With the emergence of new technologies and devices coming on the market on a regular basis, a major challenge for e-learning professionals is to keep content (graphics, audios, interactive content and videos) up-to- date so that it makes use of the newest features and allows the product to be competitive on the market.
Consumers are increasingly demanding in terms of their expectations for content delivery, quality and above all, they expect their e-learning courses to be fully functional with whichever platform or device that they are using. In order to overcome this constant challenge, all members of the developing team must be actively involved.
Whether you are an instructional designer, a content integrator, a videographer, or a programmer, making the effort to being informed about the newest production tools, encoding standards, and other advances is crucial for an e-learning unit to make informed, timely decisions in order to remain competitive in the market. However, investing in research and development is a time-consuming endeavor that is oftentimes a luxury in e-learning companies, rather than the norm.
Employees are too busy meeting tight deadlines to devote the energies they need to learn new skills and test new products and technologies. With the ever evolving landscape of platforms and of user expectations, e-learning companies can no longer afford to maintain the status quo with their products and procedures simply based on their past success.
Present at DevLearn, we showcased the process we undertook to evaluate ways to maximize the shelf-life of our e-learning products and we shared the results of the R&D reports we conducted. This resulted in the creation and adoption of a process and policy aimed to maintain the relevance of the products by:
- Creating a set of standardized formats in which to produce the content,
- Providing a method to quickly and efficiently update existing content to accommodate the changing user environment,
- Improving the quality of the product with proper end-user testing by the timely identification of changing trends in the platforms used, the preferred interfaces, and general user behaviors.
The end result was a method for the production team to quickly optimize their content by having access to a just-in-time knowledge pool that is constantly monitored and updated. This knowledge pool not only contained the job aids, templates and settings they would need, but it also provided a curated list of updated resources about the latest trends in the field and an opportunity for employees to share their experiences with new products and technologies.