E-learning course is a structured electronic content resource that is used for the individual development of one’s own competence. A typical e-learning course includes text, images, audio and video content as well as some typical interactions like quizzes or excercises.
The e-learning course can be used either as a stand-alone material or as a part of a larger development process involving diversified forms (blended learning).
The e-learning course is a common solution in many organisations and it is often linked with an LMS (learning management system) and authoring tools. There are several standards, like SCORM or xAPI which allow flawless exchange between learning content providers and their clients.
Worth to know
- The form of e-learning refers to the concept of a course, its structure includes subjects, slides, quizzes, and passing. Because of that, this form is quite common in an organization’s L&D actions.
- A huge upside of an e-learning course is that the recipient learns at their own pace (self-paced). They can learn independently using prepared content, exercises, and quizzes. This allows for the easy distribution of courses without organizational limitations typical to forms that require the synchronization of time between the educator and the learners.
- The closed-form that does not require the attendance of an educator makes the implementation of e-courses easier in multilingual organizations and projects.
- On the market there exist multiple authoring programs that allow for the semi-automatic creation of e-courses from PowerPoint presentations. This is convenient but can lead to situations where the course's author limits himself to just putting the essential information on the slides and adding quizzes at the end of each subject. That however is not enough.
- Because of the commonness and ease of creating courses in which the creativity of the designer is limited to copying slides and adding quizzes to them, e-courses can have mixed reactions among the employees.
- There are technical standards concerning the format of e-courses such as SCORM or xAPI, which allow for the easy implementation of e-courses on an existing e-learning platform. Moreover, these standards allow for easy communication between the e-course and platform - for example the transmission of the learning progress or the results achieved by a specific user.
- Commonly used standards allow for an easier moving process of e-courses between organizations. Because of that, there are multiple “off the shelf” courses available, which can be a quick method of delivering content for an L&D project.
- One of the formats available on multiple e-learning platforms is a course containing video clips (usually with the trainer) and exercises, quizzes as well as additional audio and text content. Such courses are usually created directly on the platform without the use of complex authoring tools.
- E-courses don’t have to limit themselves to slides with explanations and quizzes. Within the structure of an e-course more complex and interesting forms can be placed such as simulations.
- Every participant of an e-learning course receives the exact same training material. Thanks to that it is possible to standardize the development resources and constantly perfect them based on the feedback received from the e-learning platform.
- Centralized management of e-courses set on an e-learning platform allows for instant updates to the e-courses contents. It is an especially valuable trait in situations where the information, key to the competencies of the target group, is bound to change (e.g. product knowledge about medicine in medical representatives or knowledge about procedures in heavily procedural organizations).
- E-courses are usually perceived as “a weapon of mass destruction” because, despite the time needed to prepare them, they are relatively easy to implement on any scale.