When designed exclusively to address the specific needs of organizational learners, custom eLearning development can have a lasting impact. Besides effectively conveying the learning objectives, custom learning solutions also help maintain a brand’s unique tone and benefit overall performance improvement, thus positively impacting the business’ bottom line.
This blog post aims to explore some of the best practices and things you need to keep in mind during custom eLearning content development that can improve the overall success rate of your organization’s L&D programs.
1. Conduct a Detailed and Proper Training Needs Analysis
The first and foremost thing to keep in mind during custom eLearning development is to understand the learners and their specific needs. It allows you to focus on specific learners’ needs while addressing essential factors such as learner engagement and motivation, and helps accomplish the desired business goals.
Some of the objectives that can help you at this stage include:
- Identifying and defining specific business goals
- Understanding the learner’s style, profile, and unique preferences
- Figuring out the nature and scope of the overall eLearning project
- Aligning the learning objectives to the specific business goal
- Clearly defining eLearning project deliverables and specifications
- Determining the actual knowledge/performance gaps (existing level of skills v/s desired skills)
- Tailoring the eLearning contents per the desired learning outcomes
Conducting proper training needs analysis offers more clarity and ensures that you don’t end up teaching unsuitable competencies to the learners. This also helps in creating custom learning programs for online learners.
2. Work on the Platform Content
Regardless of how great your custom eLearning development idea is, the chances of it being successful are minimal without unique, valuable, and relevant content. Therefore, it’s essential to contemplate on partners that will create content for your eLearning platform or on the roadmap of how you will produce your content.
In addition to this, to be able to design a successful custom eLearning development course, it’s crucial to ensure that every aspect—from learning objectives to instructional strategies—is in alignment with the organization’s business goals.
Your eLearning course should also address specific learners’ needs in areas such as the scope of personalization, an intuitive interface, or flexibility to choose a learning path.
While fulfilling these criteria is generally tricky with off-the-shelf courses since they are primarily designed as one-size-fits-all eLearning solutions, with custom eLearning, you have the advantage of designing and developing eLearning courses customized to fit your learners’ specific requirements.
3. Choose an Appropriate Learning Strategy
Irrespective of how well you have conducted your eLearning needs analysis, if your online training strategy is not designed to adequately capture the learner’s attention, it is hardly of any use.
This is why it’s important to adopt an appropriate learning strategy by combining the best principles of instructional and graphic design as it can help learners grasp the content better, retain information for a longer time, and apply the new skills on the go.
Your eLearning strategy while designing custom eLearning solutions may include a mix of storytelling, interactive multimedia, case studies, simulations, and gamification techniques to enhance employee engagement.
4. Determine Delivery Methods for Your Custom Learning Content
To be able to effectively address the various competency requirements, it’s important to determine the appropriate delivery methods for your content. Here are some of the best methods you can choose from:
A video can be the best custom eLearning solution when you need to explain a topic in a quick and engaging way without having the learner take the entire course or physically attend a training course. It’s an easy deployment method that allows the learner to reference the material conveniently at their own pace.
A learning portal is another excellent custom solution for packaging a range of delivery methods. It allows you to deliver one topic in a video, another via a microlearning module, and yet another through a gamification technique.
The advantage of a learning portal is that it allows you to accommodate all your learning offerings in one location with easy access to them through a single interface.
If you wish to deliver more complex content requiring detailed instructions by an expert, instructor-led training or ILT is the best option. VILTs are also a great way to deliver content that involves hands-on practice.
In this delivery model, learners follow a web/computer-based program that may contain different media, such as module-based online classes.
5. The Importance of Assessments
When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of training success, assessments play an important role. Both pre and post-assessments help you determine the extent to which each of your learners has met their learning objectives.
The best way to do this is to have a baseline/pre-assessment of what employees know before instruction and a post-assessment to understand what they know after instruction.
You can also look over every single learning objective and develop a robust method of performance assessment by using well-defined learning objectives.
The results that you get from the assessments should ideally be used to make thorough comparisons between the learners’ pre-instruction and post-instruction performance.
6. Focus on User Experience
When developing custom eLearning content, the focus is generally on presenting the training content in a way that engages the learner in learning activities.
However, high-quality, visually appealing, engaging content is of no use unless it is combined with an excellent user experience, especially in today’s digital age.
A flawless user experience can not only elevate the overall learning program but also ensure that content conveys as well as accomplishes the objectives of the L&D initiatives.
You can do this by
- making the navigation simple and easy,
- bringing consistency into the design to reduce the learning curve,
- ensuring a learner-centered design that emphasizes the importance of audience perception,
- adopting a minimalist approach to design that helps reduce chaos, and
- going with a mobile-first design, especially when on-the-go learning is the need of the hour.
Custom eLearning development can be a tricky process that is reliant on thorough curriculum development and a robust instructional design. Following a careful design approach is especially important in the development of any custom eLearning course.
If you want to provide an amazing elearning experience to your employees, let’s get on a quick call and talk.
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