Scoping your e-learning project

Some pointers to help you define your requirements

Scoping out your e-learning project is the first thing you’ll need to do, but can be daunting if you’re new to the area.

As content designers and developers, we’re going to need some information from you in order to provide a meaningful quotation for your e-learning content project. Here are some questions to help you think through what you need.

No need for too much detail at this stage. We can get down to the nitty-gritty later, in a kick-off meeting involving our content developers and your subject experts and stakeholders.

Audience and objectives

  • Who is the target audience? e.g. General staff, manager, teenagers, students
  • What are the learning objectives? e.g. To improve the communication skills of our staff. To introduce a new product line.
  • Is the course currently delivered face-to-face?

Content format

Costs will be influenced by the scope of the e-learning content (how much content there is), the visual style of the e-learning, the level of interactivity and voiceover requirements, for example.

  • What subjects are to be covered? Are these mainly compliance type subjects (e.g. H&S, Data Protection) or performance improvement (e.g. communication, management, leadership skills etc.)?
  • What is the scope of the content? Do you have a document (Word, PPT etc) with the raw content for the module(s) that we could see? For example a PowerPoint presentation currently used in classroom based training. This will help us to scope out the size of the task and we may then suggest a breakdown of the content into manageable chunks. We usually recommend aiming for about 20 minutes nominal learning time to complete a module, but this can vary.
  • What visual style is required? Visual elements (graphics) could include stock photography, in-house photography, new photography or bespoke illustrations. Requirements could influence costs. If you have seen e-learning examples in a style you have strong perference for, please provide references. Otherwise, we would prefer to suggest a style that we feel is suited to the audience and learning objectives.
  • Is a voiceover required? A voiceover adds an extra level of engagement to e-learning content, and appeals to learners who prefer to look and listen, rather than read text. However, content with a voiceover is more difficult to update and may be an issue if frequent updates are expected.
  • Is video required? In some instances video can contribute to the learning experience, for example to provide a case study or in scenario based training, where the learner watches a video clip and is then asked questions based on their observations (useful for soft skills training – e.g. communication skills).
  • Interactivity. The level of interactivity is a key factor in engaging the learner and meeting the learning objectives. It can range from a simple linear presentation at one extreme, to complex scenario based interactions at the other. We would suggest interactions that we feel meet the learning objectives and budget.

Performance assessment

  • Are there any measurable performance indicators in the job role? These could be used to determine the effectiveness of the e-learning in real terms, e.g. reduced accident rates after H&S training.
  • Do you need to be able to assess knowledge levels as part of the e-learning? If so, we can integrate graded (or ungraded) knowledge checks into each module. If not, a knowledge check is still a good way of enabling the user to assess their own understanding and feedback can be provided with answers.
  • Would the scores from knowledge checks need to be recorded in an LMS? If a knowledge check is not required, the LMS could record the degree of completion of the module (i.e. how many screens were viewed).
  • What happens if the user passes the knowledge check? e.g. printable certificate of completion, update to staff training record etc.
  • What happens if the learner fails the knowledge check? They could:
    • Review the answers to the questions in order to see where they had gone wrong.
    • Review the entire module and repeat the knowledge check. If so, would new questions be required? There could be multiple sets of questions, or say 10 questions drawn at random from a bank of say 20.
    • Review parts of the module and repeat relevant parts of the knowledge check.
  • Do you plan to pre-assess learners? This approach has the advantage that you could “test-out” learners who already have the required knowledge level, and thereby save training time (and learner frustration). It would also be possible to tailor the e-learning to recognise the learner’s existing knowledge, e.g. by introducing branching structures that provide just the information that the learner needs to top-up their knowledge.


Are different language versions required? If so, what languages? Would content translations be supplied? If not, we can provide a translation service and localise the e-learning modules with the new text and any other cultural or national requirements.

Note: if a voiceover is used, then this would also need to be recorded and replaced in the localised version.

Client resources

  • Do you have subject experts in-house to contribute to the content development? These people would need to be allowed sufficient time to provide content and feedback on drafts.
  • How many subject experts would be required to cover all of the subject areas? Are all of these available to contribute, or would external subject experts be required.
  • What other resources do you have in-house that might be used? E.g. image library, video content, photographers, illustrators etc.

If you have thought through these questions, then we recommend that you document this in a development brief. It doesn’t need to be detailed at this stage, but broad answers to these questions will help us to put forward meaningful proposals and arrive at an initial cost estimate.

Need some help with this? We can provide a consultancy service to help you to scope out and specify your e-learning requirements. Get in touch.