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Here’s a quick tip for those building e-learning courses: as a course developer you serve as the intermediary between the organization and the learner. You are the bridge between both parties.

Not All E-Learning Courses Require Learning

Before we continue, let’s assume that we’re not talking about compliance training which often doesn’t have specific learning objectives. With compliance training, the organization commissions the course to meet some sort of compliance requirement.

However, the person who takes the course wouldn’t be taking it to meet real objectives. They’re only taking it to meet some mandated requirement.

In that world, learning isn’t necessarily the primary objective. It doesn’t mean there’s no learning, it just means that learning isn’t the course objective.

Performance-based Learning Objectives

We’ll assume we’re talking about performance-based training where the organization has a certain objective or requirement for the learner and the learner desires to apply what is learned to meet the organization’s objective.

You as the course developer are a bridge between these two parties. You need to build a course that meets the organization’s goals. At the same time, you need to build a course that is meaningful and relevant to the person who takes it.

How is this done?

  • Put on the performance consulting hat to determine the real training needs.
  • Determine measurable objectives for the course.
  • Ensure the objectives are relevant and meaningful to the learner.

The organization (or customer) has specific needs. The learner has specific needs. Your analysis is about marrying those two needs. What does the organization want to do and what to the learners need to do?

I meet with the customer to understand what they want and why. I also like to know why it’s currently not the way they want it. And then I like to meet with the people who need the training. What are they currently doing? Why aren’t they able to meet the objectives? What do they need?

Often, I find there’s a disconnect between the client’s requirement and how the work is done in the real world. Being a bridge between the two parties helps you identify these issues and work to resolve them.

This is a simple tip but one I see neglected often. One thing you do want to avoid is only taking content from the client and never considering the way it’s used by the person who needs to learn it. I see this all the time and it ensures the least optimal training possible.

What are ways that you bridge the interests between the client and those who take the e-learning courses?


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.

One response to “A Quick Tip on Developing Course Content”

Week 2 Blog Post
As a course developer, I am challenged because in my world, there is another party involved in this process. Not only is there the organization and the learner, I also have an IT analyst to consider. The IT analyst is supposed to work through the workflows or processes with the organizational leaders, then communicate those workflows to me, so that I can create the content for the learner. IT analyst mainly consider the functions of the system and that is what they communicate to the operational leads. The operational leads often desire the new system to work like the old system so that there is minimal stress on the learner. My challenge is that I have to find the middle ground and become an advocate for the learner which often goes against one of the other two entities.
You mentioned meeting with customers and finding out their why’s? I believe that this is imperative, but in the software training world, the why sometimes presents a stumbling block and can derail or cause multiple re-writes to the training plan. I think this speaks to the possible disconnect between the client’s expectations and the real world which the IT analyst attempt to get them to see. I am still working on how to be a bridge in this three-way situation.