Who’s Working on That E-Learning Course with You?

e-learning

One challenge I see for those who are just getting started with e-learning is that while they have the authoring tools to build the courses, they tend to lack the other connections and resources to pull the courses together.

It’s important to build a network of contributors and resources. And this starts with having the right people because they come with the right content, reviews, feedback, and approval.

Here are a few considerations:

  • Client. Someone is commissioning the course. They provide objectives, scope, deadlines, and access to resources. They also sign-off on what is to be done.
  • Subject Matter Experts. You may be the subject matter expert (which is common for e-learning) otherwise you’ll need access to the subject matter experts. And you’ll need to determine the source of truth for the content. And who is the final authority to confirm that?
  • Analyst. You want the learning objectives to be measurable and know the source of measurement; you need access to the metrics and how they’re measured. Otherwise at the end of the project you have no way of knowing if the objectives were met.
  • Project Manager. How is the project managed? There are a lot of steps involved and co-dependent elements between approval of content, assets, assessments, and implementation.
  • Learners. It’s important to get the perspective of the learning audience since they’re the ones who take the courses. I like to pull in new people who just learned the material. They provide a perspective that a seasoned subject matter expert may overlook.
  • Reviewers. Who will review the course? And at what point. It’s a good idea to get the content reviewed and confirmed before investing too much time in building the course. When building the course, especially with interactions and assessments that take more time to build, create quick prototypes and get them tested rather than build complete modules.
  • Programmers. Someone will assemble the course. It may as easy as opening the authoring tool and dropping in content. But you may want to do some hacks or add other elements that require some programming knowledge.
  • Multimedia Developers. Courses consist of visuals and multimedia such as audio and video. Who is designing the look of the course? Do videos need to be recorded and edited? What about special animations? Again, a lot of the simple stuff can be created in the authoring tool, but you may want access to someone who can create custom media.
  • IT Support. From my experience, most of the e-learning problems happen right before implementation. Where does the course live? Who has access to the servers or LMS? What happens with technical issues?
  • Marketing. The marketing team may not play any role in your course design. However, they often have a lot of critical information and collateral that has already been vetted. I’d seek them out for brand consideration, messaging, and media collateral like images and videos.

The reality for many e-learning developers is that they play the role of all (or most) of the people above? If that’s the case, the considerations are still the same. They just need to be scaled back a bit.

Question for you: when you build e-learning courses, how many people tend to work on the course with you? And how much are you doing on your own?


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Starting an E-Learning Project

e-learning

“Help, I am just getting started with e-learning and don’t know where to start!”

There’s obviously a lot that goes into e-learning. And creating courses can be a bit daunting for those less experienced. So let’s break it down a bit to help you get started.

People Don’t Have Course Deficiencies

People don’t sit around waiting to take e-learning courses. Those courses exist as a solution to something. The goal isn’t to build the course. The goal is to meet some objective and the course is a means to getting there.

This seems obvious, but a lot of e-learning is usually repurposed content with no real connection to any tangible objective.

The best place to started is to make sure you’re building a course to meet a need.

Things to Consider When Getting Started

  • Meet with your client and determine what the training requirements are for the e-learning projects. Your goal is to establish measurable objectives. To do so, you need to know if the request from the client is really met with a training solution. Often, it’s not. Focus on what the expected outcome is and not just that a course is to be built.
  • Get the client thinking. I usually send over a list of a few core questions so that they’re prepared and have thought about some of the issues like the audience and what they hope to accomplish.
  • Determine timelines. When is the project due? How much time do you have to work on it? Is the request in line with time available? What is the least work you can do to meet the objectives?
  • Are there existing resources? Collateral from other projects? Data? If you need access to subject matter experts or others on the team, it’s important to know that and how you’ll get that access.
  • Is there a budget? Many organizations just expect that courses get built because you have the e-learning software, but they don’t offer a budget for the assets and work that may be required to be successful. Find out if there’s a budget.
  • Identify the final authority on who can make the important decisions and sign off on work. And then you want that person involved before you do any significant production. The last thing you want is a “final course” that needs to be reviewed. Ideally, all the content is reviewed and signed off prior to any significant construction.
  • Leave the initial meeting with next steps and action items. And every meeting you have after should require some decisions. If not, don’t have a meeting.

There’s obviously a lot that goes into build an e-learning course and this is just a few quick bullet points. The main things before building any e-learning course: make sure you need a course, determine objectives, and determine who owns the project.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Step Away from that Content

e-learning

Instructional design isn’t really that complicated. At its core, it’s about teaching something to someone who acquires new skills and knowledge and can apply them to meet some objective.

