Traditional learning in classrooms has been the norm for generations. However, the penetration of high-speed internet and the unexpected pandemic-induced lockdowns accelerated the popularity of digital learning. An important development for academic institutions and businesses, digital learning is not only an alternative to face-to-face learning but can also function as an accompaniment to more traditional forms of learning. It is no surprise then that the worldwide e-learning market is expected to be worth $325 billion by 2025!
Digital learning offers countless benefits, including greater potential for personalised learning, shareability, easier access, and collaborative learning. Additionally, it opens up secondary revenue streams for organisations offering in-person learning opportunities. So if you are also keen to provide digital learning materials to your students or employees, the first thing you need to do is to digitise your content. Whether you deal with courses for students or training programs for employees, existing learning materials have to be reformatted for delivery via a digital platform.
But how do you go about doing this?
In this article, we will help you figure out how you can start digitising your learning content. While there is no simple copy-paste solution, there are many techniques you can use to design and program a digital learning module. Read on to find out the key steps in this process.
Step 1 – Organise and set goals
The first step in digitising your content is to know exactly what the purpose of your learning material is. Once you’ve identified the learning experience you want to create, you can ensure that the digitisation process is oriented toward your given objective. At this stage you must answer the following questions to run an effective digitisation programme:
- Is it a homework product to be used in tandem with classroom content?
- Is it a revision tool to prepare students for an exam?
- Is it a fully-fledged blended curriculum with live sessions and self-guided learning?
- Is it a purely online course meant to help train employees?
- What kind of technological tools will I need to create a digital learning program?
- What possible hurdles can I foresee?
Answering these questions will give your content a clear purpose and help define how the material will be digitised. This will allow you to meet your learning objectives and advance your learning plan’s capabilities beyond those of conventional print materials.
Step 2 – Curriculum mapping
After you have identified the primary purpose of your learning material, the next step is curriculum mapping. Curriculum mapping is typically done by an editor together with a subject-matter expert. Essentially, it is a list of everything you want the learner to know after going through the content. Once you have your curriculum mapped out, you can then break it down into topics or lessons and order them into a sequence. Putting topics into a clear sequence is important to ensure that users can start with the basics and slowly move toward more advanced concepts. This kind of topic-based ordered learning is used by academic institutions and training providers. At the end of the curriculum mapping process, you should have a clear framework for what your courses will look like.
Step 3 – Design the learning experience
Now that you know what concepts you want to educate your students on, the next step is to figure out the media and tools through which you will teach them. In addition to standard text-based activities, your content could also include images, audio, video presentations, and links to online resources and other media. Finally, you must include a variety of questions in various formats – text submissions, multiple-choice, drag and drop, and others – for your learners to answer throughout the course.
The types of activities and learning objects you create will determine how your content is going to be consumed. The primary challenge here is determining what type of activity would be best for the learning you wish to deliver. For example, if you want to teach your learners about logical thinking, you can use a variety of tools and resources available on the internet to encourage learning through games and puzzles. Similarly, if you want to educate your readers on sexual harassment in the workplace, you can think about creating videos that explain the concept clearly in colloquial language and an easy-to-understand format.
Step 4 – Content development
The final stage of the course design process is content development. This involves filling up the framework we created earlier with actual digital content. The good news is that you likely already have content written for your course (presentations, speaker notes, research, and assessments) if you offer it to learners in face-to-face settings. All you need to do is decide which pieces of content to turn into rich media options and which ones to use in text form.
These choices are influenced heavily by the purpose of the content and the medium you’re using – mobile content typically relies less on text for information delivery and focuses more on images and video, while web-based content with its extra screen real estate is ideal to consume text content.
Step 5 – Feedback and Iteration
After you’ve authored all your course content you must preview your course. Running it by your colleagues and co-workers will help you iterate on your course after getting their feedback. This will allow you to tweak and refine your content, design new activities for difficult concepts, or use videos, audio, games, puzzles, or music to illustrate points that may have been left unclear. Similarly, you can try different activities for different types of content and create newer ways to explain concepts.
Personalised learning with Learnium
With all the handy tips discussed above, you should have no trouble digitising your content for online learning. However, if you feel you need professional help in designing and planning a digital course for your business or class, we at Learnium are always happy to chat about our experience and digitisation services. We help businesses and educators provide innovative learning experiences to their students using the best of technology to drive goal-driven pedagogical goals. Our products and services include private social networks, designing personalised courses, and a personalised learning environment optimised to deliver courses on mobile phones.
Get in touch with Learnium today!