Creating quality online courses takes a lot of time. Even the most seasoned elearning professionals spend hours upon hours creating (and testing) their courses.
This is why there is always a great sense of accomplishment when the course is finally released.
One major misconception about elearning is that once it is complete you can use it for years.
While this is true in some respects, the reality is that elearning often goes “stale” – quite quickly in fact.
As we enter into this new year, organizations should take a moment to analyze the current state of their elearning to make sure that it is still up-to-date. Some items to look at include content accuracy and image consistency & style.
Organizations are always changing, but the same is not true for their elearning. In fact, elearning represents a “snapshot” in time. The content contained in the course may not reflect the organization’s business goals and strategic objectives down the line.
There may also be references to dated practices, policies, and even departments – all of which would cause confusion.
The implications of inaccurate content can range from minor to severe. Because of this, you should review your organization’s elearning at least once per quarter and make any updates as necessary.
Keep in mind that sometimes it makes more sense to create an entire new course than to try to update existing content. The likelihood of this increases with each passing year.
Image Consistency & Style
Some organizations go through re-branding initiatives. When this is done, suddenly all the elearning becomes outdated, even if the content itself is still accurate.
Whenever your organization changes color schemes, logos, and other visual elements, you should make the appropriate updates to all elearning courses.
Also, if the courses have introductions by key leadership of the organization, make sure that it is updated if that person leaves.
These kind image and style updates are critical. The less critical (but still important) updates include those around style trends. For example, “flat” design is popular today more so than elements with drop-shadows and gradients.
When possible, it’s a good idea to update the visual components so that they reflect today’s trends. Again, this isn’t a critical item, but it is a nice touch that helps to keep the elearning experience enjoyable.
By simply paying attention to both content accuracy and image consistency on regular basis, you can easily extend the shelf-life or your elearning.