How Do I Create An eLearning Course?

First off, it’s awesome that you want to create your own eLearning course. Content created by the company for the company is often the most effective learning material.

No one knows your learners better than you.

So, let’s jump into the nitty-gritty. One of the first decisions to make is whether you want to use a course authoring tool or the one built into your learning management system (LMS).

Third-party or no?

Authoring tools in an LMS are helpful because they usually don’t require a lot of technical expertise. And it’s a streamlined process—once the course is created, you can immediately publish it out to the right audience.

That said, authoring tools can have more interactive elements. They usually make it easier to use material across multiple systems, too.

Style factor

Setting a template and style is important for a couple reasons. One, with a template you don’t have to reinvent the wheel with each course. The other is that it helps learners navigate the material. If learners open a course and have to re-orient themselves each time they’re less likely to use it.

Need to know only

Once you have that set, it’s time to think about content.

What skill or information do you want the learner to take away from the course? It’s super important to pin this down right at the beginning. The course content—we’re talking everything: design, graphics, images, video—all flow from this. The reason it’s so important is because learners access eLearning content on the go, whenever and wherever they need it. And cognitive Load Theory says we can only retain so much information at once.

Keep it simple

Which brings us to the next step: keep those designs and graphics simple and straightforward. Only include the details immediately relevant to what you want the learners to glean from the course. Another trick to help learners digest and retain information is to arrange it in bite-sized pieces.

Keep these big picture notes in mind as you craft your content and learners will love it.


Do I Need a CMS or an LMS?

The short answer to whether you need a content management system (CMS) or a learning management system (LMS) is: it depends on what you want to do. Which is about as unsatisfying an answer as “you’ll understand it when you’re older.”

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