Part 2: Designing An Engaging E-Learning Course

Part 2: Designing An Engaging E-Learning Course

In this 4-part series, WorkPlan takes you through the phases of creating an effective e-learning course. This is part 2 of the series where we share tips on engaging design and simple ways you can produce your course with the tools you have.

You’ve finished planning out what you want in your e-learning course, now it’s time for the fun part. The design of your e-learning course can determine if you’re effectively conveying information and whether your employees are engaged and retaining that knowledge.

Part 2 of this series goes over design elements you should consider when creating an e-learning course.

The First Step

Your learning needs analysis and planning should have given you a clear direction to take your e-learning course. This should lead you to your first step of course design, which is to create a course outline as expressed below:

Outcome –> Audience –> Learner Benefit –> Title of Each Lesson –> Content in Each Lesson (outline what media type each lesson will be e.g. video, infographic, quiz, etc.)

For example:

Outcome – fully brief a new employee on the information they need for their first week of work.

Audience – new employees

Learner benefit – understanding their role and responsibilities, and company policy


  • Introduction and Welcome
  • Your Role Outline
  • Quiz
  • Company Policy (can include subcategories like “communication”, “NDA”, etc.)
  • Quiz
  • Conclusion

Content and media – outline what content will go into each category and what media that content will be shown as (e.g. video, multi-choice quiz, image, text, ect.). We will explain this in further detail below.


As briefly mentioned in our first part of this series, aim to keep the length of the content fairly short so that the entire course can take around 15 minutes to complete. This will ensure that your employees retain the knowledge learned in each course they complete.

The overall content can include microcontent which is copy, imagery or videos that can be consumed in 10-30 seconds.

Media type

The way you deliver the lesson content is just as important as the content that you put in it. Delivering content in various mediums provides learners something interesting to look at each lesson, which can help your employees retain knowledge.

Here are some ways you can deliver each lesson:

Video training content

Videos are an effective learning tool that can increase motivation to learn and encourage deeper learning. It’s a great way to quickly deliver content in an engaging way without having your employees read blocks of text.

There are multiple ways to film an instructional video, but the best way to showcase computer programs is by recording your screen. If you’re unsure how to do this, devices that run Windows 10 or beyond, and Macs have built-in screen recording tools.


Images aid memory recall where we remember information 65% better when associated with an image. Use visual aids such as infographics so your employees remember company procedures or important content for pitches or meetings better.


Quizzes force your employees to recall and often review the content that they’ve just learned. Quizzes can be a simple multichoice questionnaire, or it could be matching the correct response to a scenario.

Visual design

Pick a colour palette

Colours are important when creating engaging visuals; they can make or break the entire course. Avoid using high-contrast colours that can strain the eyes and find a complementary colour palette to build your visual elements around.

Using existing colour palettes such as the company’s colours can take the stress out of finding a new colour palette. Using the company colours also keeps all courses cohesive and relevant to your company’s brand.

Repeat elements to create cohesion

Using too many design elements like different shapes, fonts and colours can make the course feel unorganised.

As suggested with colours, using a consistent visual design throughout the course helps to keep it all cohesive and organised.

This can be applied to how you line up the content in each lesson. Crooked design can distract learners, so use tools like grids or rulers to align your content—this alignment can then be applied to different lessons to create a consistent design.


That concludes part 2 of our 4-part series effective e-learning course design in WorkPlan Learning’s LMS. In Part 3, WorkPlan will cover how to implement your completed e-learning course using WorkPlan.

How WorkPlan Learning can help

WorkPlan Learning is a collaborative LMS that keeps all your business’s training content in one place, making professional development easily accessible to all your employees. The collaborative capabilities of WorkPlan Learning allow your employees to keep on top of their professional development by giving them room to give feedback and raise any gaps in knowledge.

Contact us to try our free demo.

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