Jump to content

Creating eLearning content: Nine steps to a finished eLearning course

A guide for HR managers, personnel developers and more


eLearning and digital learning media have become integral parts of our modern personnel development strategies. They enable you to train your employees flexibly and efficiently, and impart and teach specialist knowledge, soft skills, and important corporate values with online courses. But how do you create your first eLearning course when you have no previous experience? It’s surprisingly easy once you know how. Our guide to creating eLearning courses takes you from an idea to a finished course in nine simple steps.


What is eLearning and how does it work?

eLearning is a dynamic and flexible way to impart knowledge and skills using digital media. eLearning enables you to train your employees flexibly and interactively, wherever and whenever you need to. Instead of dull face-to-face events with boring classroom teaching, you work with attractive online courses containing interactive elements that increase learner engagement. As a result, learners absorb the material more quickly and what they have learned remains in their memories for longer.

Apart from flexibility in terms of location and time, eLearning also saves time and money. Instead of renting training rooms, arranging catering, and hiring expensive trainers, you can run digital training courses with far less financial outlay. Or you can use a hybrid training model in which you present theoretical content digitally and provide practical relevance in face-to-face workshops. Blended learning is already an integral part of personnel development in many companies.

Creating eLearning courses is actually quite simple. With the right software—authoring tools or an LCMS (learning management system)—you can create content with no programming knowledge at all. In fact, you can create exciting courses in just a few clicks. Use targeted quiz questions to find out whether the knowledge has embedded itself in the minds of your employees.


Understand your learners before you create the eLearning course

A thorough understanding of your learners is crucial to a functional eLearning strategy. If you know exactly who your learners are, you can create customized learning paths that offer real added value. Create learning personas in advance. These give you an insight into the demographics, individual needs, and preferences of your target group. With this knowledge, you can create relevant content that appeals to your employees and helps them progress.

For example, if you find that a large proportion of your learners are visually oriented, it is worth focusing primarily on visual media. Or, if you recognize that your target audience is mostly made up of experienced professionals, advanced topics and real-world case studies will be more appealing than basic introductions. A deep understanding of your target audience will also help you take into account cultural and linguistic nuances, which is especially important when training international teams.

In addition, a thorough understanding of the target group leads to a higher engagement rate. Your learners feel understood and valued if they feel that the course is tailored specifically to their needs. It not only increases their willingness to learn, but also their loyalty to the company. Employees recognize that you are investing in their development. Ultimately, this leads to more effective training, increased satisfaction, and a better overall result for both the learners and the company.


How to: Create your eLearning course in nine steps

creating elearning content in 9 steps

1. Define learning objectives

Set clear learning objectives before you create your eLearning course. To do this, first consider your corporate goals or the individual development requirements of your employees. What skills do they need to fulfill them? One proven method for formulating goals is the use of SMART criteria. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Example: Your company has introduced a new CRM system. All employees who work with the system require training to help them get the most out of it. The following learning objectives could be defined using the SMART method: 
“By the end of the next quarter, all new account managers should be able to use our new CRM system efficiently by maintaining customer data with at least 95% accuracy.”

When creating eLearning courses, it is worth bearing in mind Anderson and Krathwohl’s learning objectives taxonomy. This theory categorizes learning objectives into six levels, from ’Knowledge’ to ’Create’. These levels represent the different cognitive skills and thought processes required to achieve the learning objectives. The level of the learning objective influences what kind of content and activities are required in an eLearning module. For example, achieving a ’know’-based goal requires more information and facts to be provided, while achieving a ’create’-based goal requires more creative activities and opportunities to apply the content.


2. Gather and select content

The next step is to select suitable content to create your eLearning course. Start by researching and collating existing materials. All media such as documents, presentations, videos and other resources can be included. Search your internal databases and external sources to find relevant information. Make sure you use a broad range of sources to get diverse perspectives and information.

Then assess the relevance and quality of each individual element. Ask yourself if the content supports the learning objectives and if it is current and accurate. Check the sources and authority of the materials to ensure they are reliable. Discard insufficient or outdated content.

You may come across gaps that need to be filled as you review existing content. Identify areas in which additional information or explanation is required to fully achieve the learning objectives. This may mean that you need to create new content, be it in the form of text, graphics, videos, or other media.

By consistently applying this process of researching, evaluating, and identifying gaps, you can ensure that the content of your eLearning module is relevant, high-quality, and tailored to the needs of your learners. This lays the foundation for a successful and efficient eLearning experience.

Nadine Pedro
[Translate to English:] Nadine Pedro, chemmedia AG

Interesting information free of charge?

Take advantage of our expertise.

We regularly share our knowledge and experience free of charge.
Just subscribe to the newsletter to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

Bitte füllen Sie das Pflichtfeld aus.
Bitte füllen Sie das Pflichtfeld aus.
Bitte füllen Sie das Pflichtfeld aus.
* Mandatory field

By confirming, you agree that chemmedia AG may send you whitepapers, news and know-how in the field of e-learning. Of course, we will treat your data confidentially and will not pass it on to third parties. You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time and object to the processing of your data in accordance with our privacy policy.

3. Create and prepare content

Now that you have compiled your materials, it’s time to prepare and optimize them for your eLearning course. Create new content to fill gaps or add missing information. Write new texts, create informative graphics and tape training videos, or adapt existing materials to meet your current requirements and objectives.

Encourage learner engagement with storytelling, case studies, or realistic scenarios. Tell stories or present real-life situations that relate to the learning content. This makes the learning process clearer and more relevant.


