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Rapid eLearning: what it is, how it works and when to use it

Business dynamics require increasingly rapid course production times. How can Rapid eLearning address this need?

When it comes to corporate training, both budget and delivery time are often critical. However, there is an educational methodology that can meet the need to produce training courses quickly and with reduced costs: rapid eLearning.

In this article we will discover:

What is Rapid eLearning?

Rapid eLearning (REL) is a methodology for designing, developing, and launching online courses in a matter of weeks. For this reason, it is particularly well suited for learning materials that need to be released quickly or that quickly become dated.

Specifically, Rapid eLearning follows instructional design principles in order to reduce unnecessary elements of training and makes use of creation templates that significantly reduce course release times. Typically, office automation applications or tools for automatic creation of templates, questionnaires, feedback and tracking systems are used.

Rapid eLearning is enjoyed via both fixed and mobile devices, such as PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets and the like.

How Rapid eLearning works

The traditional process of creating an eLearning course normally involves the collaboration of several people: the subject matter expert creates the learning content and sends it to the instructional designer, who in turn develops the storyboard, i.e., the overall structure of the course. At this point, the content developers and graphic designers create the actual course.

In Rapid eLearning, on the other hand, no storyboard is created and generally the subject matter expert also takes care of content development. By reducing the development steps and the number of people involved, course creation is not only faster, but also cheaper.

The benefits for companies

As we have seen, Rapid eLearning streamlines course production and delivery procedures, reducing both course release time and development costs.

In addition, it makes use of widely deployed software that accelerates and simplifies the development of instructional content, to the point where it is possible to employ the subject matter experts already in the field while reducing or eliminating altogether the involvement of instructional designers and graphic designers.

When to use Rapid eLearning

Like any other instructional methodology, Rapid eLearning is not suitable for all types of courses.
In general, the best use of Rapid eLearning is to meet "informational" needs that are urgent in nature, do not require cognitive mastery, and have a short life cycle. More specifically, it is useful when:

  • you have to start the course in a short time frame
  • you have a very limited budget
  • you need to quickly provide information that is not too structured
  • you need to create courses with a low to medium level of complexity 
  • your course content changes rapidly or needs periodic updates
  • provide just-in-time information
  • deliver training courses of short duration
  • create the introductory part of a larger training course

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