When working with a subject matter expert on an eLearning project, it’s essential to involve them in making the course to ensure that the best possible product is made. This is why a process of reviews and feedback is incredibly important for producing a course that leaves everyone happy.
If done poorly, the review process can be messy at best. You can end up arguing over confusing details and miscommunications, miss important deadlines, and overall make the whole thing a lot more stressful and costly than it needs to be.
Luckily, there are a few simple steps you and your reviewers can take to ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible. Let’s take a look at them now.
#1: Establish a plan
This is probably one of the most significant steps to take, especially if your reviewers haven’t worked on an eLearning course before.
Before you even begin to think about building your module, you need to have a clear idea of what you and your reviewers will be doing throughout the process of creating that course. Go through each step of the process. Detail what each part includes, how much work is involved and what the review cycles will look like.
At this point, it would also be useful to establish what role each person is playing—especially, who the reviewers are. In PRODUCER, you can select multiple reviewers and set their particular roles, making it a lot easier to have a clear vision of what everyone is doing.
It might not seem like much at first, but by establishing the process and the roles upfront, you will save a lot of time and confusion further down the line before anything else has been started.
#2: Set deadlines
Both building eLearning and reviewing it takes time—especially if you want to do those things well. But you can’t spend forever working on the same project. You need to be able to say that certain parts of the project should be finished by certain times, and reviews will begin at specific points in the timeline of the project.
Similar to the previous step, it’s really important to establish the timeframes of your project upfront. One of the worst things that can happen is finding out in the middle of a project that something you were doing needed to be finished yesterday! If the deadlines of a project aren’t clearly set out so that everyone knows when different things need to be done, it’s likely that nothing will be done on time. Being late, in this case, can be costly to all parties involved, both in terms of time and money.
The best thing to do is establish specific deadlines and milestones, both for when each part of the project should be completed, and when reviews need to be done. Ask them how long they think reviews will take so that you both have a realistic idea of the timeframe. This is a crucial step to take when working with subject matter experts or reviewers who are unfamiliar with the process of building eLearning. When you don’t finish it as early as they expected, it can cause issues. So just as you need to clarify what the process of creating online learning will look like, you also need to establish how long it is likely to take.
#3: Explain what feedback should look like
Finally, it’s crucial to establish what exactly is being reviewed and what kind of feedback you need. Give the reviewer a clear idea of what they should be looking for, so they don’t either waste time giving unnecessary feedback, or miss important feedback they should’ve given.
Especially for new reviewers, take the time to outline the different areas that need review, such as:
- Design and appearance
- Quality (such as grammar and technical bugs)
- Content (is it accurate? Does it flow?)
It’s also important to tell the reviewer how you want to receive the feedback. For example, the comments feature in PRODUCER allows for both specific and general feedback to be laid out in a way that is clear and easy to access.
The most important thing to remember in all this is that good communication is key to a smooth review process. By establishing standards and methods early on, you can avoid confusion and disagreement later, and be well on your way to creating a course that both you and your reviewers are happy with.