While eLearning content creation used to be a very expensive and complicated endeavor, new rapid development tools are making the process much simpler and less costly. How? Essentially, these new tools provide easy-to-use templates that empower you to create content without programming skills or a high level of technical knowledge. If you are tasked with developing eLearning content for your organization, you might find knowledge of these tools useful—whether you are starting from scratch or repurposing existing materials. Through the use of the SIMPLE acronym, this paper offers an introduction to using templates for rapid content development. It also includes best practices and tips for working with subject matter experts (SMEs).

S – Start simple

While many of your courses will incorporate the same basic building blocks, your most fundamental starting place for all of them should be a simple design with simple objectives. You can always add items later on.
Consider finding or designing a basic template that works for each course or series of courses—and remember that your organizational rules and objectives will play a role. Be sure to allow yourself the maximum amount of screen real estate when you choose your design, so you have room later to add items that will make your content more engaging without having to cut out anything important. Bottom line: Don’t let your design template distract from your content’s meaning.
I – Include relevant information

When you first begin designing eLearning content, it’s easy to get caught up in all the really exciting elements you can include. Before you think about incorporating the flashy items, however, always remember to include the basic information that matters most.

Think about your potential audience. This isn’t the movie “Field of Dreams,” where if you build it, they will watch it. In fact, the courses you build can sometimes be targeted at an unwilling audience (such as a compliance course that’s required for all employees). Sure, learners can also be excited to have the information you are willing to share—and that is a solid objective—but realistically, your audience will typically sit somewhere between these two extremes.

M – Meet your learning objectives, P – Please your audience, L – Later add flair, & E – Engage to ensure understanding >>