You might not think that creating great online courses is the work of an action hero, but in a lot of ways it is. It takes the same amount of skill, decisiveness, and creativity that someone like MacGyver might use in the case of shorting out a missile timer with a paperclip (This actually happened in the first episode).
The sense of reward is the similar because, rather than saving the world from destruction on a weekly basis, youre saving the world from bad online training courses one course at a time.
In order to become the MacGyver of online training development there are a few steps that you need to take.
Assess The Situation
One of the first things you need to do is to assess the needs of your learners. This is done by getting to know who the learners are.
The way that you execute and plan your course is established by the feedback you receive here. The knowledge you impart to your learners can be based on a number of factors include age, interests, industry and others.
Come Up With A Plan
Once youve gathered some information about the learners needs, you need to come up with a plan that addresses them. An Instructional Design document is the first step in this process.
The Instructional Design document takes your expertise and allows you to separate it into units of knowledge called Learning Objects. From there, you define the best method to transfer skills (via a learning strategy like question types, multimedia, or text) and organize them in modules and courses.
The Instructional Design document informs the Storyboard Document. Storyboarding is an exciting stage as you can really begin to see the direction that youre course will take. This is especially exciting if youre involved in the creation of role-playing or scenario-based online training.
These documents are critical in the creation of great online training. Because of their detail, they can be time-consuming. In which case, you can use a custom online training developer to help through all stages of development process.
Gather Your Materials
If you have any photos that will be included within your course, now is the time to gather the high-resolution versions.
The same goes for videos. If youre repurposing videos, make sure they are re-encoded into a format that your course authoring tool will be able to use. You may need to consult the documentation to find out which video formats it accepts. Most modern course authoring tools will accept MP4 or FLV formats.
If you’re including a narration track in your online training, keep in mind that capable course authoring tools will be able to import your audio files in AIF, WAV, or MP3 file formats. If you are using MP3 files, make sure that the bit rate is high-enough that it sounds clear. One other quick tip; narration tracks can be mixed down to a single channel (Mono) to save space and make the course load more quickly.
Save The Day!
At this point you’ll begin to see the advantage of having completed the other stages beforehand. If you had not created an Instructional Design document then you wouldnt know what to take a photo or video of, or what the narrator should speak. Its a real time saver and keeps you from having to go back and recreate elements.
With your materials in place, now come the time to build the course, delight your learners, and save the day.
Great online training is the unsung hero of the training world. A great course will facilitate knowledge-transfer that will stand up in the weeks, months, and years to come. The learners will see you as their hero because youve rescued them from being subjected to another poorly-designed online training course.