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Tech vs expert: What matters more in designing an eLearning course?

elearning course, online course, making an elearning course, authoring tools, Interactive graphics

Imagine you want to develop an online course for the training of merchandisers and supervisors in your garment factory.

You have two options:

  1. To build the course with the help of a subject matter expert but without any technical tools.
  2. To build it with the best authoring tools and technology available but no subject matter expert.

Does it look like a difficult decision?

Because it is.

On one hand is the years of experience and knowledge that can make an online course engaging, authentic and unique. On the other hand, one can design and create a course faster, more attractive and widely accessible.

Let us see in detail, how, both, technology and experts, contribute to building an effective eLearning course.

Role Of An Expert

Brainstorming & Planning

There is no two–way about the fact that SMEs are indispensable when you are trying to cook the perfect eLearning course. And for a smooth advancement, it is important to involve the SME(s) from the beginning.

For designing something as comprehensive as an eLearning course, it is crucial for everyone involved to be on the same page. And involving the SME early on in the development process will bring their expertise in the planning stage itself.

Q & A & Clearing Doubts

After deciding upon the development path and overall plan for the course, it is important to prepare and ask all the questions pertaining to the subject. For designing the perfect course, better clarity and grip on the topic are necessary.

An expert can also help in understanding the expectations of the target audience and designing the course as per their requirement.

Re-structuring Existing Content

One very important part of making an eLearning course is filtering out the out content that can be reused. However, to do this, one should understand the present-time relevance and presentation of the content.

An SME can help in understanding the correct use of visual and written content to make the course interactivity and in line with readers. They can also validate the vocabulary usage and tell where changes are required.

Development Of New Content

In cases when client requirements are ambiguous, the course developers require someone to guide them through contexts and topics. In such instances, SMEs can help in

  • Understanding the course and content subjects
  • Guiding through the production of graphics, videos or animations
  • Building the course structure in the most relevant way

Role Of Technology

In a world based on user-centricity, the only thing that matters, in the end, is that the end-user must like your online course.

For making an eLearning course engaging, it requires

  • Interactive graphics
  • Brief, yet informative video content
  • Theories of written content condensed into images, animations, flashcards or quizzes.

Thus the main and only intents of an online course are to be engaging and easy to retain for learners. In fact, if we compare authoring tools, we will find that the basis of their design lies in the user-friendliness of the course content.

This is why most of the authoring tools and other software are equipped with ready-to-use templates and graphics. This helps the developers in creating highly interactive and attractive courses more quickly.

Furthermore, although it is necessary to have the guidance of an expert to create a pertinent course, without the right tools, it can become a tedious and rather difficult task.


If we look at it in a way that determines what is the only crucial aid in creating an online course, expert or technology, we might not be able to find an answer.

But to think that which is a comparatively more helpful factor in creating a great course, then, the subject matter experts (including the designers) play a larger role overall.

If you have anything to add or a different opinion, let us know in the comments.

More on this topic: 7 Ways How Technology is Impacting Modern Education

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