The Ultimate eLearning Design and Development Checklist

I have combed the web and compiled several e-learning, instructional design and web design checklists to create this ultimate e-learning checklist. Not every item on the entire list will apply to every project, however I think that altogether it covers a broad range of items. If you think there’s something important that I have missed, please let me know and I will include it in the list; ideally, I’d like this checklist to cover as much ground as possible.

View The Ultimate eLearning Design and Development Checklist in .PDF format.

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN

  • Training needs analysis is complete
  • Time and budget restraints have been identified
  • Primary and secondary audience have been analyzed
  • Task analysis and task listing are complete
  • Various instructional methods are used
  • Objectives are clearly stated
  • Objectives include measurable criteria
  • Instructional content relates directly to   objectives
  • Course objectives are met
  • Content is segmented into small chunks
  • Information is logically grouped
  • Major headings are clear and descriptive
  • One-third of the content is presentation
  • Two-thirds of the content is application   & feedback
  • Feedback is provided for questions   answered
  • A maximum of 5-7 bullet items per slide
  • There is a summary for every piece of   content
  • Glossary is used to define key concepts   and terms
  • Humor is used with care

ASSESSMENTS & TESTS

  • All assessments are relevant and complete
  • Assessments are challenging and realistic
  • Various quiz methods and types are used
  • Assessments are used throughout
  • Final assessment at the end
  • Pass/fail marks are appropriate
  • Feedback is adequate
  • Feedback presented within reasonable time
  • Post course assessment/evaluation is included
  • New content is not presented in assessments or in assessment feedback

GENERAL DESIGN

  • Total design is uniform in appearance
  • Branding/identity guidelines have been   followed
  • Use of logos is appropriate
  • Colors used are consistent and suitable
  • Color schemes chosen for visibility & contrast
  • Navigation is consistent throughout
  • Horizontal and vertical scrolling is   avoided
  • At least 50% of the screen is white space
  • Graphics/icons used to signify important concepts
  • Patterns and textured backgrounds do not interfere with legibility

FONTS

  • Maximum of  or three fonts used throughout
  • Decorative fonts are only used for headings
  • Body text uses sans serif fonts
  • Appropriate line spacing is used
  • Paragraph length is appropriate
  • Font sizes are appropriate and easily readable
  • Font colors visible against background color
  • Styles and colors are consistent throughout
  • Emphasis (bold, italics) is used sparingly
  • Body text is left justified

TESTING

  • E-learning has been tested in multiple browsers
  • E-learning has been tested in various resolutions
  • All links and buttons have been tested
  • Accessibility features have been tested
  • All audio has been tested
  • All videos have been viewed in entirety
TECHNICAL

  • Project load time is reasonable
  • Shortcut keys have been defined
  • FAQ document has been created
  • Hardware requirements have been   identified
  • Software requirements have been   identified
  • Dimensions are optimized for target audience
  • The course is viewable in all web   browsers
  • Pages are easily printed
  • Total time to complete has been timed
  • Contact information available for   questions

ACCESSIBILITY

  • Entire course can be navigated with keyboard
  • All ALT tags are used
  • Text is provided for all non-text   elements
  • Video files have associated script or   dialogue
  • Captions are provided for audio conveying   content
  • No flashes faster than 3 times per second
  • No colors used to convey information
  • No fine motor skills required (large   clickable areas, large field labels)

NAVIGATION

  • Main navigation is easily identifiable
  • All navigation is correct sequence
  • Hyperlinks are clearly identified
  • All hyperlinks work
  • Minimum use of external links
  • Backward links to navigate to previous   screens
  • Number of navigation icons is reasonable
  • Table of contents used to lay out the   content
  • E-learning has guided tour and/or map for   further explanations

VIDEOS & ANIMATION

  • Use of animation and videos is appropriate
  • Files are compressed/optimized
  • Videos and animations are consistent in quality, size and type
  • Videos are legally   owned

AUDIO & NARRATION

  • Narration is not exact text on the screen
  • Narration is clear and concise
  • Audio quality is high (not fuzzy or   scrambled)
  • Narrator sounds confident and knowledgeable
  • Audio synced to the content
  • Audio can be paused
  • Volume can be muted
  • Volume can be controlled by user

