In his recent post Tom Kulhmann, author of The Rapid E-Learning Blog, shares ten rules to follow if you want to create a good e-learning course. The rules are as follows:
1) Don't create the course: The course needs to be tied to real performance improvements. If it's not, then it shouldn't be built.
2) The course needs to be relevant to the learner: In order to accommodate to the diverse needs of learners, the courses need to be "learner-centric."
3) Understand your objectives: Know what your goals are & build a course that will produce the results you need.
4) Free up the navigation: Don't lock navigation for fear that students will jump ahead in the course. Allow them the freedom to do so by controlling the movement through the course with decision-making.
5) Don't push, let the learner pull: Create an environment where the learner has to pull information in. "Give the learner a reason to use the information."
6) Consider the pacing & flow: Avoid cramming lots of information all at once.
7) Look for inspiration outside of e-learning: Use outside sources to get inspired for e-learning ideas.
8) Create a course that is visually appealing: Create visual themes & designs that are "visually interesting, relevant to the content, & immerse the learning into the course."
9) There's a place for novelty: Take a novel approach to your design when needed & balance it out with good design.
10) Commit to engaging e-learning: A lot of e-learning courses aren't good because they are not engaging the learners.
For a complete description of these steps, please visit Tom's blog.