This year, most of us had to shift suddenly to a new normal in terms of our work life, going from working in an office to working remotely. In the process, team leaders have had the tremendous task of creating processes that do not overburden team members — while keeping productivity high. Learning and development (L&D) team leaders are no exception.
The Challenges of eLearning Content Development in a Remote Workplace
Creating eLearning courses can be challenging, and so can continuously updating them. With the short attention span of many remote learners, it has become critically important to adjust learning content, format and mode of delivery. Many organizations also must create eLearning courses quickly and with budget constraints. Furthermore, working remotely makes the content development process more challenging and time-consuming, giving rise to questions like these:
- How can we create systems that provide an easy way to receive feedback from stakeholders and collaborate effectively?
- How can we create empathy and explain issues clearly and effectively?
- How can we make sure that team members are not feeling isolated?
- How can we tackle the challenges of synchronous work, including personal distractions and low engagement while working from home?
- How can we share feedback with team members without being in the same room?
This article shares answers to some of these questions, along with some tips and tricks that will help you speed up your eLearning content development process.
Break up the Development Process
The biggest mistake that we all make is trying to do too much at once. Breaking up eLearning course development into smaller pieces of actionable and manageable work will help you move more quickly. Here are six steps that will help you speed up and manage the entire process:
1. Use a Single Tool to Track Progress and Centralize Tasks and Deliverables
Having one tool to manage multiple deliverables, whether they are quizzes, assessments, courses, images or modules, will help you create a centralized platform for everyone to use to collaborate effectively. All of your team members will be able to share their contributions to the project, thereby increasing content production. Having a centralized tool will also make it easier to manage tasks and keep team members accountable for them.
2. Break Down the Process Into Multiple Iterations and Feedback Loops
Breaking down the eLearning development process will help you set expectations at every round of feedback and keep your stakeholders more engaged in the eLearning course development process. It will also help your keep track of every piece of feedback from start to finish and complete your course iterations and feedback loop more quickly.
3. Assign Tasks for Every Piece of Feedback You Receive
It is easy to become lost in a sea of feedback. Creating tasks for every comment enables you to assign actionable tasks to team members and follow up with them to track progress. This step will make sure that everyone is contributing toward your goal and will shorten development time while improving the task completion rate.
4. Make It Easy for Reviewers to Share Feedback
As training becomes more and more visual, it is important to use tools that enable reviewers to share their feedback easily. They should be able to add feedback quickly, using annotation tools, without leaving the content that they are reviewing. Use a collaborative visual feedback and management tool to make this review process easy.
5. You Can’t Replace Every Meeting With Tools
Have a review session at the start and end of each iteration of a course to make sure everyone is aligned, but keep it short and to the point. Keep all other aspects of the project, like feedback, reviews, tasks, comments, attachments and other discussion, within the feedback management tool. This way, you and your team can manage them asynchronously.
6. Provide Follow-ups for Each Review Cycle
Conclude each review cycle by following up on each task. Note, however, that not every task can be finished in one review cycle, so there will be revisions. Make sure that the rest of the tasks move forward with approval to create a process without leaks.
Developing eLearning content on a remote team can be challenging, but by following these simple guidelines, you can speed up the development process while increasing the value of what you produce.