4. Develop the didactic design

Now that you’ve created your content, it’s time to develop a didactic design that ensures your learners learn effectively and achieve their goals. Develop a coherent and logical structure for your eLearning course. Structure the content sensibly and in such a way that each step builds on the last. Make sure that learners are guided systematically through the course step-by-step. This will make it easier for them to understand.


5. Create eLearning courses with the right software

Now it’s time to start thinking about the right software for your eLearning course. You’re at the stage where you can determine which features you need to display your content as effectively as possible. The following three software products should be essential tools for your company:


LCMS/Authoring tool

You can create and manage your eLearning courses with an LCMS (learning content management system) or authoring tool. These tools enable you to create and organize your content in formats such as text, images, videos, and interactive elements.


You can deliver the content you have created to your learners using an LMS (learning management system). This tool helps you assign learning modules to specific user groups and track their progress. An efficient LMS provides a structured and controlled learning environment.

Gamification apps

Incorporate gaming elements into your eLearning strategy. Gamification apps such as flashcards and digital behavioral trainers are an effective way to increase the motivation and engagement of your learners.


6. Integrate interactive elements and assessments

Once you have curated the content and selected the appropriate software, you can start creating your eLearning course. Integrate interactive elements such as flipcards, quizzes, and assessments. This increases learner engagement and promotes knowledge transfer. Interactive content is one of the essential characteristics of successful and effective eLearning. It enables you to exploit the full potential of the medium for your learners. 

Integrate assessments at regular intervals. These give learners valuable feedback and enable them to track their progress. Adaptive learning enables you to tailor the content to the learner’s level of knowledge. Fast learners can skip content, while others are offered more supporting information. 


7. Conduct a review process

You’ve created all the content, integrated the interactive elements, and configured the assessments? Then it’s time for the review phase. Put your eLearning course to the test (and check for typos). Check your content again for accuracy, ideally with one or more experts. Think about whether your didactic structure is logical and if it aligns with the learning objectives. Check your spelling and grammar. Take another critical look at your design: Have all the guidelines been adhered to? And finally: Check technical details such as the functionality of links, videos, and gamified content.


8. International adaptation and localization (optional)

This optional step is for those who train international teams around the world. Ensure your training content is effective for international target groups and that it takes cultural differences and sensitivities into account.

Translate texts, graphics, and videos into the respective target language. Make sure that the translation also takes the cultural context into account to avoid misunderstandings.  Different cultures have different expectations, norms, and values. Understand these differences to ensure your eLearning content is respectful and appropriate. Adapt examples and case studies to local contexts. This not only shows respect and appreciation for international employees, but also increases the effectiveness of your eLearning courses. 


9. Implementation and publication

It’s finally time: Your eLearning course is complete and ready to be rolled out to your learners. Congratulations! All your hard work will certainly be worth it.

Publish your eLearning course on your learning platform. Check again that everything has been uploaded and integrated correctly. You can publicize the course on various communication channels such as emails, the intranet, social media, and internal announcements. Emphasize the benefits and advantages your learners will gain from your eLearning course.

Provide your employees with support and tools. Not everyone is naturally confident in using digital learning media efficiently. Offer FAQs, instructions, and technical support to ensure that all learners benefit from your eLearning course. 


You’ve created your eLearning course. What happens next?

You’ve created and rolled out your eLearning course. But that’s not the end of the story. There are plenty of other things you can do to exploit the full potential of eLearning.


Monitoring and evaluation

Monitor and evaluate your eLearning course to determine whether your training initiative is successful. You can use learning analytics to gather data on learning behavior. Track your learners’ activities, completion rates, and learning time.  

Check whether the learning objectives have been achieved and whether your learners have the desired knowledge and skills. Use written or practical tests for this, or simply ask your learners yourself. Get their feedback to understand their learning experience. Ask them for their opinions on and suggestions for the course. You’ll need continuous feedback from learners to make improvements and increase the quality of your eLearning modules.


Continuous updates and maintenance

Update the content of your eLearning course regularly. Make sure that all the information and media used is up-to-date. Integrate new findings, developments, and examples. 

Use learner feedback to make your eLearning content as user-centric as possible. Analyze the performance data and use your findings to clear up misunderstandings about the content. Maintaining your eLearning content is a continuous, iterative process.


Create your own eLearning course—put your knowledge to the test

Not ready to go ‘all in’ right away with creating your first eLearning course? Then take your time testing out the features of a user-friendly LCMS first. Discover the many options for creating an eLearning course live in your browser. Using four different examples, you’ll explore attractively designed courses with didactically sensible structures and make changes to them yourself. Insert images, create tables and text, and incorporate interactive elements. 

Create eLearning courses instantly, live in your browser—free of charge and with no downloads or installation needed. 


The bottom line.

Creating eLearning courses is easy when you have the right plan. Get to know your target group and understand their wishes and needs. Then start by defining the learning objectives. Compile content and select the best pieces. Add new content to cover the latest findings. Pay attention to logical structures and didactic principles. Only at this point do you select the right eLearning software and create your courses with interactive elements and challenging assessments. The review process rounds out your results and guarantees the necessary quality. Internationalize your eLearning course for a global audience and then publish it on your learning platform. Continuous monitoring and gathering valuable learner feedback enable you to improve your eLearning course on an ongoing basis.

Take advantage of the opportunity to edit and try out eLearning courses in your browser with the live editor test from Knowledgeworker Create.  

Nadine Pedro
[Translate to English:] Nadine Pedro, chemmedia AG
Nadine Pedro
Senior Marketing Manager

Cover image: fizkes/shutterstock.com