The course authoring journey is made up of multiple stages, and it’s tempting to guide learning content to your LMS by the shortest possible route.
After all, it’s not as if L&D teams are known for having lots of free time on their hands! If nothing else, 2023 research from LinkedIn suggests that many L&D practitioners have their plates full with various upskilling requirements of their own, in areas as diverse as presentation, analysis, and operations.
In short: there are plenty of incentives to condense the course authoring journey down to its essentials, ensuring that any extraneous elements are kept to a minimum. But at the same time, you can’t let your drive for efficiency compromise the quality of your learning output.
So, how do you split the difference and deliver first-rate content that’s not hampered at the final hurdle by drawn-out vetting processes? Read on.
Building content reviews into your workflows
Recognizing the need for time savings is the key to an efficient course authoring process. However, that doesn’t mean skipping or overlooking essential steps along the way—especially when it comes to content reviews.
You might want your content fact-checked by a subject matter expert. You might need to check for spelling and grammar issues in your written content. You might just want a fresh pair of eyes on your courses' layout or navigation aspects. Whatever the reason, it’s essential not to throw away the quality assurance practices that separate the good content from the great.
So, while the most efficient way to create learning content is to beam your courses straight to your LMS without passing “Go” or collecting $200, skipping the quality assurance phase means missing out on a string of advantages.
More about SME-L&D collaboration:Why you should turn your SMEs into content reviewers (and how to simplify the review process)
The importance of incorporating quality assurance into your course creation process
So, what exactly does a robust review process bring to the table? When your in-house experts and learning professionals get the chance to take a final pass at your learning content, you can expect that they’ll:
- Check that your content meets the required learning objectives
- Identify errors, ranging from factual inaccuracies to grammatical slip-ups
- Make sure any legal or compliance content meets regulatory standards
Without these checks, you might find that learning outcomes start to wobble. It may feel obvious that lower-quality content leads to decreased effectiveness, but it’s still worth drawing a clear point of connection between the reviews you carry out and the impact they have on your material. For example, a course that’s riddled with factual or spelling mistakes might find its credibility damaged—and it’s been shown that credibility impacts learner engagement, satisfaction, and motivation.
If skipping the review stage isn’t the best move, there’s only one solution for an efficiency-minded L&D team: it’s all about making reviews a smooth and seamless part of the process. That means turning to the cooperation capabilities of the cloud.
Look to the cloud for easy and instant collaboration
Whether your organization shares an office or your colleagues are scattered across the planet, it’s always going to be easier to collaborate with reviewers when everybody can access your work in progress at the press of a button.
Simple browser access
Asking your collaborators to engage with clunky or unfamiliar desktop software is almost guaranteed to put the brakes on any quality assurance process. This is especially true in the case of your subject matter experts (SMEs), who probably won’t be as au fait with learning technologies as your L&D team.
Cloud-based authoring tools eliminate this problem by allowing for browser access. That means even the least tech-savvy collaborator will have no trouble logging in and reviewing the material you send their way in a matter of moments.
More benefits of authoring tool ease of use:Accessibility in L&D: Why accessible training matters for instructional designers
Avoid software updates
Even if your collaborators are comfortable with desktop software, and even if they’ve jumped through the hoops of downloading and installing that software, there’s no getting away from software updates.
These time-consuming by-products of desktop software can only slow down your review process, throwing up unpredictable barriers between your work and the final stages of approval. Whether your reviewers are senior L&D professionals or time-poor SMEs, the last thing you want is to encounter the kind of inconvenience that sends your work straight to the bottom of everybody’s to-do list.
Fortunately, this is a situation that can be avoided by keeping your head firmly in the cloud(s)! A cloud-based tool will always present you with the most up-to-date version of itself—saving you, your collaborators, and your IT team the time and resources it would take to wrangle any on-premises alternatives.
About the author: Simon Waldram
As Product Manager at Gomo, I’m passionate about delivering value at every interaction and to increase sustainable proven value for our customers and business.
I have extensive experience of working within both the commercial and educational sectors, and approach all projects with a strategic mind.
This combination of education and commercial experience has enabled me to stay at the leading edge of emerging technologies to ensure that customers are provided with a framework for success.