Instructional Design

Be an eLearning Re-fashionista: How to Dress up Your Existing Modules

Call it budget chic: Sometimes, you don’t have the resources to completely overhaul your closet just to match the trends. And when it comes to eLearning modules, chances are that working with a qualified instructional designer or e-Learning company has given you the good bones for a few updates, even if you don’t have the budget for something new altogether. A fresh look at what you already have (and a few accessories) might be enough to make you see your old module in a new, trend-forward way.

Playing Dress Up

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that modernizing your module requires a completely new one. By refashioning what you already have, you refresh your eLearning efforts without starting from scratch. Check out your graphics and images: Are there any ways you can “dress them up” with text, tweaking the photos or buying a few new images to replace outdated pictures? Even just adding images where there previously were none could dress up your existing module so it feels new.

Don’t forget to take a second look at your formatting, too. Large blocks of text or boring bulleted lists could be replaced with images or broken up with other media. Consider the module from the learner’s perspective: What are the least inspiring parts of the program and how could they become more engaging without a total overhaul?

Adding Accessories

A true fashionista knows that clothes are only part of the outfit: Accessories add the personality. And the same could be said for a woefully outdated eLearning program. Without the right accessories, you might be only doing half the job.

Think about ways to add some sparkle to your module. Like a well-placed statement necklace, better storytelling becomes the feature of the entire program. Even adding some stock animation or using templates for better formatting and flow finish off what might be a pretty standard module. Don’t be afraid to do a little bargain-hunting while you’re at it: Templates, quizzes and new pictures can be a cheap way to refashion and accessorize your current efforts.

Strut Your Stuff

Once you’ve added the right media and interactive components, try this trick: Film two videos – one for the beginning of the module and one for the end – as a way to “bookend” a drab module with a level of personalization. You don’t need a film team or a producer, just a clean backdrop and a camera to film a 30-second greeting to get learners engaged and a 30-second thank-you to acknowledge learners’ efforts.

Sure, you’ll probably need a new eLearning strategy in the future, but if you’re currently on a shoestring budget, you don’t have to resign yourself to an old, outdated module. Use your resources wisely and you’ll be able to refashion your program into something that’s totally on-trend.