21 Steps to Design a Successful eLearning Course

Instructional design helps to design a Successful eLearning Course and is also the backbone of any successful training course.

The systematic development of instruction impacts how well your audience comprehends and retains the material. Understanding the learners and determining the most effective way to transfer information to them is crucial to getting the most out of your training investment.

3 steps in the course building cycle

This brief outlines the 3 steps in the course building cycle that should be considered closely when selecting the instructional design best fit for your learning objectives;

Analysis and Outline

Analyze the learner audience characteristics and organizational needs to and validate against the requirements and training needs identified.

Perform a task analysis to identify the facts, concepts, principles, and skills, required for effective performance and to identify related content resources that can be used for design.

Once content gaps and queries have been validated and resolved, create the learning objectives, content structure, and outline.

The content outline is required to finalize the course objectives and the course structure (module and learning object titles)

Design Document

Based on the approved content outline, create a new design document that outlines the instructional strategy at the module or chapter or even at topic levels.

Any content gaps identified will be discussed with the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).

Finalize the instructional and visual strategy that will be followed for the course at the module or the learning object levels.


Develop storyboards which define the exact, step by step details of every individual screen and media creation for every topic and assists to design a successful eLearning course.

Storyboarding and technical writing is performed by instructional or technical writers with the following responsibilities;

  • Analyze or assess source content to identify gaps
  • Define writing strategy or tone
  • Give inputs during creation of the functional design specification
  • Define templates for storyboarding
  • Create and update writing guidelines and checklists; and finally drives adherence to these documents
  • Create storyboards
  • Collaborate with the ID or Lead Graphic Designer to visualize content
  • Review courseware storyboards for content validity and language integrity
  • Analyze feedbacks and update storyboards

E-Learning Course Development Process

Organizations doing business in eLearning has expertise in the full range of structural design planning, development, QA and deployment.  The approach Integrates seamlessly into your course development flow with services and resources for any or all steps of the process   from analysis to globalization.

The eLearning course development process includes the following 6 steps;

Step 1: Determine Learning Objectives & Tests

  • Knowledge
  • Comprehension
  • Application
  • Analysis Synthesis
  • Evaluation

Step 2: Identify Content Types

  • Facts
  • Concepts
  • Procedures
  • Processes
  • Principles

Step 3: Identify Essential Content Definitions

  • Steps
  • Decisions
  • Examples
  • Non-Examples
  • Rules & Consequences

Step 4: Choose Instructional Strategy

  • Expository or Explanatory
  • Progressive Disclosure
  • Self Discovery
  • Case Studies
  • Simulated Dialogs

Step 5: Create Storyboards

Create storyboards using the chosen instructional modes and strategies

Step 6: Determine Localization Objectives

Ensure development plan accommodates target-culture social, demographic and technical preferences.

21 Step Process to Design a successful eLearning Course

ELearning course design plays a significant role in every step of the learning process. Design starts by grabbing the attention of the learners and then motivates them to stay engaged till the end of the course. As the learners’ progresses through the course, the design assists them with the learning and retention process. Finally, it also impacts the ability to recall the knowledge.

Here is a 21 Step process of how to design an effective eLearning course:

Step 1: Conduct a thorough research of the Learners’ Needs

Step 2: Create a Template by determining the instructional requirements.

Step 3: Create a design for the course.

Step 4: Create a prototype for the course.

Step 5: Test the prototype with a few sample learners.

Step 6: Develop the script or the storyboard.

Step 7: Divide Your Course into Chunks

Step 8: Develop and Incorporate Rich Media

Step 9: Assemble all the course elements in the course authoring tool.

Step 10: Add Some Opportunities for Practice

Step 11: Add Additional Elements (if any)

Step 12: Review the adherence of the course to the learning objectives.

Step 13: Configure Your First Version of the Course

Step 14: Write the course manual.

Step 15: Perform Beta review of the eLearning.

Step 16: Make final corrections to the course.

Step 17: Test the pilot course in the customer’s system.

Step 18: Train the trainer and IT staff of the customer.

Step 19: Roll out and advertise the eLearning.

Step 20: Run a Final Check

Step 21: Evaluate the course and measure the return on investment.

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