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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds Hi. I’m Simon Riley, a learning technologist for the HELM Team at the University of Nottingham. So hopefully by now, you’ve turned your storyboard into a specification, looked at quality frameworks, and the peer review process. If you’ve managed to submit a specification for review, well done. So what’s next? You may be wondering how to tern your specification into an e-learning resource. Let’s look at some of the tools and approaches you can use. If you haven’t created a specification yet, don’t worry. Creating an e-learning resource can seem overwhelming, particularly if you’re non-technical or starting something out on your own. Later on in this session, there’ll be an opportunity to share ideas and experience. This is one of the best ways to learn.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 seconds If you’ve already created or are creating a e-learning resource, it would also be great for you to share your ideas or work in the discussions. But please, don’t feel you have to, as there is no requirement to do so. We acknowledge content creation is a huge topic within itself, and we don’t expect to cover every aspect. Our aim is to get anyone new to content creation off the ground with some simple, easy-to-understand examples, and to inspire those who have some experience to push ideas further. If you have the budget, you might be in a position to hire someone or a team to produce the content for you, and we will include some advice on this, too.

Skip to 1 minute and 30 seconds It’s important not to lose sight of what you’re creating. As a reminder, we’ve learned so far– an RLO could really be any e-learning resource. RLOs, particularly in health, or easily-accessible, short, media-rich chunks of e-learning that are easily shareable. A specification document should be explicit in how the learning resource will meet a single learning goal or learning aims. The specification will also describe the instructional design and the theoretical concept, or pedagogy, behind it as a key aid to help development. It really doesn’t matter which you use. It’s likely there will be more than one tool capable of creating your e-learning resource. Choosing the right medium for your e-learning resource is dependent on knowing your users or intended learners.

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 seconds How will your users access your e-learning resource? And what considerations might you need to bear in mind to make it easily accessible and appealing for them to use? In the example from Fern’s Team, a video was the most appropriate medium, given the users expressed a need to empathise with real world examples. This emphasises how designing content along with your users allows you to meet your learner needs and make sure a resource is fit for purpose and, therefore, more appealing. The final e-learning resource should suit both your users and your budget. Working to a budget can limit some of the options available to you, but it shouldn’t necessarily shape or limit the way you design the learning.

Skip to 2 minutes and 55 seconds The pedagogy or theoretical concept behind the learning should remain the same. For example, Fern could use a mobile phone to create a video or have it produced by a professional film crew and actors. This is a crude analogy, but I hope you see my point.

Skip to 3 minutes and 12 seconds A handsaw is sufficient for felling a tree, but it may take a little more time and require considerable. It may also be dangerous, so please don’t try this at home. Many of the tools you already own can turn the specification into an e-learning resource, such as PowerPoint, Word, or devices such as the camera on your mobile phone. Using a chainsaw to fell a tree would probably be quicker and take less effort. It may also be dangerous, so please don’t try this, either. Using a chainsaw is probably the preferred method of a skilled lumberjack. And if you hire one, hopefully they’ll have the knowledge to finish the job efficiently and safely.

Skip to 3 minutes and 50 seconds But you must take some responsibility– for example, to instruct them to fell the correct tree. So it’s possible to buy specialist tools, such as development software or equipment, or pay a professional developer to develop your e-learning resource from your specification. It’s important your specification is clear enough to guide the developer to create an e-learning resource that meets the learning aims or outcomes. It’s possible to fell a tree at no cost, provided you know where to find a free method. It’s the same with e-learning development tools. Free options are available, but knowing where to find them, and learning to use them, can seem daunting. In the following sections, we’ll signpost you to free and open-source tools that are relatively simple.

Skip to 4 minutes and 32 seconds We strongly encourage you to talk to your fellow learners about these tools, and others we haven’t mentioned, in the discussion.

Skip to 4 minutes and 41 seconds So in summary, whichever approach you decide to take, the learning aims should remain the focus of your learning resource.

Skip to 4 minutes and 49 seconds No animals were harmed in the making of this animation.

The right tools for the job

Please take a moment to view the above video in which we will look at choosing the right tools for creating an E-Learning resource.

After watching the video, think about the following questions.

  • How your users will access your E-Learning resource; desktop, mobile, tablet?
  • What medium will make it easily accessible and appealing for your intended learners?

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This video is from the free online course:

Designing E-Learning for Health

The University of Nottingham