ILT To eLearning Conversion: What Does The Design Plan Look Like?
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Developing An Effective Plan For ILT To eLearning Conversion

Classroom training has and will continue to remain popular in corporate training. However, it’s not always a feasible option for the modern workforce because of challenges such as diverse locations of learners, time constraints for training, and the inability to provide performance support. That’s primarily the reason why many organizations across the globe invest in conversion solutions to switch from Instructor-Led Training (ILT) to eLearning courses.

Let’s assume your organization has decided to opt for ILT to eLearning conversion. This conversion process is ideally done through an eLearning vendor who has the required expertise in converting ILT courses to eLearning, or an in-house team (if they have the expertise). The process of conversion is not as simple as it sounds, as there is no particular formula that can be applied for an effective conversion.

Nevertheless, an efficient eLearning vendor uses a design plan to begin the process of ILT to eLearning conversion. If you would like to find out what goes into an effective plan for converting classroom training material to eLearning, read on.

1. Identify The Need For ILT To eLearning Conversion

  • Is it to cut down on the time taken for classroom training?
  • Is it to provide refresher training? (Based on the existing knowledge levels of learners, basic information covered in a training program can be moved from the classroom to an online format)
  • Is it to provide just-in-time support to learners?

Once you identify the need, the performance objective of the eLearning program becomes clear.

2. Analyze Classroom Training Content

Make a list of all the resources used in classroom training. It could be a PowerPoint presentation designed by the SME, learner guides, handouts, audio and video files, worksheets, and assignments. This can form the framework for the ILT to eLearning conversion. When you analyze the content, you will be able to answer a few questions, such as:

  • Are there knowledge gaps in the content which would require SMEs’ inputs?
  • Does the classroom training use existing digital resources? (e.g.: videos, flowcharts)
  • Are there any activities conducted in the classroom? (e.g.: role plays, hands-on application in case of software training)
  • How much content do you have to cover each performance objective?
  • Does the existing classroom content require updates? If yes, converting ILT to eLearning gives you an opportunity to get the content updated.
  • Is there any content in the classroom training which cannot be translated well in an eLearning course?

Chunk the content so that it can be converted to eLearning modules that enable learners to meet the specified learning objectives of the online training program. Segregate the need-to-know content from the nice-to-know content. Nice-to-know content can be included as additional resources in the eLearning course.

3. Finalize The Project Plan For The Conversion

Kick-off the conversion project and decide on a high-level plan for the completion of the project. The eLearning vendor has an internal kick-off meeting to ensure all team members involved in the project are on the same page. The eLearning vendor also has the responsibility to inform stakeholders and SMEs of the review timelines.

4. Choose The Design Strategy

Unlike a classroom, there is no instructor in the eLearning course. So, there is a necessity to choose an effective strategy to hook learners. This includes the instructional, as well as the visual strategy. Choose the Instructional Design strategy that works best for your ILT to eLearning conversion.

Would you like to engage learners with a storytelling strategy, would you want them to explore and learn, or is it a scenario-based eLearning course? Would you like to include a character or avatar to take learners through the course? There are different Instructional Design strategies to make the eLearning course interesting.

Once you decide on the interactivities, and are ready with your instructional and visual design strategies, you are ready to draft the storyboard. Which is nothing but a blueprint of the eLearning course and includes all the text and visual elements that are part of the course. Before you begin storyboarding for all modules, it is always advisable to get an approval on the prototype from stakeholders. A prototype is a functional representation of what the completed eLearning course will look like.

The design strategy takes care of the following factors essential for developing eLearning courses:

Decide The Interactivities

When you convert classroom training to eLearning, the aim is not just to make learners spend more time on the computer instead of in the classroom. The content covered in the classroom needs to be presented in an engaging format. Decide on the interactivities that can pep up the learning process.

Use Professional Voiceovers

eLearning courses make use of professional voiceovers for audio narration. Usually, this is part of the development phase, where stakeholders choose from a variety of voices based on the language style, tone, and so on. But, based on client requirements, selecting and finalizing the professional audio narrator can be included as part of the design plan. In this case, the professional voiceover is finalized and used in the prototype.

Frame A Visual Style Guide

Following a visual style guide in the ILT to eLearning conversion process eases the development process. The common visual design elements that ought to be part of your visual style guide are:

  • Typography
  • Images (real or vector)
  • Color palette
  • Company logo

If you have company-specific branding guidelines to follow, those can be included as part of the visual style guide.

After the design plan is finalized and signed off by stakeholders, the next step is to get started with the development process for ILT to eLearning conversion. What is essential to understand is that the ILT to eLearning conversion is not just about converting classroom training material to an online format. It also includes following the best practices of Instructional Design to deliver an eLearning course that is on par with classroom training, if not better.

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