Creating training and eLearning content can be overwhelming. Here’s how to do it the right and easy way that will save you time and frustration.
Step-by-step guide: how to create courses the right – and easy – way
When most people start creating eLearning or training content, they dive right in. They’ll start by putting together video elements, training modules, and pictures – all at once. What most people don’t realize, until they’ve created courses before, is that creating training and eLearning content can take a lot of time and effort. And you can quickly get in over your head.
However, there’s a simple process that you can follow to create courses that provide the most impact to your audience and help you do it in the most effective and easiest way possible. The key is to plan first and create last. Start by framing your courses first, and then, end by creating your courses. It will save you a ton of time and frustration. Here’s how you can do it.
1. Consider your audience
The first and number one thing you need to consider when creating courses is your audience. You may have built a beautiful course that’s highly engaging and explains concepts really well, but if it doesn’t resonate with your audience, it’s a waste.
When creating courses, audience is key. It should be your starting point and guide through everything you create. That means you should keep your audience in mind for every aspect of your course creation including the language, content, intended learning outcomes, and more.
For instance, when it comes to language — does it need to speak to employees or managers? Or both? Maybe the courses are intended for a specific department in your company or organization. In that case, it would be helpful to focus the language and content on how it applies to that department specifically or a specific employee’s role.
Thinking about your audience also goes beyond just intention and educational materials. You also need to consider if any of your audience members might be persons with disabilities.
Consider if your content needs to be fully accessible. Maybe you need to think about how your course will be read or viewed by assistive devices, software, and technology and conveyed to your learners.
You should have a clear understanding of who your audience is and how you intend to serve them before embarking on creating training materials. Once you have nailed this down, you are ready to move to the next step.
2. Define your learning goals
One of the best things about course creation is that it lets you be creative. On the flip side, it’s easy to get carried away and overlook your objectives. To help you stay grounded and focused, you should clearly define the course’s intended learning goals or outcomes before you start creating courses.
Defining clear objectives will help you formulate guidelines and avoid deviating from impactful and actionable insights. It will also give you a solid baseline for assessing the success of your learners later on.
To help define your course goals, try asking yourself these questions:
- Is the goal to teach your learners a new skill, company policy, or procedure?
- What do you want your learners to get out of the course?
- What is the clearest, most engaging way you can convey information to your learners?
- How will you evaluate the success of your learners?
When you answer these questions, you’ll have a good idea of some objectives that you need to craft your courses around. If you do, you’ll maximize your impact and have better learning outcomes.
3. Choose your course topic
After you’ve defined the goal of your courses, you’re ready to pick a topic. Luckily, defined objectives should make this process easier. But sometimes, it might still be challenging.
To help determine a topic, consider the audience, scope of the course, and what information you need your learners to know by the end of it.
Some topics are more straightforward and easy to define like when you’re teaching a new company policy or procedure. But with broader topics, you may need to narrow in on what exactly you want to say and how you want to say it.
For example, if you want to create courses on mobile technology, that’s a pretty broad topic. So you’ll have to choose specific aspects to talk about. Maybe you want to talk about hardware, like screens, batteries, and processors. Or maybe it’s more relevant to your business to talk about software like operating systems and apps.
After settling on a topic, you may also want to test and see if it’s too focused or too broad. A good course topic should always reflect learning material accurately but also serve as a hook that gets learners interested.
4. Gather your resource materials
Now that you’ve defined your learning objectives and decided on a topic that accurately reflects these objectives, it’s time to gather your resource materials. Resource materials will be the foundation on which you base your training materials.
Gathering your resource materials may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be easy to get lost while searching for materials. These questions can help guide you and avoid wasting time:
- What information do I need to get started on each course?
- Where can I find the information I need to create my training courses?
(e.g. library, internet, subject matter experts)
- Do I need to interview subject matter experts? If so, do I know what questions I’ll ask them?
Think about the core components of your course and what research you’ll need to convey those components effectively. It may be helpful to break your course into pieces and then gather materials for each section. And remember, if you need to make claims, be sure it’s backed up with reliable research.
These things will make sure your course has actionable takeaways, and your learners won’t get bogged down in unnecessary information.
5. Think about your course structure
Course structure is one of the foundational components of creating impactful courses. Course structure is how you’ll organize your courses. You’ll want to think about its order, how your learners will access it, and how they’ll interact with it.
You may have a rough idea of how you’ll want to organize your courses, but you’ll also want to consider:
- What is the format of your course? Do you want it to support microlearning? If so, you’ll have to chunk your information into small, bite-sized pieces.
- Do you have sections that build on each other? You’ll want to make sure your learners finish these sections in sequential order.
- Will you include blended learning or virtual classroom sessions?
- Will the course be available on mobile? If so, is your course mobile-friendly?
Course structure really makes a difference between a good course and one that has little value. Structural elements create an organized structure and clear expectations that your learners can follow.
6. Create course content
You’ve laid the groundwork with your learning objectives, course topic, and resource materials. Now you’re finally ready to start creating content. This is the fun part.
From graphics to videos, interactive elements, and more, there are a lot of options to spice up your courses and make them engaging. However, each of these elements can take a significant amount of time and work.
Before jumping in, start by framing out what elements you’ll need to go with each section. And before you commit to a video or interactive element in your course, ask yourself:
- Do I need to enlist the help of a copywriter, graphic designer, or other professional to help me develop aspects of my courses?
- Are there company logos, colors, and other branding that I need to use?
- Is there a budget I can draw from for asset creation?
- Do I have the equipment and tools to be successful?
These things can help you decide what elements are worth your time and effort or if there’s an easier way to create them. Once you’ve got your elements framed out, you are free to start creating courses.
As you can see, there are many things that go into creating an impactful course. And it all starts with planning. As the saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once.” This same principle applies here. It’s better to plan your courses beforehand, using the above method, than just going straight to course creation. It will save you a lot of time, money, and effort. And your courses will be even more impactful to your audience.
Tovuti’s learning management system can help you create impactful courses without the hassle
A learning management system (LMS) does the heavy lifting for administrators. With Tovuti’s LMS, you can quickly and easily make engaging, impactful, and most of all, fun courses! Tovuti has the most robust gamified and interactive features on the market, ensuring your learners will retain more information than traditional methods and have fun doing it!
With Tovuti’s content partnerships, you also get access to 30,000+ pre-built, so you can have your training program up and running in as little as a few minutes. After creating your courses, you can use analytics to track course completion, gauge learner satisfaction, improve your overall training program, and much more!