Effective eLearning content: how to choose the most suitable SCORM template for your target

After having described all the phases of instructional design, starting from the indispensable analysis of the reference target and definition of the learning objectives, in this article we will give some suggestions on how to create effective eLearning contents, and in particular on how to choose the most suitable SCORM template to train your audience.



We have talked about how important it is for companies to use customized eLearning courseware, rather than choosing off-the-shelf standard courses, even at the expense of contingent economic and time savings.

When we talk about templates, however, we do not refer to pre-set course catalogs, ready to be used and without the possibility of making customization at graphic and content level: a template is in fact a predefined framework that allows you to create or insert content of different types within a basic structure. In relation to SCORM, these templates can concern both aspects related to setting and storytelling, and the possibility (or not) of using specific features.

The choice of a template as a base to design your own SCORM eLearning content, therefore, allows you to retain some of the benefits of off-the-shelf courses, such as quicker courseware design and development and sometimes even lower costs, without losing the advantages of a customized course.



Unlike off-the-shelf courses, SCORM templates allow customization on multiple levels. From a look-and-feel point of view, graphic elements can be partially or completely modified to make them more consistent with the organization’s brand identity, for example by adding company logos and colors. Talking about contents, templates are configured as frameworks for courses: therefore, they can be used to build any kind of training materials, presented through the use of videos, images, audio or texts that will be integrated with the frame according to the possibilities.



Beyond the practical advantages related to the creation of SCORM eLearning content using a template, the effectiveness of this type of educational material strictly depends on the choice of the most suitable frame for the target type.

Even the storytelling and setting of a course, in fact, can greatly affect the degree of engagement and motivation of learners, making them feel more or less at ease within the virtual learning environment.

The first step, therefore, is the analysis of the target audience: characteristics such as age and level of familiarity with technology are essential for an effective choice. For a target of young people with strong digital skills, for example, it may be suitable to choose a template that uses gamification strategies, with numerous multimedia elements and very high interaction levels. On the contrary, for an audience of older learners with lower digital skills, a graphically simpler and less interactive template may be preferable, in order to avoid confusion and disorientation.

Knowing the background can also be useful for choosing the right template: SCORM eLearning contents intended for learners with a humanistic background can in fact be based on storytelling and settings linked to the world of culture, such as a visit to the museum, while a mechanical shop might suit an engineering audience better. Obviously, there are also more neutral templates, to choose if the target of the training course is very varied, such as the entire employee group of an organization, or it is not possible to proceed with an accurate analysis: these can be based on topics of public interest, such as ecology. 



As you can guess from the description just made, templates provide for the construction of a learning environment that does not fully reflect the one of the organization that commissions the SCORM eLearning course, but on the contrary is different from it. This aims to create a sort of surrogate, a space specifically dedicated to training in which learners can acquire and put into practice skills and knowledge in non-real contexts, before facing simulations or practical tests.

In any case, nothing prevents an organization from building its own template, with totally customized graphics, storytelling and functionalities: it could be a useful marketing choice, especially when SCORM eLearning contents are also conveyed to customers, to impress a unique trademark linked to the brand on distributed materials.


Templates can be a valuable tool for building SCORM eLearning content, but to ensure the effectiveness of the training, they must be chosen wisely and taking into account the specific characteristics of their target audience.

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