The challenge with a lot of e-learning is that courses are designed to be presentations of content, but not focused enough on the teaching and application. Content is obviously a key component of learning. But learning is a process where the content is synthesized with experience, activities, and feedback to do something new or perhaps better. Just looking at content with no application of what’s learned is a deficient instructional design process.

Content by itself is mostly irrelevant. Content pasted into an authoring tool doesn’t make it a course or great learning experience. The e-learning course isn’t the objective. The objective is to accomplish something specific, and the course is part of the solution to do that.

Step Away from the Solution

When I first learned about instructional design, we focused on backwards design where we looked at observable skills and then what was required to get the person there.

The natural inclination is to package content. But you need to step away from content. Instead look at what actions are required of the learner and then step backwards into the content. Here’s a simple way to think about backwards design.

In the real world:

  • What does the person need to do?
  • How do they demonstrate that they can do it?
  • How do they practice the skills required to demonstrate them?

In the e-learning course:

  • How do they demonstrate their understanding in the course? What assessment activities can you create?
  • What practice activities can you build for them to practice the skills?
  • How much do they need to learn to practice?
  • What content do they need to learn so that they can practice?

This is a simplified version of backwards design. The main focus is on the desired action and not content. What does the learner need to do? How do they practice it? What do they need to know? At some point you get to the content that supports the activity. This is how you get to the right content for the course versus just a content dump that becomes the course.

As you can see, focusing on action gets you to performance. And content is there to support what needs to be learned. You don’t start with content because it’s not tied to an action. And that’s where most courses fail.

The next time you build a course, identify the measurable performance expectations. What do they need to do? And then build backwards which will help determine the content you need.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Is This as Good as It Gets? Two Reasons Why E-Learning Isn’t Better

good bad e-learning

I see a lot of e-learning courses and to be honest many of them are not as good as they could be. They tend to be what we anticipate from corporate e-learning: screen after screen of content with lots of next buttons and then a final quiz. You have to work with what you have. Sometimes the training content isn’t good (like the leads from Mitch and Murray) and you can’t do much with it. But often, when it comes to the content, what could be interactive is static; and what could look engaging, looks discordant.

Why? Here are a couple of reasons why that’s the case with some recommendations to make improvements.

E-Learning Designers Lack Technical Skills

Good news: e-learning software makes it easy to build courses. Virtually anyone can build a course. However, the software doesn’t “build” the course. That requires some skill.

There’s a lot that goes into crafting a good course and it requires multiple disciplines. Instructional design is different than programming which is different than visual design which is even more different than specific software expertise with e-learning tools such as Storyline 360. However, many organizations buy the easy-to-use software and then place the burden on a single person to have a broad range of skills that could, in their own right, be separate career paths. That’s a big burden.

We’re not all graphic designers and UX experts, which explains some of the discordant aspects of the course. But we can learn the basics of the skills we need and that helps clean things up and lets us know when we’re outside our skillset.

Solution:

  • Instructional design is not pushing content. It’s about teaching. Make the content relevant and frame it around real-world decision-making and you’ll create a better learning experience.
  • Develop a solid foundation of basic skills needed to craft a good course: things like instructional & visual design, etc. You won’t become a pro in all things, but you’ll learn enough to know the difference and what to look for in your course design; and know when to bring on experts to do the things you can’t.
  • Stay in your lane. For example, if you don’t have strong visual design skills, don’t try to be a visual designer. That’s when things start to look a bit clunky. In those cases, stick with a simple template or use form-based Rise 360 over Storyline 360 because you won’t have to make as many design decisions and the course will look good and work well.

Companies Don’t Invest in the Resources

Companies spend what they need to meet their business objectives. A lot of e-learning is compliance training where the only objective is to get the course in front of people and verified by the end of the year. In that world, it doesn’t make sense to spend more than you need in time and money to get courses developed and delivered. And that’s why so many e-learning courses aren’t interesting or engaging.

However, if you want to build good courses, you must commit to that and invest the right resources.

Solution:

  • Determine what type of course you’re building to better allocate resources. Generally, courses are one of two types: explainer courses or performance-based courses. Don’t overbuild a course that has no expectations but a certificate of completion. Save your resources for performance-based courses with clear, measurable objectives. They tend to require more production which takes more time and money.
  • Understand what resources you need. E-learning software is one thing. Building a good course with it is something different. Do you need a designer to help produce the core structure and some templates? Do you need a graphics person? Are you looking for some custom programming or a specific type of interactivity that requires advanced skills? Figure that out and plan on it.
  • Create a budget to pay for what you need. Many organizations just buy the software and leave it at that. But it takes more than software to build effective e-learning. And like any useful product, it requires the right investment. Propose a budget for your courses.

