One of the great benefits of a rapid elearning instructional design and development environment is that we can design and create e-Learning courses much faster and easier than ever before.

Generally, elearning development can fall into one of two groups:

Freeform Group

This group is the freeform type of development where you most probably start with a blank slate and then build your course interface content and interactivity which results in a long and expensive development time-frame.

Template Group

Here the development consists of template or form-based authoring where the course has a pre-designed template structure and the instructional designer and developer only needs to add content text, narration and multimedia and results in a much-shortened development time-frame.

Rapid eLearning doesn’t mean skipping instructional design or the process of designing a good learning experience, but merely using templates intelligently to rapidly build on a solid foundation and at the same time focusing on the fundamentals of scope, content, graphics and script.

However, going faster and making our job easier are not the only factors.

  • While many elearning developers do a good job focusing their attention on the design process, they often neglect the real needs of the organization, customers, and the learner. This means that the course might not deliver the results you want it to.
  • As a rapid elearning designer and developer, my job is to help you produce meaningful and effective business results. We do this by balancing the needs of everyone involved — the organization, the customer, and the learner — by leveraging modern rapid e-learning development technology. This entails cutting costs in the usually expensive development cycle, and producing engaging and interactive learning material.
  • Rapid elearning requires careful and thoughtful design, and always with the learner in mind, objectives clearly defined, interactive engagement a priority, and learner performance its guiding purpose. However, because of the use of templates and patterns, it can be created faster, at lower cost, and with no compromise of quality than traditional models.
  • Scoping and needs analysis are kept focused and structured using tools and templates. Design starts with a set of template structures and patterns, and is grounded in what’s possible to avoid open-ended iterations. Design discussions are then very specific, based on the interactions the tools will handle.

The main difference between the design process in rapid eLearning and the traditional form-based eLearning is the use of design templates and interaction designs.
I take a dual path approach to developing eLearning courses.

  • The first path deals with the content of the course. Here, the approach is to provide consistent and relevant content delivered in a timely manner that will also serve as a resource for future reference.
  • The second path is in the context. By encouraging the learner to use the information in the real world where the course extends beyond the computer and engages the learner in the workplace with the manager and peers. 
  • Across both paths it is imperative to note that my efforts will be guided by your company's knowledge and learning requirements through close interaction with your subject matter experts. They will help me craft the learning objectives, create the content, review it for accuracy and completeness, and provide valuable feedback all the way.

Example of a rapid eLearning development model

I use this model in a wide range of situations as a baseline approach, and apply variations for software product knowledge, compliance and a range of other learning initiatives. This model is applied to the course as a whole and at each lesson level.

Get attention

  • Test knowledge on the subject or prior experience
  • I share a key fact or deliver a shock statement


  • The learner must know which road will be taken
  • I discuss what will be covered and how it will benefit the learner


  • I deliver the meat of the subject and deliver the relevant content concisely
  • In a rapid approach, I provide only the top layer of detail in the presentation
  • Additional or in-depth information is handled as supplementary documents or web page links


  • I demonstrate through example, case study or simulation how the knowledge or software is to be used in the real-world
  • I will ask progressive questions to check understanding
  • Case studies or examples are supplementary documents or links to web pages
  • Software is presented visually as interactive simulations and video tutorials


I provide a wrap-up of the key information, in terms of a closing message from your sponsor if they were used at introduction.


  • Finally, I show what to do next, in terms of the job role and where to get more support
  • There could be embedded links to online resources such as FAQs, intranet pages
  • Links to subject matter experts or online events such as webinars