If you’re designing an e-Learning course, your course is like your baby. The authoring tools used, the design and development strategy, the e-Learning framework and the methodology employed, the instructional design practices used — you have to pay attention to every little detail and make sure the e-Learning project is in line with the goals laid out beforehand. That is why you need to iterate over it again and again and get feedback and reviews from the people you’re working with.

Read on to discover the 5 top reasons you need an e-Learning course review.

Whether your e-Learning design is in the storyboard stage or has already been finished, the need to review and test is ever-present. You never know what sort of problem might pop up at any moment and ruin the learner’s experience. Even if the UX (user experience) for your learner is perfectly fine, there can be a host of other problems that pass right under your nose if you don’t review your e-Learning design and development strategy diligently.

The complications in an e-Learning course development process become worse when you’re working with a large team. There are so many people with expertise in different areas, and working in sync can be challenging. So the need for e-Learning evaluation and a course review becomes even greater. It’s something every eLearning course producer must do.

Here are the 5 biggest reasons you should always focus on e-Learning feedback and reviews.

  1. Accuracy. This is the most important thing for you to check in your e-Learning course development process. Whether you’re building e-Learning for students or a corporate eLearning solution, you don’t want to give your end learner any factually incorrect information, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s intentional or unintentional. Lack of accuracy sends a really bad message to the learner: you’re not doing your research and design well. Always double-check with your subject matter experts and other sources that the facts, figures, names, and other data you’ve used are all accurate. Incorrect information not only damages your own credibility in the e-Learning industry, but it also hurts the client and makes for a bad learner experience.

  2. Functionality. Your e-Learning course templates will most probably have lots of different media and interactive elements. They are a necessity if you want to keep learners engaged. But things can get messed up. Sometimes, a button or two may not work. Other times, the audio may not sync up with the video. The graphics may start mucking up when you resize the window. A number of things can go wrong. So you need to test and review everything thoroughly before you ship the course.

  3. Consistency. You’ve heard it a thousand times and I’ll say it again: your e-Learning project needs to be consistent. Whether it’s the colors or the fonts or anything else, there needs to be a certain degree of consistency throughout the course. It all starts with your e-Learning storyboards. This consistency is also a result of the e-Learning research, frameworks, methodologies, authoring tools, templates, etc. To check that, you must review your course early and often. If you’ve been working with a client for a while and she prefers some custom e-Learning design in her courses, make sure you stick to that design. It’s not unusual for the e-Learning project you make for a client to be part of a series, and it looks really unprofessional when two courses in a project have different layouts or designs. It’s okay to experiment a little, but don’t go overboard. Keep the colors, fonts, and other things more or less the same. Another thing you need to be consistent about is the terminology. If you’re calling a course a “chapter”, stick to it throughout, and this applies to any terms you use in the course. It confuses the student when you use different terms to refer to the same thing. The same principle applies when using authoring tools. If you’re using a rapid e-Learning authoring tool like Captivate or Lectora, stick to it. If you’re using a custom e-Learning development framework like Adapt, keep to that.

  4. Client Demands. Your client is a big stakeholder in the whole process of course building. So it’s important for you to make sure everything is coming along the way your client wants it to. It’s not enough to just show the client a wireframe or a prototype in the beginning. Make them an active stakeholder in your project, no matter what eLearning methodology you’re employing. You have to create certain checkpoints in the whole eLearning course development process so your client can collaborate with you in reviewing the course. The client has certain visions and expectations regarding the end product, and without continual reviewing, that end project will not align with what the client imagined. This will result in invaluable time and resources being wasted at the last moment. It’s much better to keep the client in the loop and constantly seek feedback.

  5. Improvement. The more you review, the better your courses will tend to get overtime. Your presentation and work speed improves substantially. This happens for a number of reasons: your gut feeling starts getting stronger as you notice patterns and realize what people like and what they don’t, your sense of design develops, your understanding of different issues also improves greatly.

All of this helps you deliver quality courses, all the while refining your performance continuously.

So make sure you review your courses with all your stakeholders multiple times.

If you’re looking for a great platform to review your courses and have all your e-Learning feedback and comments stored in a centralized place, you should try out zipBoard. It’s a powerful tool for efficient course review and feedback management.

Originally published at elearningindustry.com on November 21, 2015.

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