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eLearning has taken the concept of business training to a whole new level through its immersive and engaging nature. Facts and figures have proved that it is a lot more effective than the traditional methods of instruction, influencing higher involvement, retention and productivity in business organizations. With more and more technological advancements happening, it looks more promising than ever, guaranteeing greater innovation and wider reach in the future. In this article we are going to discuss rapid eLearning, a type of eLearning that’s typically suited for urgent training needs of business organizations. We are also going to discuss rapid eLearning development, the process involved in designing and developing these courses, and list out 5 characteristics of the development process that every eLearning provider must be familiar with.
Rapid eLearning- An Overview
Employee training is an integral part of business organizations, necessary to equip them with the required knowledge and skills to go about their work routine. Training materials are needed throughout the year and sometimes they are needed within a short notice period. In order to help organizations during such unpredictable times, learning providers recommend rapid eLearning courses. These are the eLearning courses that are developed and delivered within a short period of time, typically within a few days. Though developed with a sense of urgency, these training materials are developed such that there are no compromises in terms of quality and content. The courses are generally short termed and delivered on simpler platforms such as PowerPoint presentations and videos. The development process i.e. rapid eLearning development is also less intensive, super quick and cheap when compared to the development of fully fledged eLearning courses.
5 Characteristics of Rapid eLearning Development
1. Quick Turnaround Time
As mentioned above, sometimes organizations need training materials within a short period of time and the eLearning provider who offers the quickest turnaround time is preferred over the rest. Learning solution providers must be well equipped with strategies, tools and resources to win the race against time and stay in the lead. They have to understand the client requirements and learning objectives well in order to plan a speedy execution strategy. Time is of the highest essence and only those providers with a proper rapid eLearning development model will earn more clients and projects.
2. Low Cost
Generally, rapid eLearning courses are intended for less intensive trainings which don’t require immersive platforms, fancy aesthetics, gamification or any such high-end features. Thus, the resources and authoring tools required to develop these courses are limited, reducing the overall development cost by a considerable margin. Moreover, rapid eLearning development is going to cost less because the number of eLearning professionals needed will be less in number and so will be their payrolls, given the quick turnaround time.
3. No Need of Developers
Given the simplistic nature of these courses, developers/programmers are not needed during rapid eLearning development. Instead of developers, subject matter experts (SME) will have a bigger role to play here as the courses are more content driven and less platform driven. Subject matter experts along with instructional designers can develop decent eLearning courses without needing any technical assistance. The authoring tools used here will be less complex and intended to be used by non-programmers. Adding to the above point, absence of programmers will add to cost reduction of the process.
4. Easy to Deploy
During rapid eLearning development, pre-defined templates can be chosen from exhaustive template libraries to develop the course materials. Also, since the course materials will be used on simpler platforms like video players, mobile phones, web browsers and PowerPoint, SMEs can develop an easily deployable eLearning course without any technical assistance from programmers. The simplicity of the course will be convenient for the business organization as well since it lowers training time and costs.
Though developed to provide performance support, it doesn’t mean the course materials can’t be improvised to include high-end features to make it more engaging and immersive. Rapid eLearning development also includes updating existing learning materials in terms of content, design and programming. Like learning, even developing an eLearning course is a continuous process that needs multiple revisions and changes.