Top 3 eLearning Questions for 2024

Who Should Develop Your Online Training Program?
If you are tasked with delivery of a business-critical eLearning project, you are going to need help getting it delivered On-Time, without disrupting your Real Job and precious work/life balance.  This article is based on recent conversations with new clients. Here’s their top three questions:

Question 1: My company HR department does not have the staffing or bandwidth to build my new eLearning program.  They mentioned that we could use our company trainers as a  good resource. Is this true? 
Answer:  We say NO, here’s why. We love trainers, but their best role to serve in building new training programs is to be subject matter experts (SMEs). They  provide valuable case studies to make the training “real” especially for your field-based staff.  But their purpose is to deliver NOT develop training. We recognize they trainers can add great value to the training materials and should be on the stakeholder team.

So who makes the best training developer?  Actually it takes a professional skilled team to create a training program that fits your complete company needs. Team members have specific roles and responsibilities, they include:

  • Project Content Lead:  Co-Manages with YOU, to follow a proven process that develops the project plan and timeline
  • Senior Instructional Designer: Builds out the overall design of lessons and activities based on your project plan goals.
  • Course Designer: Builds courses, lessons, activities, knowledge checks, quizzes based on the project plan
  • Multimedia Developer: Builds videos, audio, and interactive elements based on the project plan
  • LMS Administrator: Manages upload of course file uploads, company network deployment, & student records 
  • Trainer: Delivers prepared training programs in LIVE events (In-person and online webinars)

With the Design2Train team, your dedicated Program Content Lead (PCL) is an eLearning expert who works with you from concept to launch to handle the time consuming management of ALL content-development training activities and the production staff, leaving you to focus on allocating company resources and your REAL JOB.  



Question 2: Do I have to purchase special courseware development tools, which costs several thousand dollars for each license? 
Answer: We say NO , here’s why.  For the majority of training lessons, it’s just an added cost because you need current licenses and a trained staff on-hand to create them. Then when you need to update the lessons (which always happens), you need that trained staff member to completed updates.

We say NO to expensive additional development tools, because we’ve delivered 100’s of hours of highly effective training using the Microsoft Office Tools. Your company like most others already has enterprise licenses and your employees are active users of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint. We produce high professional quality training that can be delivered in various ways like: facilitated, live webinar, and self-paced eLearning modules from one PowerPoint source document. 

Here’s why we recommend using PowerPoint to design training modules. 
1. Standardization is the key to delivering effective company training. This means that everyone sees and hears the same information.  PowerPoint is time-saving because it delivers standardized training for self-paced and live training events. 
2. Company employees are already familiar with using PowerPoint in the workplace.  It comes in most handy in the review / approval process since review team members quickly view and provide feedback on the visual (graphic) and  speaker notes. 
3. Easily add video and interactivity elements into PowerPoint for engaging learners.
4. PowerPoint is easily converted into a video format. If you need to re-work or add new modules, just add the new information and convert to video. Saves time and money on future updates.   
5. PowerPoint videos meet SCORM requirements of learning management systems (LMS) using Camtasia editing software.  

Question 3: How does a Learning Community differ from a Learning Management System (LMS)?  Are they more expensive?
Answer: Good Question!  Both options are organized methods for delivering instruction to learners, but they differ in what you are trying to accomplish with your training program. And NO, a Learning Community is not more expensive.

LMS driven training is very linear.  It forces all leaners to go through all training sessions in order.  Sometimes this is important, other times it is irrelevant and just boring!

A Learning Community has multiple pathways of learning, that includes LMS courses for demonstrating competency and earning certificates, but it’s also enhanced with “free range access” to online libraries, video shorts, and all types of  references in different formats (documents, audio, graphics). 