There are a lot of other ways to improve e-learning courses. But making an investment in skills and resources is a good place to start.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

How to Help Your Clients Built Better E-Learning

effective e-learning

One frustration I’ve had when building e-learning courses is getting the client to understand what makes an effective course. People tend to ask for what they’re used to seeing. And since many experience e-learning as click-and-read content they tend to ask for that type of course, which for an e-learning developer isn’t exciting.

There are many times when a click-and-read approach is appropriate.  So, this isn’t a rant against click-and-read courses. However, there are also plenty of times, where a click-and-read course isn’t the best solution.  In those cases, it can be a challenge getting your clients to see past what they’re used to and consider a different approach that better meets to goals.

What does the client expect as an outcome?

All courses aren’t the same. There are many that are more like certification courses that are annual reminders of company policies or regulatory requirements. In that world, there’s no real performance expectation other than compliance and the desired outcome is to have a record of course completion at the end of the year.

That’s different from a course where the client expects real changes in performance such as improved production or increased sales. In those courses, there’s some desired area of improvement that’s been identified and ideally training offers some benefit to meeting that improvement.

Allocate resources appropriately.

If you’re building simple compliance training, don’t overbuild the course and waste time with superfluous interactivity and other media which can take more time and cost more money. Build the simplest course that conveys the compliance information effectively and meets the needs of the organization.

If you’re building courses to change behavior, don’t get stuck in a click-and-read rut because it’s easy. Build the appropriate learning experience to meet the goals. This usually involves a lot more analysis and commitment. Effective performance-based e-learning takes more time to build and costs more to produce. With limited resources, you don’t want the resources consumed by simpler compliance training and not have them available for more expensive development when required.

Align course objectives to the appropriate metrics.

Once you understand the desired outcomes you can collect the metrics to prove course success. Compliance training is easier because the requirement is mostly to track and report course completion by a specified date. Let’s face it, you’re not building ethics training where 75% of the company is unethical and after the training it’s down to only 10%. You’re reminding people about ethics and company standards.

Performance-based objectives are a bit more challenging. The organization has a desired objective, and they have some way of measuring whether it’s currently met or not. That is good because that provides the basis for clear metrics to help determine if the training is successful.

However, the reality is that training may only be part of what changes behavior and meets those performance objectives. There are other things that have an impact on success that are outside of training such as access to resources, environmental issues, and personal motivation.

You’ll need to work with the client to determine what the course can impact and how you can measure it to report success.

That’s quick overview. Obviously, there’s a lot more to it than that. But if you’re building courses, don’t just start with the easy click-and-read. Work with the client to understand their goals and then build the course that best meets them.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

What’s Wrong with Retrofitting an Accessible E-Learning Course

accessible e-learning retrofit

A guest post by Elizabeth Pawlicki, Training Program Manager, Articulate.

Many e-learning designers are challenged because they don’t often build accessible e-learning courses. So, they’re not sure what accessibility means and how it impacts course design.

In a recent webinar, we discussed general ideas around accessible e-learning, common design challenges, and some ways to overcome them. One of the tips was to plan for accessibility from the start because it’s not a good idea to retrofit 508 or WCAG compliance into existing e-learning courses.

An attendee asked, “What’s wrong with retrofitting a course?”

Good question.

Understanding Accessible E-Learning

Imagine a city that already exists full of apartment buildings, skyscrapers, and transit systems. And then the city council implements a law that says there must be a half-acre of park every two square miles.

How will you accomplish that?

You either must tear down what you’ve already built or try to squeeze the bare minimum of acceptable “parkland” into your existing space. Since the parks weren’t an initial consideration, you do what you can to meet minimum guidelines, but you may not meet the aspirational goals of the intent of more parks.

And that’s often the case with e-learning courses that weren’t built with accessibility in mind. The retrofitted courses may appear to meet the minimum requirements but may not offer the best user experience; and they may not actually meet the requirements if all you did after-the-fact was apply accessible features to the original content.  And of course, all of that retrofitting costs a lot of extra time and money.

Challenges Retrofitting Accessible E-Learning

There’s a lot that goes into creating an e-learning course like consulting with subject matter experts, writing scripts, developing prototypes, presenting content to stakeholders, and iterating on the prototypes you have created. In the end, you have a published output that everyone has agreed upon.

