Six steps every successful eLearning project follows and 25 of our favorite free authoring tools to help you get there.


“In a world that is constantly changing, education, teaching, and learning cannot remain stagnant.” – 

Georges Filippousis Teacher, Research Fellow University of Crete

Today our Global community is driven mainly by commercial interests. Advertising pressures to own that “new thing” is so common that we hardly notice its influence. This type of pressure has largely been responsible for the richness and luxury of our lives. Yet, there is more to life than just the “STUFF”. 

Few invest the time and effort to delve deeper where education enters the picture. Education provides context to history, art, depth of understanding, and perspective that some people would not otherwise experience. This is part of the traditional role education fulfills in teaching about culture and the transmission of our society’s values. 

But society is transforming at an ever-accelerating rate and the shiny objects that commerce provides are fashioned to be “sticky” or addictive. To capture the learner’s attention education must compete with the increasingly effective seductions of commercial offerings. Today education must compete for students’ attention and not for their time. 

Today’s students are smarter, hipper, more skeptical, and less likely to believe propaganda than any other generation in history. The way to seduce them into loving education is by appealing to the things about which they are passionate. The way to do that is to seduce students into a state of fascination with what the wider world has to offer. 

The last several generations have perpetrated a cruel hoax. We have convinced the current generations that learning is an intolerably boring process that you must endure when the reality is that learning is the most fun you can have…period. We must stop teaching the curriculum and start teaching the individual – each individual, every single individual, and teach them as individuals who have unique interests and abilities. The assumption that 25 people are all the same makes education simple for the educational system and excruciatingly boring to students. 

Based on student feedback there is another component that seems to generate engagement in the forum format. This format provides opportunities for personal interaction with others for online conferences via interactive video). This forum format tends to be much richer than a face-to-face environment. 

Here students can only participate in a class discussion for a minute or two at best (before classmates get impatient), and they must do so based on their ability to think on their feet, in an asynchronous online environment. Further, they can participate whenever they want, use the time to collect their thoughts, and even include other resources such as links to articles or videos. The result, from a relatively simple learning curve, is more in-depth discussions and better learning opportunities.

If you are a coach or have something to teach (we all do) you can create your custom eLearning course. Here we lay out the six steps every successful eLearning project follows and then in the next series of articles we will share 25 of our favorite free eLearning authoring tools for graphics, audio, video, and more that you can use today to make your course a reality. 

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How to create an eLearning course

Before we get to the free tools, if you’re ready to create eLearning content for your team, there are a few basic steps any project will follow.

Step 1: Establish the why of your project

Simply put, what’s the purpose of your training? Who’s taking it? More importantly, why are they taking it? During this step, you’ll want to define your requirements and expectations for the course.

Step 2: Gather your current materials

Pull together all your existing source material for the project, including:

  • Notes
  • Current training materials
  • Videos
  • Audio
  • Images

Use this step to also identify what materials you’re missing and want to create.

Step 3: Distill your topic into an eLearning script

Use those materials to create a script based on the requirements of your project, and the topics it needs to contain. Make sure it matches the expectations you set for interactions and assessments.

Step 4: Define the visual look-and-feel of your project

This task can often take place while you have your subject matter expert (SME) or writer creating the course script. Visual tasks include defining which images, colors, fonts, movements, or animations you’ll use to create a course that looks cohesive.

Step 5: Develop materials for your course

At this point, you’ve gathered all of the elements you’ll need to create eLearning content for your courseware. Now it’s time to develop those items: the meat of your project.

Record any audio portions. Create graphics. Use screen capture software to create videos. The eLearning authoring tools we discuss in later articles and videos can get you there.

Step 6: Assemble into one cohesive course

And then, bring those items together. Some free software programs can help you bring all your disparate elements into one cohesive course. 

After this step, you’ll send your new course to your peers for review, suggest any changes, and ultimately approve.

Once that’s done, you’ll move your course to an LMS or cloud platform.

If you happen to be lucky enough to know Kurt Walker, ( and you are fortunate enough to be a member of the Spice Nation, you will probably have access to the Spice Institute Learning Management System (https://Spice.Institute). First, get through the 6 steps outlined here, and then reach out to Kurt and let him know you want to move your course to the Spice Institute.

Biz Builder Mike 

P:S: You can get a head start by reading about the core software Spice Institute uses WP LMS (, the Social Learning Management System for Modern education. And if you want to learn more there are videos to help you here —, remember to focus on the features for version 4.

The 25 tools can be found here