Here’s how Design2Train builds Learning Communities. Instead of requiring people log into an LMS, your audiences login into the learning community portal accessed from a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device. We create a welcome video to get the audience acquainted with the many resources.  The online training library is well organized and serves as the “go-to reference” and is easily refreshed and updated by designated staff with the latest new information. Learners are encouraged to participate in ongoing discussions, take polls and surveys, and give feedback on needed new training  or special resources. When it’s time to test for competency, the learner signs into the LMS to take the required course(s) and earn their certificate of completion. Our learning communities can integrate with your existing LMS or other online company resources.  

Does your company already use Microsoft Office? We partner with a premier SharePoint team who creates custom Learning Communities to meet your internal and external training needs.  If you would like experience a Learning Community in action, please contact Valerie K Miller, Design2Train CEO.  She’s happy to share our own online coaching community portal for you to see a Learning Community in action. 

Summary eLearning and Learning Communities are valuable resource to help build your company internal product bench-strength as well as inform, educate, and communicate facts to your clients.  Design2Train is an award-winning instructional design agency, founded in 2001. We specialize in managing and creating custom technical training programs. Our core staff is US-based but we partner with highly skilled teams in Mexico and Brazil to deliver authentic multi-lingual training.  

Interested in learning more?  Book an appointment and Let’s Talk.  



Is Classroom Time Equal to eLearning Time?

As experienced eLearning instructional designers, we are often asked if there is a 1-to-1 correlation when converting existing facilitated training into online training.  The answer is NO.  Converting classroom training does NOT equal the same “seat time”.  When asked to estimate conversion time to eLearning training, here’s some of the factors we base our bid on.

Based on experience in converting hundreds of hours of training to the web, we have discovered that an 8-hour (or one day) training is actually the equivalent of about 4-6 hours of eLearning, depending upon the course complexity.  Why?  Classroom instruction is a different modality including many “non-instructional time-based activities” such as:

  • Classroom management activities including roll calls and general instructions
  • Time spent on building a comfortable learning environments with individual student introductions
  • Meal or stretch breaks
  • Student questions during classroom lessons or planned Q&A sessions
  • Built-in “dead time” to provide extra time for all to complete activities without feeling rushed
  • And bloviating instructors who going off on personal opinion tangents

eLearning can be designed as 100% instruction because it  bypasses “non-instructional” events, thus reducing “seat time” and delivering instruction from the first screen.  By working with company subject matter experts (SMEs) and experienced instructional designer (eLearning expert) can ask the right questions to build a training program that truly delivers on the intended instructional promise.

Just using the same old training curriculum will not work.  If you want to deliver a good eLearning experience, revamping existing PowerPoint presentations takes time working with SMEs to determine the specific audience training needs are defined. Then within that framework, review classroom training by determining what is relevant or Need-to-Know versus just Good-to-Know information.  This is also the time to determine if there are updates or revisions along with identifying “information gaps”.  Then based upon the SME review findings, the instructional designer can provide a good estimate on the actual eLearning experience “seat time” to include topics and number of interactive lessons.

Need to revamp your training?  Visit Design2Train to book an appointment, let’s talk.

What’s Your eLearning Project Confidence Level?

Managing your First eLearning Project?
What is your current confidence level?  Clueless, Cautious, Ready or Hero?

Did you know that 80% of our clients are busy smart professionals are actually Clueless to what it takes to manage big eLearning projects? They need help. So, instead of wasting weeks or months focused on eLearning theory, what if you could invest in program that has a quick start 90-minute lesson, giving you the project roadmap, tools and confidence to start managing your project Day-1 without negatively disrupting you real job? – How do we do this? It’s all baked into our unique Design Risk Management Phase.

Would you say you are Cautious, perhaps recovering from a bad project experience? Training industry research shows 80% eLearning projects FAIL  So you were just a statistic, with the odds stacked against you. But what if you could turn the tables and achieve success on this project?  And learn to manage the entire project with the help of a co-lead eLearning expert? Well, we have the solution. Its time to get back in the saddle and do your eLearning project , the RIGHT way this time.

