eLearning 101

eLearning 101 - Introduction To eLearning
Summary: eLearning 101 is the first of a five part series that covers the basics of what developers should know about building online courses.

eLearning 101 - Introduction To eLearning

Congratulations on becoming an eLearning developer! You are on your way to creating your first course. Take a few moments to familiarize yourself an introduction to eLearning

There are various software's to use to build eLearning. My favortie is Adobe Captivate because it is a dynamic robut eLearning development tool which offers developers the ability to convert pertinent training information into web delivered and self-paced courses.  If you are lucky, you will be part of a development team were you can work with a variety of subject matter experts (SME’s) who provide documentation, scripting, images and other assets which can contribute to a course being created.

As an eLearning developer it is important that you are able to effectively communicate the benefits and features of the eLearning developer’s program. Being able to describe the value of the program and your development skills will ensure that you gain the support of your supervisors, peers and intended audience. Think about the value of the course(s) you are creating and communicate this value to your team.

This is the first of a series of articles

eLearning 101:

eLearning 101 Part 1: Introduction to eLearning

  • Getting Started
  • Approaches to Learning

eLearning 101 Part 2: Planning eLearning

  • Storyboard
  • Script writing
  • Interactivity

eLearning 101 Part 3: Developmental Roles

  • Mandatory Roles
  • Optional Roles
  • Communications

eLearning 101 Part 4: Development Process

  • Recording
  • Implementing
  • Publishing

eLearning 101 Part 5: Evaluating

Introduction to eLearning

Getting Started

  • Before you begin developing your first course, take some time to review a few essential elements on creating an engaging, informative training presentation.
  • Gain the attention of the learner – plan your script and plan to use animation and audio that gains your audience’s attention but does not distract them from the content.
  • Inform your audience of your objectives – make sure you provide the learner with an overview of the goals and objectives of your presentation.
  • Provide opportunities for the learner to recall information – relate past slide information to new material, include pre-tests and post-tests where applicable.
  • If you have a graphic or video, use audio to explain the visual.
  • Present engaging material – provide your audience with accurate, up-to-date, concise information. Provide additional resources when applicable to allow the learner to reference their new knowledge in various formats like audio, video, hyperlinks to additional documents, etc.

Approaches to Learning

Learning is more meaningful and effective when training content is delivered to the target audience by the most appropriate delivery method. This can be achieved through at least five applications of learning available at agency:

  1. Instructor-led (classroom based learning)
  2. eLearning asynchronous (self-paced online courses that track completions)
  3. eLearning synchronous (instructor online webinars or video conference - not addressed in this guide)
  4. Mentoring (not addressed in this guide)
  5. Informational documentation posting and distribution (not addressed in this guide)

This article addresses the first two learning methods. As a developer, knowing when to use these options can be difficult. Some of the similarities and differences can be found in the chart below. Whenever possible I encourage you to take a blended learning approach: mix the applications, for example, by having your prerequisite content delivered in an eLearning format and the hands-on content covered in the classroom. Finally, consider the economics. Determine which application meets the needs of your target audience, allows you to meet your project objectives and fits your budget.

Instructors vs. Developers

Consider the similarities and differences between instructor-led training for the classroom and authors writing eLearning courses.


eLearning Authors

Think on their feet

Plan intensively

Talk fluently

Write fluently

Are subject oriented

May not be the SME, but must have access to one

Present topics orally

Rarely meet the learners

Can meet and learn about the attendees in the class

Must research the learners before writing the script

Manage classes and groups

Tend to be team members

 Stay tunded in for the remaining four articles that will cover:

eLearning Part 2: Planning eLearning

  • Storyboard
  • Script writing
  • Interactivity

eLearning Part 3: Developmental Roles

  • Mandatory Roles
  • Optional Roles

eLearning Part 4: Development Process

  • Communications
  • Recording
  • Publishing

eLearning Part 5: Evaluating

Contributing Author Rob Porter with Training Objectives