Do you like to think ahead?
Here’s some tips on how to future-proof your digital learning, saving you time and money later down the line.
When you start your journey to developing e learning materials into something more interesting for learners, making sure it’s future-proofed isn’t always top priority. Infact, if anything, it’s a thought left for the future! But unfortunately, for your learners, that will be too late.
What does future-proofing mean?
When you create your e-learning, a lot of time and effort goes into it by multiple teams including content, design and development and all with at least a couple of rounds of testing. Future proofing means taking into account any changes that may occur in the business and choosing not to include them. This improves the longevity of the learning as you don’t have to worry about it becoming out of date and finding learners disengaging.
Why is it important?
Imagine you create an induction piece and it doesn’t get updated over the years but is still in circulation. A new starter might see the work family tree as they’re going through their induction, but the new CEO isn’t on there and they assume that the CEO from 4 years ago is still in charge. This could lead to some awkward conversations for everyone. There are of course also more dangerous consequences depending on the risks in your business.
Don’t worry though, we’ve collated some information which you may want to bare in mind when making digital learning for your business.
Future-proofing your e-learning
Be aware of any maintenance agreement
It’s important you’re aware of any maintenance agreements in place if you’re working with a creative agency so you know what can and can’t be changed and at what additional cost. Text is easier to change than scripting a topic for example. You might also want to confirm ownership of the files to make these simple changes yourself.
Make sure your files are open
What do we mean by that? It simply means that the authoring files and publishing files need to be easily opened and read by people and software. This includes text files, regular HTML files and XML files. If so, it’s a lot less hassle when it comes to simple text updates.
Structure your information with the future in mind
When thinking about what you’d like to include in your learning, structure information as separately as possible. Think bite-sized learning that can contribute to a larger piece of learning. By doing this, it means any changes in the future to specific parts can be made without interrupting the rest of the course. Sometimes, by changing one thing, another can easily break. By keeping solid structure to the course, it avoids finding annoying breaks later on.
Think about the content you include
It’s always important to ask yourself – ‘is this really needed for my learners?’ with every line of content you plan on including, but even more so when this information is open to change. Will this information change any behaviours or help them improve? Avoid using names and dates, as this can make the learning seem really outdated and learners are likely to forget. It’s not always the case, with content such as case studies which can stand the test of time.
Consider the timing of launch
If you want to launch a course on process, but it isn’t properly defined yet then it’s ideally better to wait if you want to avoid making changes and trying to shoe-horn unexpected additional information in. You should also consider any new senior members joining in the future as they often make changes to the business that may impact your learning. The golden rule is – make sure everyone who needs to have input, has that opportunity.
Make courses responsive on as many devices as possible
Some businesses make separate courses for each device, but by thinking ahead, you can make sure your course is compatible for all devices. An example of this is avoiding activities that including swiping the screen with your finger within an activity, as this would not be compatible on devices such as a desktop.
Don’t forget, we’re always around to help you with any of your e-learning needs, including making sure it lasts but more importantly making sure it’s effective.
Get in touch today for a free creative proposal for your next eLearning project.