Longevity. It’s something that many of us want. Maybe for you, it means never growing old, your coffee never going cold no matter how long it takes to drink it or wishing that Ed Sheeran song would last just a little bit longer. Here at VMP eLearning, longevity means creating work that lasts. And as we’ve been discussing eLearning, we chose to write you a short blog about designing and developing eLearning courses that last.
Tip number 1: Don’t date.
No, don’t cancel that hot date tomorrow night, you can still go (you tiger you!) we’re talking about putting a date on your work. Just like a car, if someone knows what year it was made, and it wasn’t this particular year, it loses value. You’ll also want to avoid dating your work if you plan on updating your content. You need to be aware of ‘dated’ language such as recently or referring to events or people that may not be a big deal a few years down the track. Not you Ed Sheeran, you’ll always be relevant. Instead, use topics that are evergreen (like Ed Sheeran) or past examples that haven’t lost relevancy.
Tip number 2: Don’t keep it trendy.
ELearning courses with long shelf lives are cohesive, professional and well organised. You need to find a theme that suits your information that won’t become dated. This includes graphics that go out of date (think 60’s warp coloured text) or photographs with people wearing a trend (think a giant perm… although they are making a comeback). You don’t want your learners to be able to tell when your product was made. Keep it consistent, professional and avoid trends.
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Tip number 3: Keep updated.
In the early stages of eLearning development, consider what LMS (Learning Management System) and what authoring tool (we like Captivate) you are going to use. Make sure they both allow for updates, even if you don’t plan on updating regularly, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially for a long-term project. With these foundations considered you can update and change your eLearning course without too much fuss.
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Tip number 4: Review and assess.
This is something many of our large clients return to us for help with. At VMP elearning we develop and update courses, this is an important part of eLearning longevity. Ideally, courses should be assessed every 1 to 2 years depending on the content. Courses, especially training courses, need to be up to date and accurate and usually have very strict guidelines. For simpler courses, you could hold a focus group to determine whether or not you need to update your course or if it is still relevant at all. Reviewing and updating give your course longevity and means you don’t have to create a new one from scratch.
Tip number 5: Interactive elements and technology.
Your audience wants quality content and expect to be impressed. Interactive elements of your course should hold the same relevance now as they will in a year. This means creating timeless concepts for scenarios, simulations, games and other interactive elements. Things will change, but as long as your core ideas and outcomes of interactive elements remain the same, you’re in the clear. This goes for any technology that may have been competitive at the time of creation too. Audio, presentations and video elements all need be presented professionally, do this right the first time, and your project won’t age quickly.
There you have it, some quick tips on longevity. An eLearning course with a long shelf life is a valuable tool for any company.
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