3 Things You Should Always Include in an eLearning Prototype

In a previous post, I shared how creating an eLearning prototype can help you align expectations with your SMEs, accurately scope the project, and save you time with large changes. But what exactly should you include in an eLearning prototype?

Although an eLearning prototype can come in almost any shape and size, there’s one thing I think every eLearning prototype should help you accomplish: to show your stakeholders what the “lived experience” will be for the learner.

The purpose of an eLearning prototype is to help you demonstrate and validate what the final eLearning course will look and feel like. This includes how you’re presenting content, how the course will look and feel, how you’re implementing proper instructional design techniques, and how the interactivity will work.

Here are three things you should always include in an eLearning prototype.

1. Presentation Slides

In most eLearning courses, there are two types of slides: presentation slides and interactive slides. Presentation slides are usually used to explain a learning concept, followed by an interactive slide to practice or reinforce the learning concept.

3 Things You Should Always Include in an eLearning Prototype Tim Slade

Whenever I create an eLearning prototype, I try to select 4 – 6 slides from my storyboard to showcase. Two or three of these are usually presentation slides. Including a selection of presentation slides in your eLearning prototype can help your stakeholders understand how you plan on presenting learning content in the final course. This includes how you might use audio, text, and animated graphics to communicate the learning content visually.

2. Simple Interactions

In addition to showing how you plan to visually communicate the learning content in your presentation slides, your eLearning prototype should also show your stakeholders how you plan to make the course interactive.

3 Things You Should Always Include in an eLearning Prototype Tim Slade

Not all eLearning interactions are equal. Some interactions are simple, and others are complex, and I think it’s important that you include examples of both in your eLearning prototype. Simple interactions include click-to-reveal, knowledge check, or quiz slides. Including these types of slides in your eLearning prototype can help your stakeholders see how passive interactions compare to your presentation slides and complex interactions.

3. Complex Interactions

The final type of slide you should always include in an eLearning prototype is a complex interaction. Incorporating complex interactions not only showcases how the learner will put the learning content “into practice,” but it also lets you validate and troubleshoot these types of slides early in the development process.

3 Things You Should Always Include in an eLearning Prototype Tim Slade

Complex interactions include branching scenarios, software simulations, or anything above and beyond a simple click-to-reveal interaction.

What other elements do you always include in an eLearning prototype? Share them by commenting below!

Additional Resources

Tim Slade
Tim Slade is a speaker, author, and award-winning freelance eLearning designer. Having spent the last decade working to help others elevate their eLearning and visual communications content, Tim has been recognized and awarded within the eLearning industry multiple times for his creative and innovative design aesthetics. Tim is a regular speaker at international eLearning conferences, is a recognized Articulate Super Hero, author of The eLearning Designer’s Handbook and creator of The eLearning Designer's Academy.

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