Do you consider yourself Ready? Typically, 20% of our clients have produced a short training video or small course, but they don’t have a clue on how to manage a complex program.  By complex we are talking multi-day instruction to multiple audiences, perhaps even global distribution in multiple languages for onboarding, new product introduction, leadership skills or professional certification.  Quit trying to piece together a process with electronic bailing wire and duct tape, when on Day-1 coaching we hand over the process roadmap packet with time-saving ready-to-fill templates, documents and most important, match you with an eLearning partner to handle all content production and staff.

Or are you an eLearning Hero who’s moved to a new organization?  Congrats! Quickly build a new strategy using our plan that helps you incorporates all new corporate assets and resources efficiently. Oh, and you have access to our unique coaching portal, to access all program assets 24×7. Let’s face it, this process is just like having your project on cruise control, all you have to do is steer it to the finish line.

So, no matter where you are on the eLearning confidence pyramid, we have the transformative process to building skills and your eLearning HERO status.  Oh, and by the way…. There’s even more value and the savings just keep on coming,  since you can re-cycle the process and templated materials for all future training projects.  So what’ s the process? It’s called PLAN239.  > Learn more

Instructional Designer Role in the Virtual Classroom

Project Management Update Best Article

Over the past three years, there has been a significant shift in the way learning is delivered due to the advancements in technology. The traditional classroom setup has been replaced by online platforms that provide access to education from across the organization to anywhere in the world. This need has given rise to the concept of virtual classrooms, which are becoming increasingly popular in all organizations.

The virtual classroom is a digital environment that allows learners to access course content, interact with instructors and peers, and complete assignments and assessments. It is a powerful tool for training and development, but it requires a skilled instructional designer to build and facilitate it effectively.

The instructional designer is a crucial role in building the virtual classroom. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that the learning objectives are achieved through the virtual classroom. They take the lead in designing, developing, and delivering e-learning content that is engaging and effective.

The primary task of the instructional designer is to create a curriculum aligned with organizational objectives. This involves analyzing the needs of the learners, identifying the skills and knowledge they need to acquire, and developing learning objectives that align with the organization’s goals. The instructional designer should also consider the format of the virtual classroom, including the type of content, delivery methods, and assessment tools.

Then comes the task of building a virtual classroom by designing the content. The instructional designer must create content that is engaging, interactive, and relevant to the learners. This requires working with subject matter experts to gather need-to-know information and then presenting it in engaging lessons that help learners to learn. The instructional designer also needs to ensure content is accessible to all learners, regardless of their background or level of experience.

The instructional designer is the chief architect for facilitating the learning process, by creating an environment that encourages learners to engage with the content and build community with each other. This includes creating opportunities for discussion, collaboration, and feedback. The instructional designer makes time on a regular and ongoing basis to answer questions and provide support throughout the learning process, from concept to launch.

Assessment is an essential and often overlooked component of the virtual classroom. The instructional designer plays a critical role in designing and delivering assessments. They develop assessment tools to align with the stated learning objectives and provide learners with feedback on their progress. The instructional designer uses tools to provide assessment reporting data to senior management to demonstration the effectiveness of the virtual classroom curriculum and offer suggestions for future needed training topics. 

Finally, the instructional designer stays up-to-date with the latest trends and technology in e-learning. They continuously evaluate the virtual classroom’s effectiveness and make adjustments as needed to ensure it meets the learners’ needs and achieves the organization’s objectives.

In conclusion, the instructional designer plays a crucial role in building the virtual classroom. They are responsible for designing, developing, and delivering e-learning content that is engaging, interactive, and effective. They create virtual learning environments encouraging learners to engage with the content and each other, while having access to confidence building   support throughout the project. The instructional designer continuously gathers data and makes recommendations based on facts from evaluating the virtual classroom’s effectiveness to achieve the organization’s objectives.

Need help building a virtual classroom?  Let’s talk.