Over the past decade or more, the eLearning industry has allegedly thrived on an implied ultimate checklist for eLearning course design and development to scale new heights in terms of adaptability, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility.
That being said, ensuring that you’ve crossed off every item, to create and implement successful, effective, informative, and practical eLearning courses for learners in both educational and professional settings require a reliable evaluation tool that will accurately, systematically and objectively assess not merely its validity or efficiency but also its comprehensiveness to enable developers and instructors to fine-tune it.
Reviewers, with the help of this tool, should be able to effortlessly evaluate the eLearning suitability of the course’s methodology, structure, scope and potential outcome, with respect to not only the instructor but also the audience in order to make it a more powerful and concise version of the original.
For starters, it makes sense to ensure whether course objectives are stated clearly for the eLearning recipient and that conditions and criteria for evaluation is clearly stated and elaborated for clarity of all stakeholders in this space. The course requirements must be consistent with the objectives set by the instructor along with chapters / topics thoroughly covering the course’s objectives.
Furthermore, the learning objectives should ideally match the learning outcomes. The overall content and structure of the course should meet its instructional objectives. The structure plays a vital role.; the course should have a concise and comprehensive overview with examples, case studies, analogies, interactive questions etc. It should use appropriate methods and procedures to measure student mastery.
Content is king and it’s no different for an effective eLearning course to tick it off the eLearning design and development checklist. The content should flow seamlessly, without grammatical, syntactical and typing errors. It should be up-to-date and aligned with the curriculum. More importantly desirable outcomes must be incorporated in the content. Moreover, it should encourage engagement in critical and abstract thinking and maintain strict adherence and compliance with copyright laws.
Assessments form an integral part of what one would consider the ultimate eLearning design and development checklist. They must be fair, clear and effective; practice and assessment questions need to be interactive and focus on the course’s objectives. Clarity and consistency in design is of paramount importance; images & graphics suitability and resolutions need to be spot on and the course navigation structure consistent, reliable and easy to navigate. Moreover, the architecture of the course should allow instructors to add content, activities and extra assessments.
While these are the basic parameters to be checked with before delivering an eLearning course, it is needless to say that there is no ultimate checklist for eLearning design and development. Each eLearning course is different, each domain has different requirements and different audiences have diverse potentials and demands. This is precisely why one would need to develop not an ultimate, but a new custom enriched checklist for every course and/or client, with more specific checkpoints.