However, is it worth all the hype? Let us see.
What is Rapid eLearning?
Rapid eLearning is also ‘bite-sized’ learning as the content is often broken down into small chunks of approximately one-hour duration.
Rapid eLearning is similar to eLearning. The only difference is that it seeks to do it in a faster, cheaper, and better way. Generally, slides are created in PowerPoint, audio and video narration are added. The authors may also add in tests or other activities to suit the content, and the entire package is then sent to the Learning Management System (LMS).
Rapid e-Learning generally has the following criteria-
- The courses take about 2-3 weeks to be completed
- Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) create content for the courses
- Use of rapid authoring tools
- Basic template, feedback, and interface options
- Learning modules that have one hour of duration
When is Rapid eLearning a good option?
It is the best option to choose when you have content that has a short shelf life. You cannot afford to spend too much time and money on content that would not be irrelevant or phased out in a couple of months or years. Rapid eLearning is the answer when you have bulky content that needs to be made concise. Also, rapid eLearning is a good option when the content has scope for change and has to be updated repeatedly. Finally, when the cost is an issue, opt for this. It has less development cost and produces faster results.
Rapid eLearning: Look at the Bright Side
- Quality: Rapid eLearning courses are often thought to be lower in quality as they are developed in less time and do not include Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). It is not true as they require SMEs’ involvement but not to the extent that they would be needed for a standard course. They are necessary when the source material’s content, be it old PPTs or Flash-based courses, is outdated.
- Creativity: Rapid eLearning courses do not lack creativity. The instructional designer decides the most creative strategy to take for the content available and delivers it to the learner. Also, many authoring tools have various innovative built-in templates for branching, animations, and simulations.
- Authoring Tools: Rapid eLearning uses authoring tools to the maximum and is an essential part of the development process. Using the creative built-in tools and interactivities is not a challenge as they are usually easy to use. Also, these authoring tools allow customization so that each of your courses has a distinct look and feel.
- Project Management: Though just one person can create rapid eLearning courses, it is essential to have good project management. It helps in getting feedback from SMEs and other stakeholders at proper intervals and reduces do-overs.
- Cost-effective and Time-saving: Rapid eLearning courses that are basic with fewer interactivities take less time to develop and cost less. However, if you wish for a high interactivity course, it may take longer to build and cost more. Though the organization’s training needs would determine the time and cost, it has been seen that rapid eLearning reduces cost and time by a whopping 50%.
Rapid eLearning: Look at the Downside
- Fast does not always mean best: Rapid eLearning may sometimes not be suitable for complex content. It would need instructional designers’ involvement in chalking out the content into manageable units and engaging the learners more. Also, rapid eLearning may fail to include enough interaction opportunities with the instructors and gain supervised practice in learning material that requires practice.
- Low quality: Since only one person can develop a rapid eLearning course, the content’s essence is often lost. The method can be less effective and result in courses that are of substandard quality. It is easy for an inexperienced instructor to develop courses that are not effective. The market is full of such rapid eLearning services that have courses that organizations settle for because of lack of time and reduced costs.
Despite the drawbacks of rapid eLearning, it remains the industry’s favorite and the go-to option for many organizations.
So how do you develop a rapid eLearning course? Let us see.
- Set goals: The first and foremost step is to set definite goals of what you want your course to achieve. Defining aspects of time frame, learning outcomes, learner ability, and demographics play a crucial role. You need to have a proper plan and follow it to create a course in a short time.
- Learning content: When making a rapid eLearning course, the learning content would usually be a classroom-based PPT. It would most definitely have learning gaps that would need to be filled. In this case, collaborating with an SME helps fill in the gaps and get seamless content that is well organized.
- Authoring Tool: Selection of the right authoring tool is another essential aspect. The market is full of rapid authoring tools that provide you with various features. A suitable tool must be selected depending on the need, and the cost, features, and the type of course you want must be considered. Many of these authoring tools offer templates that can be re-used and customized.
- Course creation: This stage is where the course is created and then sent to the reviewers. Once it reaches the Gold stage, the project is approved and uploaded to the LMS and used by the learners.
Thus, rapid eLearning has done much good for the eLearning industry and, if applied correctly, can yield positive results and save you a lot of time and money. So, it is worth all the hype if done right.
We at Learning Everest strive to provide you with the best service and meet your training needs.