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Initial Considerations Before Designing eLearning, CBT or WBT

by Ron Kurtus (revised 6 April 2002)

Before developing an eLearning, Computer-Based Training (CBT) or Web-Based Training (WBT) project, make some initial considerations concerning customer requirements and the scope of the project. Then you go through the development steps, test and deliver the eLearning material.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Initial considerations

First of all, make some initial considerations concerning what the project is about, who is involved, and what your role will be.

1. Who are the players?

Who will use the CBT, WBT or eLearning to learn? Who is buying the eLearning? Who is paying people to develop the eLearning? Who is doing the development of the eLearning? Is anyone else involved?

Often instructional designers or eLearning developers overlook some of the important people that have a stake in the learning or training.

2. What does your customer want?

The customer is the person, company, or organization that paying for the work to be done. What do they want to achieve? What requirements are there? What are the constraints? What special features are wanted? What is are the schedule and cost constraints?

Although the learners and developers are important players in making a eLearning, the needs of the person or organization who pays the bills certainly must be heeded.

3. What will make the ultimate customer happy?

Is there some criteria they are seeking? Are they driven by results, cost, schedule, or some other factors? How can you verify results?

4. What does the user of the eLearning need?

What is their educational level? How much skill do they have? Are there special needs and constraints? What is their motivation? Under what conditions are they using the eLearning? How can they know they are achieving the desired results?

If the learner had never used a computer, you might have to consider initial training on using a mouse or a CBT.

Besides needs, you may also check on what the users actually want. Some people are required to take training in one area, when they really would like other training material.

5. What is your role or job?

What does your customer, client, or supervisor specifically want you to do? What is the scope of your assignment?

An ambitious eLearning developer may sometimes go beyond the scope of his job. This may upset his or her boss. On the other hand, it is better to do too much than not enough.

6. What are your measurable objectives?

What do you want to achieve? How do you determine the success of your project? How does the customer measure the success?

It is tough to measure results, especially concerning skills. The person may pass a written test but still fail miserably on the job.


The initial considerations in starting a eLearning project are:

  1. Who are the players?
  2. What does your customer want?
  3. What will make the ultimate customer happy?
  4. What does the user of the eLearning need?
  5. What is your role or job?
  6. What are your measurable objectives?

After these initial considerations are complete, you should go through the Steps Necessary to Develop eLearning.

Planning is the most important step in achieving your goals

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


eLearning Resources


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