The purpose of this training is to provide detailed guidance on designing and developing an e-learning course for facilitators, trainers and instructional designers who are new to e-learning design. It also provides basic concepts and information on the processes and resources involved in e-learning development, which might be of interest to capacity-development managers.

While there are several definitions of e-learning which reflect different perspectives, e-learning in this training is defined as follows:

E-learning can be defined as the use of computer and Internet technologies to deliver a broad array of solutions to enable learning and improve performance.

This training focuses on formal learning, specifically on structured courses designed to meet primary and secondary school goals. It does not address needs assessment or evaluation stages of a training project, but rather the design, development and delivery activities which are specific to e-learning. Its focus is on e-learning solutions suitable for development contexts characterized by technology constraints, such as limited hardware capabilities and low-bandwidth Internet connections.

Although much of what is covered in this training can be applied to e-learning in primary and secondary school education, this training has been developed also for adult learners, i.e. learners who have completed their formal education, but who are still motivated to improve their job-related tasks and knowledge. Adult learners share some characteristics that are different from those of fulltime students, which influence the design of learning programmes. In particular, adult learners:

  • need to know the benefits of learning (why they have to learn something);
  • like to learn experientially;
  • approach learning as problem-solving;
  • learn better where they can see the immediate value and application of content; and
  • prefer to study at a time, place and pace convenient for them.

This training is divided into four main sections:

  1. Introduction

This topic provides an introduction to e-learning characteristics, benefits, activities and resources needed to develop an e-learning project. It mainly addresses training and capacity-development managers and those who are interested in starting an e-learning project or integrating e-learning components in their organization’s training programmes.

  1. Designing an e-learning course

This topic provides guidance on how to design an e-learning course (from the needs, target and task/topic analysis to the definition of learning objectives, sequencing, choice of learning strategies and delivery formats). This mainly addresses trainers and instructional designers who aim to create learning projects that really match learners’ needs.

  1. Creating interactive content

This topic provides detailed guidance on creating interactive content (from the application of learning strategies and media to courseware development). It addresses instructional designers and subject matter experts involved in content development as well as all those who want to know more about the methodology and tools used to create e-learning content.

  1. Managing and evaluating learning activities

This topic provides an overview of online collaborative learning, evaluation methods and learning platforms used to host online courses. This addresses training managers, facilitators and instructional designers who want to know how to conduct and evaluate an online course and how learning platforms can support course delivery and communication among participants.

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