How Do You Create E-Learning? Put Your Learners First

Well, hello there, 2020. It’s been real, but is it January 2021 yet

I think someday we’ll look back at the year 2020, and likely a few things will stick out to us: 

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic—it has NOT been easy
  2. The 2020 Election—also, not particularly easy
  3.  The year that the entire world familiarized itself with e-learning—a blue ocean of opportunity 

E-learning, but for Oprah

I kind of picture Oprah dishing out e-learning tickets like, “And you, 5th grade teacher, get a ticket for e-learning!”, “And you, Customer Success Manager, get a ticket for e-learning!”. 

The gist is, it’s 2020 and everyone—from your preschooler to your Director of Customer Success—is engaging in e-learning. You’re likely here today to learn more about e-learning for businesses (but maybe you’ll walk away with some nuggets of information on e-learning for kids, too). Let’s first talk about the business of e-learning: How do you create e-learning? And more importantly, how do you create e-learning that is engaging and works? 

When you do a good ‘ole fashion Google search for “e-learning”, there will be a few different products and platforms that pop up. Just like anything, there is a business behind e-learning—therefore, there are options! When you are assessing your e-learning options, the simplest start is to identify if it falls under either a SCORM option, or “everything else” option. 

What is SCORM anyway? 

Do another Google search and you will find that SCORM stands for “Sharable Content Object Reference Model”. SCORM is traditionally what e-learning has been all about. SCORM files are meticulously designed files containing learning content for an audience to, well, learn. If you’re familiar with SCORM, you are probably also familiar with platforms such as Articulate Software, featuring Articulate Storyline or iSpring

This is where it can become a little tricky—the “everything else” bucket that we mentioned above can also relate or contain SCORM. But when we say “everything else”, what we are really talking about here is a Learning Management Software or LMS. And when we are talking about LMSs boy-oh-boy are there options out there! 

Shameless plug…

If you’ve landed here, you’re probably interested in innovative e-learning examples and processes, or maybe even in learning why Lessonly is the best e-learning software. This is a sneak peak to the next section, but what sets Lessonly apart from other LMSs is that it’s built around the foundation of putting learners first. Here at Lessonly, we care deeply about the learner’s experience and their ability to learn content, practice what they have learned, and increase their performance. Lessonly possesses both a nimble and simplified approach for learners AND trainers. The true differentiator of Lessonly is that creating content can happen both thoughtfully and quickly. Training and creating valuable e-learning shouldn’t be rocket science. Although, if you’d like you could create a lesson about rocket science, you can do that.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming 

Now you know a little more about what’s out there when it comes to e-learning options, let’s talk about the meaty stuff: What steps should you take to create content? 

We’re getting down to basics with this one here, but before you even open up any content project or initiative, it’s crucial that you have the mindset of putting learners first. This might look like sending out a survey to learners to ask what they’d like more content around or where they need additional enablement. Or perhaps it’s consulting with other trainers or managers regarding any knowledge gaps they see or performance issues they’d like to remedy. Putting learners first will narrow your focus of content and also tie your e-learning efforts to improvements and outcomes. 

Giving new life to old gold

So, you’ve launched a survey or consulted with other managers, and now you have your e-learning initiative. Now, let’s look at Step 2: What content is living and breathing out there already? Maybe there are old PowerPoint decks, maybe there’s an SOP or maybe there are golden nuggets of intel sitting in a subject matter expert (SME)’s brain. Your job is to find it! Start by gathering low hanging fruit (content that already exists) and then matching it with content not in existence (things you will have to call upon SMEs to write or share with you). This part can take some time and elbow grease, but it’s well worth your effort. 

Speed > Fidelity 

Here at Lessonly, we believe that building an amazing e-learning experience and content shouldn’t happen in vacuum. It also shouldn’t take months to years to develop. That’s why in this final step, we recommend focusing on speed over fidelity with a great learning and development software. Focus on gathering what’s in existence, SME insight, putting those things together, and then…wait for it … share it with a learner or two! Yes, before it’s ready to officially launch. Yes, share before you are ready. Why? Because who best to poke holes in your e-learning content than those on the frontlines? After all, it’s about putting learners first. This is not to say that the building process should be rushed, or that you skip steps. It simply means to be thoughtful yet efficient as you build content—and share as you build to glean feedback directly from the source(s). Maybe there is a different way to present the content, or a different way to ask questions or check a learner’s retention. All of those learnings won’t happen until you press the “Go” button. So, do it! 

Let’s summarize

In order to create innovative and relative e-learning:

Step 1: Put your learners first. Glean insight from learners and trainers on what matters.

Step 2:  Assess what content is out there—and start filling gaps and putting the puzzle pieces together. 

Step 3: Share before you are ready. Iteration, baby.

That’s all, folks! Well, kind of. There are a few more tips/tricks to creating great e-learning, but you’ve now been introduced to the meat and potatoes stuff. We truly hope you relish and enjoy building and launching e-learning in whatever world you live in. Never stop learning!


Lessonly helps teams like yours create e-learning—fast 💨

Our training software won’t let you create e-learning courses free, but over 1000 business teams across the globe learn, practice, and do better work with us. Click any of the tiles below to discover more of what we’re about at Lessonly! Or, if you don’t know where to start or have lots of questions, here are the 5 most important things to know about us.

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