When creating a video course, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure you get the best result in terms of conveying the message, keeping your learners engaged and ensure maximum retention. Also, following these steps will guarantee a more efficient production from start to finish. In this article, we are sharing some pro tips on the (very important) first step: defining the course’s scope.
Why is the course scope so important?
Your course’s scope will be your baseline for the entire course creation process, and your source of truth in decision-making. As it encompasses your learning and business goals, your audience and guidelines for the course development, you will need to make sure all the following steps of the course creation consider what was defined in the scope.
What do you need to define a course’s scope?
1. The theme of the course
Make sure you define one clear topic per course.
2. The audience
Who is the course intended for? Try to be as specific as possible. Here are some examples: new customers; channel partners; sales reps that sell product “X” in the EMEA Region; Logistics team; Factory employees that work with machine “X”.
3. The challenge or need
There is usually a reason why you or someone on the team decided to offer training in this topic. It is important to have a transparent understanding of what motivated this decision as well as its strategic importance.
4. The goals
What are you trying to achieve with this course? If you know where you want to go, it will be easier to understand if you have arrived. Make sure you have both training and business goals that are realistic and measurable. Also, make sure the goals for this course are aligned with the team or company’s overall strategy, and understand the expectations regarding the course’s impact and visibility.
5. The Takeaways
What do you want your audience to take from this course? This can be a behavioural change, a new skill, how to do a task or use a product, and so on. This is the point where you define the metrics that you will be analysing once you make your course available.
6. The key points
What is the list of topics you will need to include in this course in order to accomplish the goals you want to achieve?
7. The information sources and history
Where can you find the information you need to convey? This is where you list the different sources of information that can be presentations, manuals, user guides, company documents, and of course, people. If you had a different version of the course (e.g. in-person workshop), you can use its content as information source, and write down its format, length and brief description as you may want to go back to this information when you define expectations for the expected output of this new course (check point 12).
8. The communication style
It’s very likely that there are editorial guidelines for your brand that you need to follow. Make sure you include this information in the scope as it will be quite helpful as you progress through the video training course creation process, especially when you reach the script writing step.
9. The Brand Book
It’s important to make sure you follow your brand’s visual guidelines. This means you should include your Brand Book in the go-to list of resources to develop the course. This will be especially important to have when you need to create the storyboard or reach the video editing step.
10. The logistics
As in any project it is important to plan and create a timeline. Consider each course as project within the global project of your Academy’s course production pipeline. This means you need to identify the priority of the course within that global Academy plan and create a timeline for all the steps of the course creation process.
In this plan, make sure to consider the resources you will need such as budget, people, location and so on.
11. The project team
Although not impossible, it is difficult to create an entire course on your own. In the scope step it is important to have a clear picture and commitment of the project team and each team member’s responsibilities. As the scope should be created, or at least reviewed and agreed on, by the entire project team, having the team and respective responsibilities clearly identified in your scope document is a great way to both ensure accountability and create a sense of (recognized) belonging.
12. The expected output
Finally, there is the matter of what is expected to be the result of this process. This may seem easy to answer: the result should be a video training course. Right? Well, there is a bit more to it than that. At this stage, it’s important to refer to all the previous 11 points and make some decisions that will influence the next steps of the process. These include the length of the videos and the course; the video styles that will be used in the videos (presenter, animation, screen-casting, role-playing…); some external video examples as reference to what is expected in the output; the location(s) for the recording – studio, office meeting room, factory, storage facilities…; who will be the presenter(s) – professional presenter, team member, partner…; and decide if this course will have a final assessment and certification.
And that’s it! Your course’s scope is done and you are ready to go ahead to the next step of the process: creating the course structure.
Besides answering these topics, defining the scope is about getting everyone involved, onboard and aware of the output; it is about making clear what are the goals and what is intended with the course. For this reason, make sure the scope is materialized in a document that is then shared and approved by all the stakeholders of the project.
Here’s a project sheet, created by our Digital Learning Experiences team, you can use as template to collect all the input you need to define your courses' scope.
You may also find interesting:
How to create a video training course: the step by step guide (eBook)
5 ways to overcome a small budget for video training (article)
Free tools for low-cost professional looking video production (article)
Course Production Pipeline template (excel template)
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