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Clive Shepherd's 60 minutes course on Rapid E-learning

Clive Shepherd' short, free course provides subject experts and many others with the skills needed to design engaging, rapid e-learning materials for use in the workplace.  You can go take the course at

To motivate, I've included my notes from Module 1. 


Module 1 - Preparation "More haste, less speed"

Establishing Goals

  • Clarify what you're trying to achieve. Be absolutely clear about the business goal
  • Consider how best to communicate with your audience

Learning Objectives: Spell out in some detail what exactly it is that you want your audience to be able to do differently by the time they have completed using your material. Learning objectives should be measurable--learning objectives that contain active words beat those using thinking words (like 'know' or 'understand')

Be realistic about what can be achieved both in amount and depth.

Getting to Know your Audience

  • Age and Gender
  • Prior knowledge of subject - Most critical.
    • What prior knowledge are they likely to have of the subject?
  • Preferred ways of learning
  • Ability to learn independently
    • How much structure and hand-holding are they going to require?
  • Interest and motivation - a key issue. Relevant materials help increase interest and motivation
    • How intered will they be in it

Content Gathering

  • Gather all your content
  • Review it piece by piece to make sure that it all contributes to the learning objectives
  • Be ruthless in removing content that won't directly help learners achieve these objectives
  • Provide support: Explanations, Visual Aids, Examples, and Practical Exercises.


  • What is the business goal?
  • What specifically do you need your learners to be able to do when they've completed your materials?
  • Is it realistic to cover these objectives in a single module? Do you need to break the content into smaller chunks or supplement your materials with other activities and resources?
  • What do you know about your audience: their prior knowledge of the subject, their interests and motivation, the extent to which they require hand-holding and structure?
  • Does all content that you're considering including directly support your objectives?


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