7 Steps to Smarter Elearning, Starting with Collaboration

Have you considered reshaping your elearning production process to support modern learning principles? In this article, we’ll explore how collaborative technology can remove crucial barriers that are holding back – and slowing down – your elearning process.

smarter elearning collaboration

How can you take the best of collaborative working practices and reshape your elearning production process so that it supports the modern learning principles of being continuous, multi-device, immediately available, and social? How can you then remove those crucial barriers that block teams from working smartly?

In this article, we share seven steps to streamline your process and empower people to help others learn.

1. Start with collaborative technology


Collaborative tools are disrupting the way we work, and for the better. They have the ability to break down communication barriers, smarten up processes, and support modern working environments wherein location and working hours are no longer fixed. At their core, they bring people together with a common goal. Go for ones that aid productivity and not just communication.

Remove the need for heavy documents and back-and-forth editing by using one authoring tool that does it all. Choose one that’s not only easy to author in and edit but also has collaborative feedback functions wherein teams can leave comments, instructions, and questions on specific parts of the content.

2. Empower people to create learning with and for others

Effective collaboration tools have the power to shift our thoughts about job roles and workplace structures. This empowers employees and contractors to carry out tasks based on knowledge and ability, rather than on a fixed role or level of experience “outside” of the tool.

In the age during which social and collaborative learning is being given an extra boost via technology, embrace the same mindset in your production process by empowering people to create content for others. Do it smartly by choosing tools that not only make sharing easy but also have solid, instructional UX design built in.

Redefine authoring and editing roles by thinking about who has the skills and knowledge to share and design, rather than by drawing a line between SMEs and designers. Speed up editing by enabling SMEs to do it directly in the authoring tool itself.

3. Prototype from the start

elearning prototype

To review content out of the context of the learning or design experience is to have major blind spots in your process. In addition to collaboration, we need iteration. We must create, experience, revise, and then repeat. However, iteration is surprisingly missing from the standard elearning production process.

Remove these classic blind spots by choosing authoring tools that enable everyone, including a sample list of learners, to see and experience the output. By removing the separate “build” stage and making it a part of the process from the start, you’ll save time, remove surprises, and produce smart content that is fully focused on the learning experience.

Related: How to use smarter processes to speed up elearning authoring

4. Embrace change, and do it faster

Learning does not have a full stop after it, and neither should your project.

Embrace the fact that learning is not static and that change is inevitable and important, especially if you want to keep up with learner and business needs.

Opt for cloud-based tools that enable you to make instant updates to live releases with no disruption to learners or tracked data.

Related: Read our comparison guide of five top elearning authoring tools

5. Be the team that addresses needs

Become a team that supports performance rather than a team that simply produces learning.

If new team members don’t understand a key process, address it. Curate some content and ideas and produce a video, diagram, tutorial, or game—whatever quickly fits the needs best. With the right tools, you can confidently produce content in hours or days, rather than in weeks or months, that will work across devices and meet those key and urgent demands.

6. Set up reusable themes and imagery


Build reusable themes and layouts once, with your branding, for all your teams to use across multiple online learning projects. Provide access to image libraries or banks of curated content to speed up the process. Consider upfront photos or videos to give you a body of materials to work with.

7. Reach for responsive technologies


Learning on the move is the norm. Get in sync with learning audiences by creating modern, multi-device learning without the need of complicated layout adjustments.

We should remove blind spots for how the content will actually look and feel by pairing up authoring with building. However, we should also go for tools that not only deliver to multi-devices but also enable you to easily see fully responsive mobile, tablet, and desktop layouts as you go. This means hitting “publish” automatically works across all devices.

Want to know more? Download our complete guide to using smarter elearning authoring processes.

In this guide, you will learn:

  • Why elearning production needs a mindset shift.
  • How smarter processes are the key to smart, relevant elearning.
  • Four common process pitfalls that may be blocking progress.
  • How to harness the power of collaborative technology.
  • New ways to benchmark success.

“Collaboration platforms should do more than help employees talk about their work; they should create new ways for employees to do their work.” – Accenture

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