January 15th, 2018 Instructional Design

Creating and launching an e-learning course is a long but satisfying journey. However, it doesn’t end after launch.

So many people make the mistake of thinking their course is a finite project. That all they need to do is put in a lot of initial work and then when it is complete they can just sit back and relax.

This can be your reality, but if you sell your course then don’t expect to be in business very long.

Information gets dated quickly and as a result so will your course. Design trends also become dated. What looks good today might not look very good in two years. Learners will equate dated design to mean the content too is dated (even if it is not).

You have to keep updating your course from a content and visual perspective. Most people understand this but they don’t have a plan in place for managing updates and revisions.

Create a Course Maintenance Plan

Just as your course utilized a wireframe for the building phase, you need a “plan” in place for the maintenance. It doesn’t have to be as detailed but should at the very least have due dates for various quality checks.

My recommendation is to review and revise your content every quarter.

Small changes can be made on the fly, but it’s best to consolidate a list of lessons and assets that need updating, including what needs to be changed. This will give you a clear checklist to follow. Set aside a week or two in every quarter where you hammer out updates to the course. Remake videos, take new screenshots, and update text where necessary based on changes that may have occurred in that window of time.

Doing this during four scheduled intervals a year means you avoid having to do massive, sweeping overhauls of your course (which can be a costly undertaking). This keeps the updates manageable. That’s not to say that at some point you won’t need to make massive changes. But if that time comes you will have a better idea of what exactly needs to be modified because you have have been working and maintaining the course multiple times throughout a year.

The point is that you need to keep your courses from going stale. If you are the information selling business then nothing is more damaging to future sales than dated information. Don’t get the reputation of having irrelevant information. Keep your courses up-to-date. Both you and your learners will benefit.

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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