When you try to retrofit a completed course, it may seem easy and straightforward. But once you begin to uncover how much needs to be undone, redone, and how many people could and should be involved in that process, you’ll find it’s more costly, time-consuming, and downright difficult. This is especially true when you consider the interactive nature of e-learning and how different users access the content.

Therefore, it’s important to consider accessibility as part of the initial production process so that you understand what’s required and build a course that meets everyone’s needs. If you start with accessibility in mind, you’re considering everyone. Everyone will feel included because they are.

Want to learn more:



Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • October 6: Amsterdam. 10 Production Tips from the E-Learning Challenges by David Anderson. Register here.
  • October 21: Sydney. 3-Hour Articulate Virtual Event: 10 Production Tips from the E-Learning Challenges, Creating Engaging Software Training in Rise 360, and more. Register here.
  • October 29: ATD Nashville. Here's Why You Need an E-Learning Portfolio.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

This Site Will Help When Troubleshooting Your Courses

In an ideal world, you create an e-learning course, publish it, and put it online. And everything works perfectly.

The reality is that there are many variables between the technology and the individual users and how they access the courses. And these variables can create issues which make it a challenge to troubleshoot e-learning courses when problems arise.

In a previous post, we looked at the HTML5Test site as a way to check the browser and how it’s current support for HTML5 which is important to know when adding interactivity and multimedia to projects.

To go with that post, here’s another good site: SupportAlly. It’s a simple site that allows you to collect information about the user’s computer, such as:

  • Which operating system are you using?
  • Which browser and version?
  • Screen size?
  • Browser window size?

All of the information above is key when trying to troubleshoot because many of the people who run into technical issues can’t easily find and share that information about their systems. So if you need to troubleshoot why a course isn’t working, send them the link above. It’ll capture info about their system and browser which they can easily share with you. That’ll save a few back and forth questions.

As a bonus, here’s a previous post where I share Ten Tips for Troubleshooting and Technical Support. One of them is to share your system info.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events

Help Your E-Learning Customers Understand HTML5

html5

Before we get started: Flash is going away soon. And if you have a lot of older e-learning courses, it’s something that you should be dealing with now before it’s too late. Start pulling together the original source files because you’ll have to republish or maybe rebuild a few of the older courses. If you don’t have the sources files, a couple of the resources below should help.

What made Flash work is that everyone had the same player and, for the most part, things kind of worked the way they were supposed to. Without the Flash player, courses run through the browser. Thus the demand for HTML5 courses.

The challenge however is that you don’t have control over the browsers and devices people use to consume e-learning courses. Ten years ago, almost all courses were Flash-based and ran on a personal computer. Today, courses are accessed via computers and mobile devices (which could mean a tablet or smart phone).

There are tens of thousand different Android devices, let alone Apple devices. Each device has it’s own technical constraints such as memory, processor, and screen size. They can run on different operating systems and different versions of those systems.

Also, how many different browsers are there for these mobile devices and computers? And really, why is any organization still using Internet Explorer 11?

And here’s the main point in all of this: the browsers that have to display the e-learning courses are not all the same or created equal.

What that means for you is the course you build may not work as intended when accessed by someone on a different device using a different browser. That’s why it’s so important to test, test, and test.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, create a demo course with media, interactivity, and animations. And use that to test the user’s learning environment. You also want to test on multiple devices to make sure things work the they way you want.

Despite all of the testing, you’ll still have customers who have expectations that are outside your control. Some customers and clients just don’t know enough about this stuff so their expectations may not be aligned with reality. They may want a lot of media or animations, that may not work for their users.

In those cases, I recommend referring them to this site: HTML5 Test

What I like about the site is that it’s a great way to SHOW the differences in browsers and devices and use that as a way to discuss what needs they have, what can be be built, and how the courses may respond.

html5

You don’t need to go into some long-winded technical explanation about HTML5. Use the site as a means to expose them to potential issues or constraints and ways to work around them. The last thing you want is a fancy product that doesn’t work in the end-user’s browser.

So, make sure you get prepared for the end of Flash and know how to set expectations for the courses you do build. The good news is that the technology is changing, the devices are getting better, and expectations and what you can deliver are converging.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • April 20 & 21 (Brisbane). Postponed until September. Details coming soon. Articulate Roadshow: Learn more and register here.
  • April 23 & 24 (Melbourne). Postponed until September. Details coming soon. Articulate Roadshow: Learn more and register here.
  • November 9 &10 (London). Details coming soon.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Help! My Subject Matter Expert Needs to Edit My E-Learning Course

subject matter expert e-learning course

You’re building an e-learning course and your subject matter expert needs to review and make edits to the course. But they don’t have access to your e-learning software.