TEXT CONTENT

  • Language is clear and concise
  • Spelling has been checked
  • Grammar has been checked
  • Language is culturally appropriate
  • Tone is consistent throughout
  • Tone is appropriate for the audience
  • Text is gender neutral
  • Content is not plagiarized
  • Date formats, measurements, are consistent
  • SME has verified text content
  • Facts, statistics, data are accurate
  • Facts, statistics, data sources are   identified
  • Correct capitalization applies to units/acronyms
  • Correct capitalization is used
  • Punctuation is appropriate
  • Complex sentences are avoided
  • Content has been localized for all required languages

GRAPHICS

  • Images are meaningful,   have a purpose
  • Images/graphics are resized and compressed
  • Images use appropriate file type
  • Photos are consistent in quality, size,   type
  • Images are all legally owned
  • System screen captures are   up-to-date
  • Screen captures do not contain any personal information

Since you’ve made it all the way to the end of the checklist, maybe you should subscribe to my blog!

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15 Comments on “The Ultimate eLearning Design and Development Checklist”

  1. Elizabeth Hanlis says:

    Comprehensive checklist! Great work. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Margo says:

    Fabulous! Great tool for checking projects. Thanks!

    MS

  3. Thank you so much Nicole for sharing this great work. I have gathered a few more items (those with “-” are particularly important IMO), but some of them may sound obvious?

    I would really like to translate your checklist in french and post it online (in your blog or mine) if you’re OK with that.

    Last thing: in your pdf file the titles seems to be erased.

    INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN
    – Every unnecessary piece of content or media (= not related to objectives) have been removed
    * Graphics are used every time it’s needed to support meaning
    – Transitions are used quite often (in order to remind the learner where he is in the global learning path)
    * Explain the benefit of each part or topic (engagement and motivation of the learner)
    * Important content is presented several times differently (from a different perspective or using a different information channel)
    * When possible, make the learner experience the content rather than presenting it
    – Segment the difficulty into multiple steps (so that the learner will gain confidence)
    – Place the information in context

    ASSESSMENTS & TESTS
    – Every learning objective is assessed (at least one time during the course)
    – Describe precisely the behavior of the assessment & tests activities in the storyboard (reminders, number of tries, scoring, advices and feedbacks related to each phase of the activity, branching links …)
    – Instructions are clearly written (simple syntax and no ambiguity)
    – A question with only one assessing objective do not measure measure multiple things
    * MCQ : minimum 3 items, maximum 6 items
    – Every distractor is plausible

    TESTING
    * Complete testing grids are used by the testers
    – Testing have been done in the real learning environment (LMS, web site …)
    – Testing have been done with a learner’s account
    – The tracking have been verified
    – All combinations of assessments & tests have been tested

    GRAPHICS
    – Sources of medias are mentioned if needed

    TEXT CONTENT
    – Prefer conversational writing to formal writing

    AUDIO & NARRATION
    * Narration is prefered to text for explanations of graphics
    – Prefer conversational narration to formal narration

    VERSION AND TIME DATAS (NEW CATEGORY)
    * The last review date of the course is indicated
    – The next review date of the course is known by the development team (to avoid obsolete content)
    * The version of the course is indicated (V1, V2.16 …)
    – The duration of the course is indicated
    * Metadatas of the final product (version, description, review date …) have been filled

    (really, you read it all? thanks :-) )

    • Nicole Legault says:

      Matthieu – I already started a version 2 of the checklist, and I added/re-organized some items and added a new section for “localization”. Can I also add all the items you have listed ? I will update the PDF list with all the changes at some point this wkd – maybe a good idea to wait until I have updated/sent you the new version of the checklist before you translate to French ? :) its up to you but I really appreciate all your added comments and list items … Thank you !!!

      • You’re welcome Nicole. Of course, you can take everything you want from my list and reorganize it. I’ll wait for the version 2 before translating, indeed a better idea.

        Have a great week-end !

    • kaystephen says:

      Excellent piece of work. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to version 2.

      Best Regards

      Kay

  4. bartlomiej_polakowski says:

    Great summary! hard to add something else..but I will try:)

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  9. nutanyadav says:

    Useful indeed…. Great for a quick glance to refer before the final deliverable … Thanks for sharing


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