Saturday, October 1, 2011

Does your e-Learning course have an identity?

I completely agree with Tom Kuhlman on what he wrote about Corporate Branding in e-Learning courses. You cannot simply tax upon the space you have, to include the company logo in every screen. Instructional Designers should be able to utilize the screen space fully. It is frustrating when you have a wonderful idea and you cannot use it just because there is no space in the screen.

My team called the Content Solutions is into developing e-Learning courses for employees of our own company (FCI, which is a connector manufacturing firm). We really don’t brand the courses that we make. In fact, very rarely do we keep our company logo in our courses. So we have full freedom to decide the layout, navigation and the templates. It doesn’t really matter because we use these courses to train the employees of our own firm. They would have already seen the company logo a zillion times in every other PowerPoint presentation and in the posters on the office walls. So ultimately, each of the courses we make is different from one another.

But on a second thought, isn’t it actually nice to have your company logo just in the beginning of the course at least? I think it gives an identity to the course and makes it look more professional. You need not repeat the logo in every other slide, but you can show some basic details just in the beginning like Company logo, Name of the Course, division or department for which the course is meant for, time duration of the course, and an icon to indicate whether the course is audio enabled or not. In fact it will be great if the company logo can be shown as an animation. The courses might look similar in the first screen, but after that, the instructional designers have full freedom to design the layout and contents.

Our team is a part of a unit called Global Business Services (GBS) which provides many cross functional support to FCI. So it is equally important to let the learners know that this course was made by GBS. Today’s learners might become tomorrow’s client. ;-) You never know. Keeping this in mind, I would add a slide at the end which gives credit to the people who made the course. Name of the SME, a Contact e-mail ID, Name of the Client, Month and Year in which this was made (or updated), copyrights mention of any web site, artist or other resources, etc are some of the things that could be added in the end slide.

Things like these are more relevant for us now since we are in the initial stages of moving into a third party support service. Next week, I am starting to work on a new e-Learning project. And I will definitely include some of the things mentioned here. Is there anything that I am missing out here? Let me know through the comments section...

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