How to Make Any eLearning Content Scalable Across Time and Reach?

There are so many times we are faced with requirements to make courses. And most of the times all that we do is:

  • Look at the requirements
  • And start finding ways to meet them immediately

How many times do we really pause by and reflect? Do we ever try to think of any cost-effective and easy ways to make the content scalable across:

  • Time (into the future)?
  • And space(spanning a multitude of geographies and cultures)?

Today, I am going to shed some light into as cost-effective or zero-cost and nearly zero-effort ways, as possible, that you can incorporate in your course development process, which will help you ensure that your core content structure, logic, and flow, can survive the tide of time and space 🙂 I hope you like some of these ideas. I also hope that you will come up with, and share some of your own such ideas that can be a learning experience for me too 🙂

Get Global! 

Time for Time Travel!

  • Language: Ensure that your content comprises short sentences
  • Structure: Keep the language and idea in each sentence, precise and simple
  • Neutrality: Keep the language and idea socially, culturally, economically, and gender-wise neutral
  • Reasons for Neutrality: Remember that these tips will ensure ease. They will avoid regional or sub-cultural misunderstandings. They will avoid violation of individual local sentiments, if the core content of your course gets considered for future translation and localization for audiences across different languages and cultures
  • Reasons for Simplicity: If the core content of your course is simple and neutral in every sense, it is easier or localize and translate it into another language for another culture, and later linguistically and culturally customize it, as per requirements
  • Deployment: If at the time of deployment, we ensure a web-based LMS installation, with a capability to scale to an unlimited number of websites from a single installation, then we can ensure accommodation of  links to all potentially localized versions of the course in future, from a single installation
  • User Interface and/or Responsive Design: Provide a user interface that is intuitive. Ensure it is available, and socio-culturally and linguistically neutral, and applicable across screen space considerations, for translations across most popular and major global languages like: Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian etc. For instance, a short sentence translated from English to French, may occupy about the same amount of space on screen, than when translated from English to Chinese. What’s the solution to this? You can either manually foresee and take care of content positioning on screen during graphic design, or a slightly more expensive, yet worthwhile option would be, obviously responsive design and fluid grid authoring for easy fitting and re-sizing of content, across any screen size. Responsive design enables programmers in association with graphic designers, with easy selection of fluid content grids through CSS media queries, for efficient content display of any content size across any possible screen size.
  • Data Collection and Analysis: Suggest to your client, a feature to centralize and collect data. This can be even more effective if you can incorporate a data analytics feature, on interested prospects, and customers. This way you can measure and analyze user curiosity level, popular keywords, user preferences, user behavior during login sessions on the LMS, user needs, wants, patterns, and searches, and more. There are systems that can adjust LMS response to user behavior and preferences. One such system from Badgeville is under use with Samsung Nation, a social loyalty program for customers. This is not exactly cost-effective, but imagine the word-of-mouth marketing and social media or electronic media marketing of your courseware, if users can really experience the course customizing itself to user preferences, behavior, and nature
  • Exploit the Freedom of Tin Can APIs: I am simply going to quote the benefits in the very words used in the TinCanApi site, to help you see light in making your learning solutions Tin Can compliant:
  1. Statement freedom: the structure of “statements” using nouns, verbs and objects lets you record almost any activity. Think: “I did this.”
  2. History freedom: the Tin Can API allows LRSs to talk to each other. LRSs can share data and transcripts with one another, and your experiences can follow you from one LRS (or organization) to another. Learners can even have their own “personal data lockers” with their personal learning information inside them.
  3. Device freedom: any enabled device can send Tin Can API statements (mobile phones, simulations, games, a CPR dummy, the list goes on). A constant network connection isn’t necessary — occasional connectivity is fine.
  4. Workflow freedom: tracking learning events doesn’t have to start or end in an LMS, it can start wherever the learner is and on whatever device they choose to use. Your content isn’t tied to an LMS.
Well that’s about it from me for today 🙂 Happy weekend everyone!