In our ongoing “eLearning Basics” series of articles, we’re going to address the question of where you can get elearning courses from. And, in particular, we’re going to explain that you CAN make your own elearning courses and explain how.
Let us know if you’ve got other questions you’d like us to answer in future “eLearning Basics” articles, feel free to download our Blended Learning Strategies guide at the bottom of this article, and contact us if we can help you with off-the-shelf or custom-made elearning courses for workforce training.
Can You Create Your Own eLearning Courses?
There’s a whole product type called elearning authoring tools that allow you to create your own elearning courses. They allow you to add images, videos, and more; to introduce interactivity; to build quizzes and tests; and everything you need to do to create your own elearning.
Common eLearning Authoring Tools
There are LOTS of elearning authoring tools on the market–more than we know of and more than we have space to list.
But the three biggest names in the field are:
We don’t recommend any elearning authoring tool over any of the others. They’re all pretty cool and have their own unique pros and cons. Check ’em out and find the one that’s best for you. You’ll find some or maybe all offer free trial periods so you can learn more about how they work.
How Do You Get Your Self-Created eLearning Courses into Your Learning Management System?
A learning management system, also known as an LMS, is a web-based software application you can use to assign, deliver, and track training, including elearning. It does a lot of other cool stuff as well.
Getting your self-created elearning course into your learning management system will work a little differently depending on (1) your elearning authoring tool and (2) your LMS, but the basic process is simple and listed below:
- Create your elearning course.
- In the elearning authoring tool, publish the elearning course in a standard or format that is appropriate for your LMS. This will probably be SCORM or xAPI and it will include HTML5 (read our article about the upcoming end of Flash). Your elearning authoring tool will create a zipped folder for you.
- Open your LMS and navigate to the page that allows you to import content. Most learning management systems will allow you to import things like videos, PowerPoints, PDFs, and–yes–elearning courses.
- Import the zipped folder that is your elearning course into the LMS using the procedure appropriate for your particular LMS. This is probably a very simple process involving little more than a few mouse clicks.
- Your self-created elearning course is now in your LMS and available to assign and deliver to workers online.
Some Instructional Design Tips for Creating Effective eLearning Courses
This is a bigger topic that we can fully do justice to in this article, although the Convergence Training blog DOES provide a lot of helpful information in articles, webinars, and recorded discussions along these lines.
That said, we’d point you toward the classic books eLearning and the Science of Instruction by Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark and Design for How People Learn by Julie Dirksen, resources at the websites of those elearning authoring tool creators we already mentioned, and professional organizations like The Learning Guild (formerly the eLearning Guild) and the Association for Talent Development (ATD) to learn to create more effective elearning courses on your own.
In addition, check out these other resources for more help:
- Evidence-Based Training article
- Free Evidence-Based Training webinar
- Is eLearning as Effective as Instructor-Led Training? (interview with Dr. Will Thalheimer)
Other Ways to Get eLearning Courses
So yeah, you can make your own elearning courses.
But you can also buy elearning courses from elearning creators in an off-the-shelf model. There are typically different pricing models, including subscription and pay-per-view.
Additionally, you can work with a content creator for custom elearning creation.
And finally, you can also sometimes get elearning from professional organizations (for example, if you’re interested in safety training, you might want to check out the NSC or the ASSP.
Some Thoughts on Using eLearning Courses in Blended Learning Solutions
In some cases, you can use one or more elearning courses as a “stand-alone” training solution.
However, in many cases, it’s a good idea to use elearning courses together with other forms of training in what people know as a blended learning solution. Blended learning simply means mixing and matching the training delivery method and including more than one (for example, elearning plus instructor-led training).
Check out the free guide below for more information about this.
Conclusion: Yes, You CAN Create Your Own eLearning Courses for Workforce Training
Good luck with you elearning creation efforts and let us know if we can help you out with some off-the-shelf elearning, custom content, or an LMS.
And don’t forget to download the free guide below, too!
Guide to Blended Learning Strategies
Learn the importance of using differing training delivery methods and get some tips for selecting the right training method for each training need.