When I speak to professionals who are undertaking eLearning on an online system (most likely an LMS) to achieve/maintain you professional CPD (Continued Professional Development) or CME (Continued Medical Education) points, their main challenge is to get a consistent experience on the content they are consuming on the LMS. They always say that they may consume multiple content titles within the LMS over a period of time but usually find that the content is provided by different vendors or from multiple sources so is not consistent in terms of format or navigation. As the content does not follow a structure they find that they have to learn to the structure/format and then also the navigation on the content before they get to the actual core bit of the content that they need to consume and learn!
So how do we address this issue of inconsistent content where there may be multiple vendors providing content and also if you have a multi-lingual site then you would also need to localise/translate this content! The solution is to develop a “content template” that you can share with the vendors you use and also ensure you enforce this template for all content on your site.
Template based content solution offer the following benefits
- ensure your users/learners do not have to learn how the content is structured and how to navigate it as once they have used one piece of content the subsequent content is the same, so they can focus on their core learning objectives content;
- ensure you have a consistent metadata/taxonomy structure for your content (I will be covering another blog on the difference on metadata and taxonomy but there are some great articles on this already);
- consistent structure of the content also ensure learners can quickly see if the content is appropriate for them, where this could be a simple requirement within the template to have a short synopsis on the courses and listing learning objectives; and
- allows for the content to be localised with ease and in a cost effective manner.
So in summary when you are offering an online learning platform with content sources from multiple vendors, I would advice looking at creating a consistent template for all vendors to follow and develop content to. This will allow you to engage your learners and also allow them to get their learning done in the most efficient manner possible.