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The Course Development Process
If the training specialist has followed the ADDIE instructional design model, then the prior steps will provide solid preparation for the course development process. The course developers will have access to the following information:
- Any prior course materials and other documents found in the discovery process
- The course’s learning objectives
- The instructional design document
- A prototype or template that models the course’s layout and appearance
Training specialists can certainly write courses without these resources, but it’s hard to develop effective courses without this information. On this page, we’ll look at the course development process.
The Role of the Course Developer
A good course developer understands both instructional design and training delivery.
When the course developer creates content, two questions are paramount:
- Does this material meet the learning objectives?
- Will the material work in the classroom or in the online module?
For example, an instructional design document might call for an activity where learners gather into small groups and discuss case-based scenarios. It’s the course developer’s responsibility to write scenarios that will interest the learners and promote discussion. If the course developer doesn’t understand classroom dynamics, those scenarios might fall flat or seem contrived. An online module must achieve a balance between cost-effectiveness and maintaining interest. Given the number of other things a learner can be doing at their work space while taking an online module, activities and interaction must be consistent.
The Course Development Team
The course development team can include writers, editors, graphic designers, e-learning programmers, usability experts, and project managers. Some people may be needed for the entire course development process, while other people may be called in to accomplish just a few specific tasks.
Once the course materials have been written, it’s time for the training specialist to conduct a tabletop review with the client. Online course development may include a storyboard review or go directly to a digital review of the content.