So much content. So many lessons learned. Here are seven reasons why revamping legacy eLearning courses is a surprisingly good idea.
Course authors know the world has changed a lot since eLearning started. Now is the time to go see if that farming unit is up to date. Dairy farm tech has evolved. Cows self-milk these days. Do those eLearning units reflect the change? Activities that were fresh ten years ago are stale. Content authors will need to update activities. Besides that, logos and clipart will need to be checked for cultural appropriateness to reinvent legacy eLearning courses.
Likewise, old eLearning must be reviewed for unconscious bias. Editors must review content with a new lens. Publishers must check questions, essays, activities, and assignments with an eye out for stereotypes. Publishers may want to invest in sensitivity readers to ensure that the content is reflective and respectful of the culture.
Still, content needs to reflect the tech of the times. Likewise, offering augmented reality and simulations can reduce the need for students to be in crowded labs. Life-like 3D models of lungs can be added to your respiratory illness unit. Links can be deleted or updated. Adding these features will engage your students. The good news is that as a publisher you have the base content. You don’t have to start from scratch. The video may be relevant, but the dress dates it. Like a cover of a book, some learners won’t make the leap into the content.
Mobile-First Digital Learning Content
With the flip flop from face-to-face instruction to remote and back again, students need to be able to get to your content. Also, remember legacy eLearning courses were designed for laptops and desktops in the beginning. Now, many old eLearning courses contain pretty relevant content – communication skills don’t change too much – but they were designed to run off a hard drive, not a cloud-based pc. Now, learners are accessing information on their mobile devices. eLearning needs to have speed. Publishers must retool courses using mobile-first online learning content. Content should be viewable on a mobile device. Sometimes those screens are tiny. A student may start an eLearning course in iOS and finish it up in Windows 10. Learners expect the course to remember who they are and where they left off in the course. This seamless integration means that publishers will be testing and reviewing old courses for functionality.
Likewise, the early software design and skills of the new designers were clunky. Things have streamlined. Besides that, those eLearning courses may be bogged down with irrelevant ideas and images. Revamping existing content is a cost-effective way to enhance the value of the eLearning course. Educators don’t have time to wade through the obsolete facts, figures, and visuals that were outdated years ago. Decluttering can lead right into breaking heavy courses into microlearning bits.
Therefore, publishers can pull out relevant course chunks to make microlearning sessions, reinventing legacy eLearning courses. These chunks can be tagged and shelved where educators are able to easily grab them. Editors can assign corresponding competencies and Common Core tags. Refresh the look and feel of your content. Likewise, revamping the eLearning content allows the publisher to update branding. Now, it may be the time to implement those lessons learned from clunky navigation bars and sketchy, formatting templates. Get with your team to talk about the look and feel of hyperlinks, buttons, and icons. Take time to review the stock photos. Editors ought to review photos for diversity and stereotypes.
Functionality and Interactivity
Besides that, authors have developed new tricks that do a better job. Interactive workbooks are in demand with the move to remote learning. Students need to be able to submit homework using a classroom website. Now is the time to double-check that they can use the materials in the classroom. Now is the time to see if teachers can link the grades back to their gradebooks.
In sum, creating brand-new materials is time-consuming. If publishers have existing learning content, why not reuse it by updating interactive features? Publishers will find that revamping old eLearning courses to meet the needs of the times will be more cost-effective. So, before heading out to create new learning content, look at existing content through today’s lens.