Transitioning from Classroom to Elearning
“Can you help us get our online curriculum started?”
Our client, an organizational development consulting firm, taught classroom-based Wellness seminars for employees of their business clients. The seminars typically ran between 4-6 hours. While feedback on the sessions was generally positive, there were some issues. With travel, a session typically ate up a full day of an employee’s time. There were long wait times between sessions, and employees could not always get into the session they were interested in. There also were inconsistencies across the sessions due to instructor differences.
Our client wanted to make an alternative version of the Wellness seminars available online. They hoped to reach employees in a wider range of locations, those who were not able to take a full day for a classroom seminar, and those who had an urgent need to access information on specific topics. They also hoped to create a more consistent set of programs, in keeping with their brand. And all of the programs needed to be made available in both English and French.
Finally, although our client had no experience in creating eLearning, they wanted to be able to build the programs themselves. In this way, they could control cost and timing of additional modules being added to the curriculum.
We were engaged to help our clients get started on building a Wellness curriculum.
We decided to work in Articulate Studio authoring software. The software is quite user-friendly, while offering a full range of functionality for making attractive, engaging, interactive eLearning programs. This allowed us to create the first few modules of eLearning, then hand the authoring files to our clients who could use them as templates for future modules.
The modules were designed to be translation-friendly. We developed templates and a methodology for translating from English to French.
We created a consistent instructional design flow that would work across all of the topics in the curriculum. Each module would be between 30-60 minutes in length. The modules began with a short introduction followed by a self-assessment, so learners could identify areas they specifically needed to work on. Next, an interactive menu of “how-to” content items was presented using audio, screen text, and lots of graphics. Downloadable worksheets, accessible from within the modules, were developed to reinforce the key concepts and help the learners apply them to their personal circumstances. The modules ended consistently, with links to additional resources as well as to our client’s Employee Assistance Program.
We also created stronger, more consistent branding in keeping with the Wellness theme. We carried the branding through a number of eLearning and worksheet templates, so our clients could replicate the same look and feel in the modules they developed themselves.
Finally, we helped our client to select a Learning Management System vendor who would host the programs and provide reporting on utilization and acceptance.
Result/benefit to the client
Our client is now pleased to offer a full catalogue of online Wellness programs, using the instructional design flow and templates we developed for them. They are now able to handle the build of new eLearning modules themselves.
The online Wellness programs are well-received. Business clients appreciate being able to offer this content to their employees, without needing to excuse them for full-day seminars. Employees enjoy the 24/7 access and ease of use. While the online programs are shorter, they are more focused on each individual employee’s issues – and on helping drive behavioral change.