How do I design an eCourse?

Your learning objectives shape your eCourse design. Short eCourses can range from one to up to 5 learning objectives. A full-length eCourse, meanwhile, covers over 5 learning objectives. More learning objectives mean more learning content. 

Try not to go overboard with your eCourse. ADB eLearn recommends that you design your full-length eCourse as a cluster of short eCourses. This is because today's eLearners actually prefer narrowly-focused and concise learning packages. After all, who has the time or the patience to go through loads of content? As an eCourse designer, you must curate and shape content for your learners.

For more information on how to chunk eCourse content, please READ: Content Chunking: The Basis To An Engaging And Well-Designed Course

The length of your eCourse depends on how many learning objectives you want to cover. There are two types of short eCourses: Nano eCourses and micro eCourses. 

A nano eCourses are very short courses that run 15 minutes or less. Nanolearning provides quick information addressing only 1 learning objective. The video below is an example of a nanolearning course. Please note that this content was designed to meet only 1 learning objective (to describe how ADB helps alleviate poverty) in under four minutes.

WATCH: Did you know? Asian Development Bank (3:23)

A nano eCourse is the shortest kind of eCourse. It is also the simplest to design. 

Since the nanolearning course requires quick and easy access to learning, the simplest way to create content is to produce a short video. Remember that nanolearning takes no more than 15 minutes. You may consider "chunking" or breaking down your content into easily digestible videos covering very narrow topics.

The video below gives some practical tips on how to produce an elearning video.

WATCH: Teaching tip: read from a script to make videos accessible (2:54)

by UAF eLearning & Distance EducationCreative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Just like macrolearning and microlearning courses, the nanolearning course is created based on 1 learning objective. Realistically, learners can only achieve lower level thinking skills with a nanolearning course.

The following learning objectives from Bloom's Taxonomy are appropriate for nanolearning:

table of suggested action words

For more guidance on how to design short but effective nano courses, please refer to the resources below.

READ: A practical guide to nanolearning

READ: 6 Ideas to help you create nanolearning in under 15 minutes

READ: 10 things you should know about nanolearning 

At this point, you may imagine your nano eCourse as your building block. It is an independent unit that is effective on its own. But several nano eCourses produces a bigger learning unit. Microlearning or "bite-sized learning" consistently tops eLearning trends endorsed by eLearning experts. Micro eCourses are also short, easy to understand, and easy-to-produce formats or “learning nuggets” to provide just-in-time learning to improve performance. This form of just-in-time-learning allows a learner to access and complete an eCourse using any device in as short as 1 hour to as long as 3 hours (Andriotis, 2016). You may imagine a micro eCourse as comprising several related nano eCourses.  The video below, while still an example of a nano eCourse, discusses how you can use microlearning to meet your training needs. 


WATCH: Microlearning (2:42)

Video by Odin Training, Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Read the article below to find out the most effective forms of microlearning.

READ: 5 Killer Examples Of Using Microlearning-Based Training

A full-length eCourse, on the other hand, is a cluster of related micro eCourses. Learners need to devote anywhere from 4 to 10 hours (or sometimes longer) to complete such courses. Please note that eCourses are not limited to video format. You may have multimedia elements in one eCourse. 

Sample full-length eCourses:

     Hyperlinks to follow


Last modified: Thursday, 9 August 2018, 4:57 PM