Everything needs an upgrade eventually, even a successful eLearning course. But is it really feasible to modernize an eLearning course without spending unnecessary time and money?

When we think about updates in an eLearning course, we focus more on the software. We usually don’t put much emphasis on the content and learning materials. The assumption is these won’t change very much since our learning goals, objectives, and needs are by-and-large the same. Still, it’s important to modernize your eLearning course occasionally. You may have to include changes within your industry or a new wave on the workforce. You don’t have to start from scratch, so it’s important to pursue a careful eLearning modernization strategy that discourages redundancy. Here are 7 steps you can follow to spruce up your eLearning course with minimal fuss.

1. Explore and Meet Modern Learner Needs
Do your modern learners want their eLearning course broken down into 5-minute sessions they can access during the morning commute? Do they prefer daily doses of online training fitted into their busy lives? Would they like their online training to incorporate their social media habits? Survey your online learners to find out what they’d like changed in the eLearning course. Include their feedback in the upgrade. This will earn their loyalty and get them more invested in their eLearning course. It also improves ROI, as you’ll be able to meet their expectations more effectively and improve engagement.

2. Revisit Course Objectives
As the industry has grown, course objectives may have shifted. Compliance requirements are sure to have changed. Certain skills may no longer be relevant while newer ones may have cropped up. Take a careful look at course objectives. The table of contents is a good starting point. At a glance, you can tell which topics should be phased out and which ones need to be slipped in. You can also check for dated examples and replace them with current stats and better context.

3. Refresh the Visuals
Revamp the visuals to give your eLearning course a new lease of life. You could switch around the hues, try a new font, and fiddle with the eLearning course layout. See if there are any current design trends you’d like to apply. You can also check with your clients. See if they have any new logos or brand colors you can plug in. A rapid eLearning authoring tool can help you revamp your eLearning course design without having to start from scratch. Especially one that features a built-in multimedia library, complete with templates, videos, and images.

4. Update Functionality
A few years ago, Flash was ‘it’. Most websites and programs had fancy bits and bobs that relied on it. If you visit those sites today, a pop-up will tell you those functionalities are moot. It’s because Flash is no longer standard on browsers. In the same way, some of your course functionality may have been nullified by external programming updates. Pick through your eLearning course, testing each section individually. If there are parts that don’t work, update or replace them with something better. Another factor to consider is mobile learning, which has evolved from an accessibility option to a vital parameter. Modern learners expect to be able to log into the system and get the information they need on any device.

5. Cut Down the Text
These days, every instant messaging app has an option to make phone calls and send voice notes. We’re gradually moving away from the written (or typed) word, and your eLearning course needs to reflect this. The goal is not to eliminate every form of writing. However, you do need to scrutinize every word and see if it can justify its existence. Replace prose with infographics and, where possible, animate the text that remains. There are lots of ways to do this. The text can dance around the screen or be heavily illustrated with charts, graphs, icons etc. Also, bear in mind that visuals are often more memorable than text alone.

6. Offer As-Needed Access
People have different learning patterns. Some skim topics and study appendices. Some want a full uninterrupted block of time while others prefer snippets in traffic or coffee queues. Ensure that your eLearning course allows your online learners to study at their leisure and pleasure. Make it easy to do an emergency class review before a meeting. Offer quick-access lessons for specific scenarios, like understanding financial reports. It could help them impress at an important meeting, earning kudos and reviews for your eLearning course.

7. Evaluate Your eLearning Tools
You may be quite fond or even emotionally attached to your LMS and eLearning authoring tools. After all, they’ve been with you through all the ups and downs of your eLearning projects. However, you need to step back and evaluate whether they’re still worth the investment. Look at LMS metrics to identify strengths and weaknesses. Conduct surveys and polls to get your online learners’ honest opinions. Get input from your L&D team to see if they’re happy with the current software or feel it’s time for a change. If you do decide to invest in new eLearning tools, ensure that they can easily migrate your data. Otherwise, you may end up spending countless resources to shift content and user info from one platform to the other instead of diving right into the eLearning modernization process.

eLearning modernization doesn’t need you to reinvent the wheel. A few tweaks could leave you with an eLearning course that’s fully appropriate for the times. Ask your online learners what they want to see in the course. Review learning targets to see if they’re still relevant. Refresh the icons, color scheme, and the course layout. Ensure functionality works with modern devices and browsers. Minimize text in favor of multimedia content and apply new technology where needed. Allow online learners to access the eLearning course whenever they want, in whichever format they prefer. This includes preferential and reference materials.

Is your current LMS up to the eLearning modernization task? If not, it may be time for a replacement. Download Infopro Learning’s free eBook Modernize for Engagement: 5-Step Guide for Breathing Life Back into Stale Content that talks about the need of a modernization strategy for every company to maximize return on content investments and keep up with changes in learner demographics.

AUTHOR
Christopher Pappas

Christopher Pappas

About the author: Christopher is the founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA, and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU. eLearning Blogger | EduTechpreneur | eLearning Analyst | Speaker | Social Media Addict

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