Content Development for E-Learning

Oct 15, 20212021, Career, communication, Listening, relationships, self awareness, understanding

What is Content Development?

Content development is the process of researching/analyzing what is to be taught and determining what outcomes are desired. It involves gathering information/content for those learning objectives, organizing the content or information to be presented, writing the lesson(s), and editing that information for learners across a variety of modalities.

Content development for e-learning entails everything stated above only the modality is via the internet using your computer or mobile device instead of in the classroom.

Regardless of modality content developers should ask the following:

  1. Why is this information being taught?
  2. What are the learners being asked to learn or understand?
  3. How will it be taught? Will lesson planning require SME’s (subject matter experts)?

Creating online courses is not simply about content. Structure of the lesson is also important. For instance, will this module be part of a learning path that progresses from simple to difficult? It’s also about building relationships. Therefore, if you can insert a bit of humor and use positive language your work in creating content can be more enjoyable for both learner and designer.

Lessons should also take into account the various learning styles of their students and balance that in the modules too. Some students are auditory or visual or tactile learners. There should be a little of something for each type planned into the lesson. Therefore, the content developer ought to use a blend of graphics and interactive elements, written text, video content, and activities to capture all learners equally.

There are several steps that a content developer will make in order to produce the end results. We will take a deep look into them next.


This is the first part of developing content for e-learning modules. Analyzing entails selecting the content, analyzing your target audience, and setting your learning objectives.


After you have determined what content is being learned and who your target audience is and what the objectives of this lesson are you move into writing your instructional design document or IDD. Ask yourself these questions. Will this module be delivered via simple scenarios, avatars, or as a problem-solving lesson? Will the content be broken down into subheadings, other course, or modules? This is your template for determining use of instructional and visual elements for your design team.


Your content has been selected and finalized. Objectives have been divvied up into modules or subheadings. Scripts should be short and succinct. Brainstorm prior to typing your first word. Here are some tips.

  1. Don’t use jargon without explaining it beforehand.
  2. Use imagery and graphics that is vivid and eye-catching.
  3. Watch your tone.
  4. Make the learning conversational.


Organizing your Prototype/Editing


Prototypes are typically done with Powerpoint. You can use a few slides to present an entire course. More interactives courses can be created with other programs, i.e. Rise or Storyline. During this segment of the content design process you should have determined all screen interactions, colors, animations, and images that are taking place.

Prototypes can be either courses without audio (visual only) or courses with both. (audio and visual) Audio should be synchronized with the online text and animations.

Once these components are put together and you can see the end product you can edit for content and clarity or time allocated.

Constructing the Learning Management System Version

The prior steps are mostly a creative progression. This final stage is more of a technical and mechanical nature.  Stakeholders will ask for the final course to be AICC/SCORN/XAPI compliant depending on what they use in their organization. That simply invites you to know how it will be hosted. Once that is done the lesson is ready to go live! Usually, the technical team rolls this out.

Note that your e-learning courses and their content will change or evolve over time. You’ll need to adopt new and different strategies or add information to address new and different e-learning challenges or goals.

We have just learned what content development is and the steps most commonly used to move through that process. With your newly acquired knowledge you might be able to create some content for your organization. E-Learning content development can be used to train employees, customers, or other partners that can in-turn help to generate more revenue. Developing content for e-learning should be easy and impactful or memorable. It offers employers an affordable efficient way to train their employees. Employees benefit from learning new skills or gaining knowledge. It


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