone their skills and refresh knowledge on a regular basis. Figure out which performance management resources you currently possess, and how they can be used to your advantage.
  5. Evaluate
    The final step in the AGILE process is to evaluate the effectiveness of your online training program. This also includes developing criteria so that you are able to measure your online training effectiveness and determine if the desired outcomes have been achieved. Are you going to assess your corporate learners to gauge whether they are proficient, or are you relying on sales figures and customer satisfaction ratings to measure the effectiveness of your corporate eLearning program? In some cases, measuring goals may be more challenging. For instance, soft skill development are difficult to track and may require more creative approaches, such as using interactive scenarios or simulation-based exams. To apply this step of the AGILE approach, create an ongoing evaluation plan that features all of the goals and outcomes you are tracking. Be specific about how often you will measure these goals and the online assessment methods. If an employee has not met the current standards, clearly outline how you will proceed. For example, they might be asked to take additional online training courses or access supplemental online training resources to increase their proficiency.

Use this article as a guide to an AGILE eLearning course design to develop your online training program in a fraction of the time. However, in order for it to be truly effective, you must ensure that every member of your eLearning team is on board and knows the AGILE basics. So, pass these tips along during your next eLearning kickoff meeting and define everyone's role beforehand.

Are you looking for more information about the benefits of creating eLearning from an AGILE perspective? Read the article The Power Of AGILE Instructional Design Approach to learn why it can be so powerful when designing eLearning courses.

 
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