So, you're ready to launch your e-learning course! You went over the instructional design, the overall look and feel; and of course, the functionality. Everything seems well - THEN - on the comments section, you get the feedback that it's not working as it's supposed to, or worse - the grammar is wrong.
That can be quite an embarrassing experience; especially when your organization banks on providing quality education and you are servicing international clients. In our line of work, we need to be very thorough - up to the point of being obsessive-compulsive - before launching any e-learning course.
1. Is Spelling, Punctuation, and GRAMMAR Correct and Consistent?
Nothing is more embarrassing than a spelling error - even if it's just ONE word. Take this personal experience as an example.
I was browsing in a bookstore yesterday, looking for my next reading adventure. One book about an innovative way of trading stocks grabbed my attention (of course, I won't give out the title here). The title was catchy, the book design was eye-candy, and the headlines gave the book and the author that air of credibility. I was hooked; but when I started to read the summary at the back, the last word in the paragraph spelled 'your' instead of 'you.' I realized that it might be a minor error on the publisher's end; but I ended up NOT buying the book because of that one-letter mistake. The entire thing lost its credibility because of just one letter - and I believe, the same also goes for our e-learning modules. THE KEY: PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD...then PROOFREAD some more.
2. Do All Elements Work Correctly on ALL Browsers and Devices?
Not checking if e/m-learning modules work on the most used devices is also a BIG No-no. If you want to be taken seriously as an e/m-learning expert, you need to check if your module works correctly on all, if not - the most used, platforms. Freelance designers might have an issue with this because it's almost impossible to own EVERY device or platform out there. What the Minreeva team does is that we have friends who own these devices and we have them test the modules out for us (for FREE - of course!).
3. Did the Module answer the "WIIFM" question?
Here's another important part of your punch list - the instructional design part. There may be a tendency to go all artsy on any learning module; because it is part of our job as e/m-learning designers to make the module visually appealing to our target audience. However, we also need to ask if all the learning objectives were met by the end of the session. Remember these 5 letters: WIIFM - What's In It For Me. "Did the module answer our audience's WIIFM?"
Always remember one of the pillars of instructional design: in order to get a full learning experience, we need to consider both the content and context of our target audience. We might have the best content (ie. resources, images, videos, lectures, podcasts, creative design, etc.) in the world, but if we miss out on the context (ie. real-life application), our modules might not be effective as we thought they would be.
Here' are the Top 3 items on our punch list. Do you have some items included in your punch list that you'd like to add? Please let us know through the comments section below.