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4 steps for converting course materials to e-learning with an LMS

Today’s learning environment includes learning in remote settings. As such, there’s never been a better time to adopt online learning and e-learning development. It may sound like much work to prepare e-learning courses. Still, if your organization has already been implementing a learning and development program and owns a robust library of (offline) learning courses, then half the job is done. You can save time by repurposing your content and turning it into a format that can be taken online.

The key is to know how to convert existing course materials into an e-learning format.

This article discusses four (4) steps that will help you repurpose your existing content into e-learning materials using a Learning Management System (LMS).

4 steps for converting course materials to e-learning with an LMS

4 steps for converting course materials into e-learning

Perform an inventory of existing resources

Take stock of the kind of resources you currently are using for classroom training. Perform an audit of the content, including how recent (or outdated) the materials are, the variety of topics available (or whether there is enough variety), etc. Match each resource with comments and next steps, such as whether there’s a need to update the content or if they can potentially be used for e-learning.

Take note that resources do not just refer to materials but also resource persons and subject matter experts that the program has access to.

Identify the learning objectives

Learning objectives are essential for developing and implementing a training course. Understanding what they are and knowing how to develop effective learning objectives can inform the creation of courses and help you meet your training goals. As such, developing effective learning objectives is key to converting your course materials into e-learning resources as the right objectives lead to a relevant and valuable experience for your learners.

A learning objective is a clearly stated and measurable outcome expected of the learner by the end of the course. In other words: What will the learner be able to do as a result of this course?

For example:

By the end of this course, learners will successfully identify five situations that need to be escalated based on our updated criteria.

Learning objectives should:

  • Focus on observable and measurable skills or knowledge;
  • Set expectations for trainers and participants;
  • Be concise and focused; and
  • Clearly define the intended outcomes upon finishing the course.

Determine the right e-learning format based on learning objectives

First and foremost, pick the right format based on your learning objectives. Who are your learners, and what are their learning styles? What do they need to achieve by the end of the program?

Once you answer these questions, choose the e-learning format based on budget, technology and infrastructure available, the content available, and the learning context. Several formats may be applied, including a good mix of video, audio, gamification, discussion forum/boards, diagrams, animation, and in-person interaction.

You can also determine which of the below would be most appropriate for your learners and their learning objectives:

a) Synchronous Learning

Synchronous learning refers to a real-time, scheduled learning experience where a group of people are all participating simultaneously. Whether the experience is happening in person or remotely with their laptops or mobile devices, participants and facilitators can instantaneously interact with each other. Learners ask questions and receive feedback right away. Because synchronous learning happens, live, peer-to-peer, or group activities are possible as well.

Synchronous learning may come in the form of the following:

  • Live webinars
  • In-person Classroom training
  • Instant messaging
  • Virtual Instructor-led training
  • Chat rooms
  • Video conferencing
b) Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous learning is the opposite of synchronous. In asynchronous learning, the participant completes courses independently, at their own pace, and from any location. It can be in both online and offline forms. Participants in an asynchronous course may still have access to instant feedback and answers, not from an instructor, but ELearning Content delivered through an LMS. Asynchronous learning is self-paced. Thus dynamic group activities are not possible. The instructor and the students interact on their own time. Asynchronous learning takes the form of the following:

  • Self-guided e-Learning courses
  • Pre-recorded video lessons or webinars
  • Email
  • Demonstration videos
  • Blogs
  • Online discussion boards
  • Online collaborative projects
c) Hybrid or Blended Learning

The two formats above may be combined in the form of hybrid or blended learning. Both synchronous and asynchronous each have their pros and cons, so if you think that getting the best of both worlds would work for your program, then consider a hybrid or blended e-learning format.

Plan and develop the eLearning course

Once you have enough information on your existing materials and how they can be used with learning objectives, learning outcomes, and relevant formats, then it’s time to map out the course. This step may involve designing and creating storyboards.

A great framework for the design and development of an e-learning course is the ADDIE model.

ADDIE is a generic step-by-step framework used by instructional trainers, instructional developers, and instructional designers. The purpose of ADDIE is to ensure a structured framework to every course each time they’re created.

The ADDIE model has 5 phases of a development process:

A - First, an analysis of needs and objectives are put together.
D - Second is the design phase, where session structure, resources, and learning objectives are identified.
D - Third is the development phase, where content is produced and completed.
I - Fourth is the implementation phase, where training content is prepared and delivered (typically through an LMS).
E - The fifth stage of the ADDIE is the evaluation phase, a continually ongoing element. The evaluation phase is to make sure all stated goals are being met. If you’re using an LMS, you can utilize the LMS reports assisting with this greatly. Most instructional designers use some form of educational technology to deliver their content.

What’s next

If you are considering updating your resources and going through the whole conversion process to turn them into an e-learning format, Edubrite is here for you. We can help you create, enhance, and personalize your training resources to meet the needs of your learners through a Learning Management System (LMS). Learn more about how we can work together to achieve the learning and development goals for your organization.