So how do you get them to make those edits? Here are some time-saving tips.

What Should Happen

Before you start building the e-learning course, you should have a signed and approved script. And then you work from that. Obviously, there will be a final review and there’s always some editing to be done. But there shouldn’t be a ton, or not enough that requires someone else make significant edits.

Of course, that’s not how it always works.

I’ve been on projects where it seems things are done and then marketing steps in and throws a wrench in the process. So you end up making a bunch of edits to fit the organization’s brand.

Another common issue is when training that involves the legal team. I have nothing against lawyers, but I swear, they can really create a lot of extra work, especially with compliance training where every word means something.

To combat this issue, you should bring all those teams to the table when you develop the content and prior to sign-off before you start assembling the course.

That’s how it should work in an ideal world: the project and content is reviewed and you get final sign-off.  But that’s just not how it ends up working for a lot of people.

How to Get the Subject Matter Expert to Make the Edits

Storyline has a feature to export the course text for translation. It gets exported to a Word doc. From there, someone can review and make text edits. When done, the Word doc is saved and imported back into Storyline. Why not use that feature for your subject matter experts?

Here’s what I’d do:

  • Publish the course to Review 360. They can see the course in action. Of course, they can add comments, but you don’t need them since they’ll be making edits in the doc.

subject matter expert reviews edits course

  • Export the course for translation.
  • Forward the Word doc to the subject matter expert with instructions on what to do.
  • The subject matter expert reviews the course and makes text edits in the Word doc.
  • The subject matter expert forwards the Word doc.
  • Import the edited doc into Storyline.


Watch the tutorial on YouTube.

That’s a pretty easy process. It allows your subject matter expert to review a published course. And where they want to make changes, they do so in the Word doc. Super easy and it doesn’t require that they have access to your e-learning application.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • April 20 & 21 (Brisbane). Postponed until September. Details coming soon. Articulate Roadshow: Learn more and register here.
  • April 23 & 24 (Melbourne). Postponed until September. Details coming soon. Articulate Roadshow: Learn more and register here.
  • November 9 &10 (London). Details coming soon.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

3 Keys to Building Effective Online Training

effective online training

A lot of online training starts with pre-existing content, usually some policies, manuals, and PowerPoint presentations. The key is figuring out how to convert a lot of this content into an effective e-learning course. Most of it starts with the objectives of the course. Here are a few things to consider.

Effective Online Training Has Clear Objectives

You can’t build a good course without clear objectives. This seems obvious, but based on what I see, it isn’t. Many organizations confuse content with objectives. Content is just that: content. It may be valuable, but it’s a means to an end. The course objective is never to consume content. Otherwise you’re just wasting time.

Effective Online Training Has Actionable Objectives

At the end of the course, the learner will be able to do _______. That’s basically it.

The online training is a solution to meet an objective such as installing a new part, closing a sale, or inputting data. If the course is only focused on content, they may learn a lot of about something, but they may not know what they’re supposed to do with what they learned.

A course with actionable objectives is focused on what the person will do.

Effective Online Training Has Measurable Objectives

The two points above are obvious to most course developers. However, the reality is that a lot of training we’re asked to build isn’t actionable because the managers or customers tend to think that the issue is a lack of information. Which may be true on the surface. So when I build courses, I like to put them into one of two buckets: information or performance.

With an information-based course, the objective may be to present the information and the measure of that is tracking whether a course was completed or not. This is true for a lot of annual refresher training. This isn’t ideal, but some organizations have information they want to present, but they may not have fully formed ideas around what that information should produce.

A performance-based course is different. It’s tied to a desired action. And that action is measurable. For example, if the training is on how to install a product. I know you’re trained if I can observe you install the product correctly. Or if you’re a manager and you’re learning to give feedback, I can build training that puts you in a situation where you give the desired feedback. Those are things that I can observe or measure.

In an ideal world, training has clear actionable and measurable objectives. Without those, why are you building the course?


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • April 20 & 21 (Brisbane). Postponed until September. Details coming soon. Articulate Roadshow: Learn more and register here.
  • April 23 & 24 (Melbourne). Postponed until September. Details coming soon. Articulate Roadshow: Learn more and register here.
  • November 9 &10 (London). Details coming soon.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.