Creating eLearning Design Standards & Guidelines

Nov 24, 2016

Hi all,

I work within Higher Education where we have a number of differing groups across the organisation building eLearning for a variety of purposes and targeting different audiences (staff/students etc). We don't currently have any standards or guidelines in place to keep some sense of control on the quality of the content we are creating, which is almost exclusively made using Articulate Storyline 2.

This is great for creativity but not so good for anything else so we have wildly different varieties of quality and types of courses. I was hoping to develop some guidelines that would go some way to bringing the quality of our eLearning output up to a certain level. I could of course just chuck out a template but I'd like to do more to help designers than just the technical aspects we support currently.

To this end, I've put together 8 key areas that I wanted to begin to influence:

1.  Communication of standards – how we effectively share the standards with all eLearning creators

2.  Review process – how we ensure the standards are followed by all and quality assurance (QA) checks are completed

3.  Naming conventions – how we use a standard language to define terms

4.  Writing style – how we talk to our learners in the correct a tense and the formality of how we communicate

5.  Accessibility – how we ensure our content is accessible to as wide an audience as is appropriate

6.  Formatting & player– how we achieve consistency in the formatting, layout, text, sizing and headers - as well as the player itself

7.  Colours & imagery – How we use colours and images convey a professional and unified identity, in line with the marketing branding guidelines

8.  Content & interactivity – How we encourage the creation of engaging content that is interactive and appealing for the learners

 I'd love to get feedback from anyone that has been through this process before (or not and has an opinion!) and any suggestions on how to positively affect the categories listed. It would be interesting to know how you control the output from your organisations and any useful resources would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance! :)


5 Replies
Keith Carter

Hi David

I also work with the HE sector and was responsible for coming up with brand guidelines. I would suggest first of taking a leaf out of your Marketing teams book They will normally have some guides on Brand, how things should look, feel and use of logo etc. 

This can feel very restrictive so you may need to work with them get the flexibility you need to create engaging learning. Outside of that its worth agreeing with people in your team the language and style of writing and wording/terms you use

Once you have created these you can use that to create a number of template slides in Storyline to ensure that consistency.

Tammy Wise

Hi David, my company had this same issue.  We didn't want to hinder creativity but needed a little more consistency.  We decided on about 20 colors and 3 fonts that we could use.  We also designed an intro slide that everyone uses at the start of their course along with a standard player and design size.  The rest of the look and feel is based on the type of course and SME input.

Jerson  Campos

I've gone through this process with my team. We used the marketing and branding guidelines as just a guide to help us settle on fonts and colors.  Naming conventions and Folder structures are great things to have as well. The one thing I would be careful with is setting a guideline for the design of the course. You don't want to restrict yourself too much in this area.  I never included anything about specific backgrounds, having logos on every slide, or anything like that because those are not the courses I usually built or want to be restricted to.   

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.