In today’s virtual world, new eLearning content opportunities are prevalent ways for non-profit organizations and associations to generate engagement as well as revenue. With more and more professionals seeking continuing education or certificates, it is imperative for your organization to meet those needs in a relevant and timely manner. The way you create, deliver, and promote your new eLearning content is crucial to your program’s success.
Developing New eLearning Content
So, you already have an eLearning program with valuable information to share, but how do you maintain your programs and create new eLearning content to keep them best-of-class? As the go-to resource in your field, your courses should be highly sought after and revenue-generating programs. Whether you have a team that develops industry-leading coursework and learning pathways or you employ an eLearning content designer to help you meet your goals, developing new eLearning content is the only way to remain a thought leader on the industry’s latest trends.
1. Answer Learner Questions
Start with the “why.” Today, professionals are busier than ever before. They are juggling their work responsibilities with home life while pursuing continuing education. That means they need clear, defined goals and outcomes from their learning provider. Your learners will need to know what they will learn, how they will learn it, and why it will be valuable to them in their career BEFORE they start your course.
This means that your course title, descriptions, and promotion must be clear and concise, providing all the details that students will need to make an informed decision about your program. Next, you will want to develop learning objectives that outline the purpose of your course and the outcomes of completing the lectures and assessments.
This will help your learners decide if the course work required is worth the outcome they will receive from devoting their time and effort to the course. One of the best ways to illustrate the outcome is to provide testimonials from past learners on your website. Whether you decide to share these testimonials as quotes or in videos, promoting your past learners’ experiences, especially those who share career achievements can validate the course’s worth to prospective students.
2. Partner with a Subject Matter Expert
The key to a great course is unique insight and principles. Sure, curated content can supply a wealth of supporting material to illustrate varying viewpoints, but you’ll want to make sure that at least 50% of your course’s content is original to your organization. To do this, you’ll need expert insight into the industry and its current trends.
Find someone who not only understands your subject matter, but also conducts their own research in the field. By partnering with a subject matter expert (SME), you’ll be able to provide your learners with unique insights. Host your SME as a guest lecturer, provide a workshop opportunity with an exercise to apply the learnings, or create your own original content from the data your SME provides to supplement your course content. An SME is imperative to creating relevant, engaging course content, so make sure you find one that has the time to dedicate to the partnership.
3. Create an Intuitive Learning Path
While great content is at the core of a great course, it’s also important that you prioritize the structure of your content. By providing an intuitive learning path for your audience, you’re not only making it easier to manage their time, but also improving their retention on specific subjects. For example, content that covers similar topics should be covered in the same module. Whereas easier, preliminary content should be presented first, increasing the difficult of the subject matter as the course progresses.
To aid your students in understanding and retaining the information, it’s often helpful to include definitions, explanations of concepts, and visual representations to illustrate key terms. This equips your learners with a basic understanding that they can build upon in later modules, broadening their understanding of the subject matter. In more difficult modules later in the course, you can then apply these key terms and principles in exercises that test the student’s knowledge of the concept in practice.
4. Promoting & Delivering eLearning Content
Once you’ve developed and launched your course with well thought-out content and an intuitive learning path, you can start promoting it on your website and in marketing campaigns. All the research that went into building the course for a specific audience can inform those efforts since you’ll already have a good sense of their learning priorities. Promotional material should emphasize how your course will meet those specific learning needs. It may also be helpful to explain the advantages eLearning and how it differs from traditional coursework.
Streamlining the delivery of eLearning content will help to ensure your audience not only registers for coursework, but also completes it in a timely manner. Building a resource library and learning ecosystem that allows them to seamlessly move from one course to another can help to drive engagement and enhance the overall ROI of your eLearning strategy.
5. Evaluate Student Success & Improve Based on Data
Adaptability is one of the great advantages of an eLearning platform. Unlike traditional in-person coursework that requires the production of physical materials, eLearning courses can be updated frequently to reflect industry changes. They also provide a steady stream of data that allow your organization to measure performance and comprehension. Key metrics such as time spent on coursework, accuracy, and learner engagement provide a good indicator of how effectively an eLearning program is meeting its goals. End of course surveys also provide learners an opportunity to contribute valuable feedback on their experience.
Taken as a whole, this collection of data can be used to guide future changes and improvements to your eLearning courses. If students consistently struggle to complete a particular learning module, for instance, user data can provide insights about potential issues that are impacting success. Continually adjusting and evolving courses based on data and student feedback ensures that your eLearning materials remain both relevant and effective, which allows them to deliver greater value over time.
Hiring an eLearning Content Designer
Many organizations need support and guidance when it comes to designing eLearning content. That’s why the Community Brands (CB) content creation team provides an experienced collection of instructional designers, course developers, and project managers to help them create their eLearning courses. Our approach to course design focuses on iterating early and often, working with clients to help prototype and pilot ideas to achieve their eLearning vision.
With that framework in mind, the CB team goes about building an engaging collection of course modules that are logically related and flow consistently from one lesson to the next. This ensures that even as we work on multiple aspects of the course at once, a consistent “design voice” will run through all materials to create a cohesive user experience for your learners. In addition to creating multiple learning assets in a variety of multimedia formats, we also coordinate directly with SMEs to record course segments that align with your learning needs. All developed content remains your IP, and you receive all source materials.