How Not to Fail as an Instructional Designer or eLearning Consultant

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Creating outstanding online courses is a balancing act. In today’s LMScast Chris Badgett tells you how not to fail as an instructional designer or eLearning consultant by making sure you strike that balance.

There are three elements to a successful online course. You need:

  1. Expertise
  2. Instructional design
  3. An online course delivery system

If you’re an instructional designer you’re already ahead, but you still have to find the right partners with the knowledge and expertise your business needs. You’ll also require a fully capable and dependable learning management system for your online course delivery.

Maybe you’re the expert and you need to find a compatible instructional designer to showcase your knowledge. You also have to use the right LMS to package and deliver your online courses successfully. You may even be a solopreneur looking to balance all three tasks by yourself. Your online course is like a three-legged stool. If one leg is short or missing, the whole thing will come tumbling down.

Whether you’re the expert, the instructional designer, or the solopreneur, you’re at best only a third of the way there. Don’t make the mistake of leaving out any of these three foundational aspects or your online course can’t work. Also realize that any tasks you choose to do yourself beyond your own area of specialization will be far less effective than what someone can do who already has mastered those skills. You especially can’t treat your learning management system as an afterthought, or you will fail.

If you’re ready to partner with a company like LifterLMS that can fulfill your requirements for expertise, for instructional design, and for online course packaging and delivery, then visit us today and watch our introductory video at our My eLearning Technology Partner page. We’re ready to blend our services with your existing knowledge and skills to help you build your course and make it successful.

Post comments and subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us.

Episode Transcript

Chris: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and in this episode we’re going to talk with you about how not to fail as an instructional designer or eLearning consultant. When you approach online education or the creation of online courses or learning management systems, or even membership sites, it’s important to really look at what I call the three-legged stool that supports a solid platform. Those three legs are the expert or some kind of body of expertise or knowledge; the second is instructional design; then the third is the learning management system or the online course delivery system, or the membership site system or members area. If you’re not firing on all three cylinders there, your project is likely to either fail or not achieve the opportunity that is in front of it to the fullest.

The most important part when you approach this issue, if you’re an instructional designer or eLearning consultant, is to make sure that you’ve got the other two missing pieces in place. The first one is much easier. It’s making sure you’re partnering and working with qualified experts or organizations, that have a significant body of knowledge, or need to develop a significant body of knowledge. You may be a good instructional designer, but if you’re not leveraging experts or working with the right types of companies or small businesses or individuals, your business is really not going to go anywhere.

That first part is pretty obvious, but the next part is more subtle, which is, you may be able to help that expert or that organization with a body of knowledge, craft and co-create and co-design some training materials that really work, but then you’re also going to need an online course delivering system or learning management system, to take that body of knowledge that’s been beautifully designed and crafted, into a learning experience, and then package that inside of an online course delivery system or learning management system. If you don’t want to fail, you really need to make sure that that learning management system piece, or that online course system piece, is not an afterthought, that a lot of intention goes into that.

It’s definitely okay if you want to learn how to work with lmS software and online course solutions. In essence, you’re doubling your job, in the way that, now you have to master this other skill, too. If you want to be the best instructional designer or operate the best instructional design firm, you should really stay focused on instructional design, and not necessarily on the online delivery component of that. If you’d like to find out more and continue this conversation, and you’re looking at finding a technology partner that can come in after you’ve done the instructional design piece, to package all that into an online delivery system, go to Again, that’s There’s a video message over there, and we can continue the conversation, if you’re looking to develop some kind of partnership around the LMS piece.

Really I just want to draw attention to everybody who’s listening to this, that if you’re the expert, perhaps you need to take a moment, take a step back, and realize that even though you’re an expert, you may need some help with instructional design. Let’s say you’re a company with a large body of knowledge. Just because you have that body of knowledge, it doesn’t mean it’s already packaged or designed in a way that creates a compelling learning journey. If you’re an LMS provider or an online course provider, it’s really important to realize that you’re going to need to have an expert, and you’re also going to need to have that expert content or material, packaged and designed into a quality learning journey. It doesn’t mean that one person or one company can’t do all this in-house, but it’s really important to acknowledge these three very different skill sets, when you’re putting together any kind of online training or learning journey.

Again,, the three legs of that stool are expertise or a large body of wisdom or knowledge; the second is instructional design; the third is online course delivery system or learning management system. Again, if you’re an eLearning consultant or an instructional designer and you’re looking to partner with a company that can come in and deliver the online course piece or the learning management piece, go to, and we can continue the conversation over there.

I want to thank everybody for coming to this episode of LMScast, and I just want to encourage you, that even if you are a solo act and you’re trying to do this all yourself, that you divide your time equally between these three areas, because if you’re an expert at something, you’re still only a third of the way home. If you are a master in designing quality learning courses, you’re only a third of the way home. If you are an online course and marketing system guru, you’re only a third of the way home. If you want to increase your odds of success, let’s get all three legs under our platforms there, to develop the three-legged stool and build amazing learning experiences. Thank you again for coming, and we’ll catch you in the next episode.

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