How do you get the most out of your elearning production team and create smart, user-focused elearning, efficiently? Here we share four tried and tested configurations, each with their different merits, to help you develop a winning elearning dream team.
Think skills not job roles for your team
Underpinning our winning elearning team configurations is a core belief in the importance of recognizing skill sets. The idea that project roles are more important than job roles. This gives you the fluidity to match people and their skills to the needs of your projects. It also enables you to bring in people from outside of your core team, as needed, to fulfil specialist roles.
For example, if you need some sparkling copywriting to add the wow factor to a brand-new learning campaign, you may find those skills in the marketing department. Equally, you might need someone with video skills to create some footage for a project, but you may not need those skills all of the time.
Six key roles to consider for your elearning production team
As a baseline, we recommend considering the following six roles. Which are most relevant for you depends, of course, on the quality of output you’re aiming for and the scale you’re working at.
4 ways to structure your elearning production team
We see many different team elearning team configurations across our customer base. Here are four popular combinations of the roles above, each with different merits.
Option 1: Two-person elearning team
Graphic artist & learning designer dream team, where both are able to produce content in an authoring platform.
Works well for: fast, dedicated, collaborative design – where projects need their own visual and learning design ‘flavor’. Multiple ‘two-person teams’ can be set up, to work at higher scale.
Potential pitfalls: inconsistent designs without a leader setting a vision and potential for siloed thinking – may need new inspiration injecting from outside.
Option 2: Multimedia elearning team, led by learning designer
A learning designer heads up a mini production team involving an authoring tool expert, graphic artist and a copywriter.
Works well for: higher scale production and where consistent production standards or design approaches are required. Also good for teams that have strong multimedia skills, but not necessarily experience in ‘learning’.
Potential pitfalls: a lot rests on the learning designer’s shoulders, who has to set up a vision, input into and review all projects.
Option 3: Learning leader empowering SME’s
A Learning Leader sets a vision and, over time, develops a set of reusable templates and interfaces in an authoring platform that make that vision a reality. They then enable subject experts to work directly into the authoring platform, and use the templates provided directly to create content.
Works well for: producing simple, templated, performance support resources such as ‘5 tips to help you do X’. Also good for capturing and sharing expert stories, case studies, and assessment questions into pre-formed templates.
Potential pitfalls: subject expertise doesn’t equal learning or performance expertise, so this relies on the learning design coming first, and the content creation from experts following.
Option 4: Outsource
Learning Leader commissions a third party supplier to deliver on their vision, retaining accountability for the vision.
Works well for: teams that don’t have the skill-set or time required to produce the desired project themselves. Bear in mind that you don’t have to commission the entire project, instead you could outsource parts of it. For example, the Learning Leader could do the concept design in-house, with production commissioned outside. Or, learning design and content could be handled in house, with graphics and styling commissioned outside.
Potential pitfalls: can be a more costly and lengthy process and still requires a lot of input to get the right outcome.
Make sure you consider…
Your elearning dream team might look different to others you’ve seen or worked in before, and that’s ok. It’s all about getting the best out of the individuals in your team. As long as your team configuration is based on the skill sets you have available and the goals you’re trying to achieve, you’ll be on your way to creating high quality elearning, efficiently. See this in-depth guide that sets out the steps your team can take for successful online learning.
If you’re at the start of your journey and are wondering how to grow an elearning team into one of these configurations, check out our insights on how the best L&D leaders help their teams succeed.
To download a whole host of helpful free templates to guide your team through a tried and tested production process, check out our 5Cs framework page.
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