Here’s the second post from our summer team. Bob Cameron has an MA in Urban Planning, and that gives him a somewhat different perspective on building an elearning course.

I’ve been a course builder at TorranceLearning for a little over a month. My background is in graphic design and urban design and I am excited about learning something new. What I have discovered so far is that course building is like creating an actual building. It requires a framework, a well thought-out design, and an attention to the fine details to make it all come together.

By the time I start work on building a course, a sturdy framework of an outline and script has already been developed that determines exactly how the course will support itself.

The design and development is where my job begins. Design is important. After all, what use is a building or an e-learning course if nobody wants to look at it? (Or worse, they are repulsed by it?) The key to both is creating an inviting and comfortable space that will be inviting enough to entice a person to spend their time there.

Interestingly, I spend a lot of time on the details: the wiring, plumbing and HVAC of the e-learning course. A building may be four walls and a roof but without lights it will be largely unused. In course building, making sure every bullet point is aligned, checking that the animations export correctly and making sure the interactive components actually work the way they are intended is crucial not only to the learning process but crucial for the credibility of the builder.

A building isn’t only shelter but it is the very environment in which we work or live. Likewise, an e-learning course isn’t merely content. It is the junction of the framework, the design and details coming together. It creates an engaging environment that not only makes you want to spend time to interact with it, but allows you to absorb its meaning and come away a more knowledgeable person.