Introduction to Designing eLearning

We’ve already seen the many ways that workplace training can be delivered, in our first week of this module.
This is a great reminder of the end result and how our solutions will be implemented. We’ll get into the pointy end of delivery next week when we look at tools, technologies and platforms.

This week we explore how we design the many pieces and experiences that make up a learning experience and also contribute to the overall learning solution.

Designing our digital learning experiences encompasses everything from the design of the screens (visual and graphic design), the design of our modules and lessons (instructional design), to the design of the courses, curriculum and the structure of the solutions that are delivered via various platforms (learning experience design).

A quick reminder of the types of roles involved in the design of our content includes, but is not limited to;

Content writing and design roles

  • Subject matter expert (SME) – sometimes referred to as “smee”
    • Basically what it says – someone who is an expert on the subject your resource is about.
    • The SME works closely with the instructional designer to make sure the content of the resource is accurate.
  • Instructional designer / Writer
    • Uses educational principles to convert content, usually text content, into plans or storyboards for interactive instructional materials and assessments. Works closely with the SME and the course facilitator / assessor to plan course content and assessments.
  • UX designer (User experience designer) / Prototype developer
    • Explores the best way for people to experience the resource. They will often be involved in creating a prototype of the resource. A prototype is a rudimentary working model of the resource that is built for demonstration purposes. It’s often shown to the client to get feedback on the project plan the instructional designer has developed.
  • Graphic designer / Illustrator
    • Creates images or design elements that are required as per the plan that the instructional designer has developed.
  • Editor / Proofreader
    • They review what the instructional designer has created and check grammar, spelling, punctuation and style. The proofreader usually hands the edited instructional plan or storyboard back to the instructional designer.

I‘ve also kept the delivery roles here as they will have direct input into the design of the content.
Chances are, you are the person designing, building and delivering.

Delivery roles

  • Facilitator
    • These are teachers or moderators who guide, motivate and coordinate the course delivery and they might do this through regular online tutorials, email, releasing content in the LMS at specific times etc.
  • Assessor
    • Assessors are often the same person as facilitators and their job is to coordinate, develop and conduct assessments.
  • Learner group
    • It’s obvious but we should mention the role of the learner here. The learner group should be consulted and considered at all stages of resource development. You should always get feedback from the learner group after they have used the resource but they can also be involved in parts of the resource development process. For example, you might want them to provide content in the form of photos or blogs. Involving the learner as much as possible will make your resource work.

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