Whether you’re creating a new eLearning course, or revising an existing one, eLearning templates are a great way to fast-track your development time. Due to their rise in popularity, I thought I’d answer some of our most frequently asked questions about eLearning templates:
- First things first, what are eLearning templates?
Templates are ‘shells’ for eLearning courses, that give organisations a jump start when it comes to developing eLearning. The idea behind using templates is best described with a metaphor:
Is it better to buy a house or build one yourself?
If you build your own house, you can design every feature. But when you buy an already built house, you can move in straight away. Not to mention, you can save time and money by focusing your resources on the finishing touches rather than digging the foundations.
This applies to eLearning templates too; there are many styles and formats available, so it’s easy to find an effective template that fits your organisation’s needs, rather than starting from scratch (or ‘digging the foundations’ you could say!)
- So, who needs templates?
The simple answer here, is all eLearning professionals could benefit from templates.
Firstly, templates are great for those new to eLearning, as they offer a starting point that’s much closer to the finish line than the blank canvas of your authoring tool. However, even the most experienced content development teams can find themselves facing challenges with eLearning development. For example, you might have limited content development resources, a tight budget or short deadlines. eLearning templates can alleviate these everyday development problems; giving you time to focus on the all-important content, while ensuring you still create beautiful eLearning, every time.
- If I use a template will my course look old, boring and generic?
Only if you choose an old, boring and generic template! There are lots of different styles of templates to choose from. Authoring tools like Articulate Storyline 360 allow for all kinds of customisation to match your organisation’s brand, including the module’s content, colours, shapes, and functionalities. This in turn means that eLearning templates can be customised to this level, ensuring you can find a course that is as modern as you like.
- How do I know which template to buy?
There are three main choices for eLearning templates:
1. Free templates that come with your authoring tool (there are hundreds in the Articulate 360 Content Library)
2. Off-the-shelf templates, like those from the eLearning Brothers, which come in many different styles
3. Custom branded eLearning templates– which will help you take your eLearning to the next level
Each of these options will provide you with an eLearning template that has a variety of layouts and interactions which you can flex to suit your needs. But you must make sure that template you’ve picked matches your requirements. Things you should consider before purchasing any template include:
a) The type of course you need to create. Do you need to create shorter, bite-sized courses or one longer course? Does the template have the right interactions for the type of course you want to create?
b) If the template works for the device your learners will be using. For example, lots of detailed interactions might not be suitable for mobile devices.
c) How the template will work with your organisation’s branding. Of course, if you’re getting a custom-made template, it will be designed to your brand guidelines – ticking this item off the list straight away!
The important thing to remember with any eLearning template, is that they are designed to help your eLearning process, and should speed up your development time. An eLearning template which takes hours to edit every time you use it, simply isn’t working. So, if you find yourself in this predicament – you know it’s time to find a new template.
So, I hope this blog has saved you from a few template temper tantrums. But if you still need a little help choosing which route to take, our eLearning solutions consultants are on hand to help, contact us now.