Online courses can really benefit from the use of templates. However, it will only be beneficial if you can create an effective template. While it will make the creation of elearning courses easier, it will require some work in the beginning.
When you create a template, it is important for you to think forward. After all, you want this template to be used in creating as many courses in the future as you possibly can. That means you need to pay attention to the details in this template. You have to make sure the layout, navigation elements, and links will work properly and will fit any type of concept or lesson. This will help you maximize the invested time and effort in completing the template.
There are 4 basic steps in creating a template that you can use in creating online courses. Let us go through them one by one.
Step 1: Use the right eLearning Authoring Tool
This tool will help you create the template for your elearning courses. There are many programs to choose from. It may be confusing to find the right tool to use so make sure you have a full grasp of the elearning objectives and goals. These will allow you to filter the tool that can help you meet your elearning targets. The best authoring tools are those that will help you create a responsive design that is flexible enough to adjust to the different devices that learners will use. Not only that, the tool should have a library of themes and other options to help you create the template easily.
Step 2: Work on the Layout
This is the step that will probably take the most time to complete. After all, creating a template will require a detail-oriented approach. This comes in two phases.
The first part will require you to create the framework of the template. This includes the basic look of each page (borders, font, color scheme, etc.) Make sure you avoid formats that will make the template too specific. Remember that you will use this template for several online courses. It has to be general as best. As soon as you get this done, it should be easy to fill in the rest.
The second part involves creating the generic pages that are usually present in all elearning courses. For instance, all courses have an introductory page. Your template should have this as well. Other pages that you should create includes the objectives or expectations page, instructions, content, activity, assessment, and feedback pages.
Step 3: Setup Markers
These markers refer to notes or placeholders that you will place all over the template. This will help you identify the areas that you can change or update depending on the course that you will create. Obviously, the format, logos, buttons, and color scheme can be left untouched. But if you will change the content, activities, images – all of these should be properly marked. It will be easier to identify what has to be changed with every new course that will be created.
Step 4: Update as needed
Ideally, you want the template to be used for as many online courses as possible. However, that does not mean the template will not require updates from time to time. If it feels like it is lacking something, you might have to give it an update. You do not have to scrap the whole thing. You can update portions of it. Check the template every now and then to make sure you can still use it.
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