A Guide to E-Learning Content Development Frameworks
  • 6-minute read
  • 24th May 2023

A Guide to E-Learning Content Development Frameworks

​​With the eLearning market forecasted to reach $350 billion by 2025, the need to create eLearning content has never been more important. Creating quality eLearning content at scale isn’t easy, but a content development framework can help.

 An eLearning content development framework is a structured approach to creating digital educational materials, such as online courses. The purpose is to provide a systematic and efficient process for designing, developing, and delivering eLearning content.

But how do you design a system that helps you create engaging educational content efficiently? Read on to find out.

1. Define Your Market

Before you can start creating content, you need to know who you’re creating content for. To do this, you should make what’s known as customer or buyer personas, or in your case, learner personas.

 This involves researching the demographics (e.g., age, gender, income, education, and location) and psychographics (such as values, beliefs, attitudes, and interests) of your target customers. Consider these questions:

  • What type of person will use or benefit from your product/service?
  • If you already have customers, which demographics and psychographics apply to them?
  • What are the needs and pain points of your target customers?
  • How can we reach our target customers? What platforms are they on?

 Asking these questions will give you a good idea of who your target customers are, which you can then refine and turn into personas. We recommend using a form to do this. Give your personas names, ages, and characteristics. You could even use photos or images to bring them to life.

These personas should be the culmination of all your research into your customers. You can use them to target your course more effectively toward your customers and spend less time marketing to people who won’t be interested. 

If you need more information on creating buyer personas, this blog post provides a step-by-step guide on creating and using buyer personas.

2. Choose Your Model

Here are some common eLearning development models:

  1. ADDIE

Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation (ADDIE) is a linear model that focuses on the entire process of instructional design and development, from identifying learning needs to evaluating the effectiveness of the learning solution.

  1. SAM

The Successive Approximation Model (SAM) is an iterative model that involves rapid prototyping, continuous feedback, and multiple design cycles. SAM is perfect for complex projects with evolving content and diverse stakeholders.

  1. Agile Model

Agile is a flexible and iterative approach that champions collaboration, feedback, and adaptability. It constantly looks for ways to optimize competitive content. This model is useful for software development, but you can also apply it to eLearning development.

  1. Rapid eLearning

Rapid eLearning is a streamlined approach that focuses on creating simple, effective, and affordable eLearning content. Typically, rapid eLearning uses pre-designed tools and templates to speed up the development process. Articulate recommends that you start simple and build on it rather than trying to do everything at once.

  1. Action Mapping

Action Mapping is a process-focused framework that emphasizes the learner’s behavior and knowledge. This process identifies the actions learners need to perform and designs eLearning content to support them.

  1. ARCS Model

Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction (ARCS) is a motivational framework that focuses on engaging learners and creating a positive learning experience. ARCS emphasizes the importance of capturing learners’ attention, making the content relevant to their needs, building their confidence, and providing feedback and recognition.

Using one of these eLearning content development models can help you improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of your content production processes, resulting in better outcomes for your learners and a better return on investment for your company.

3. Outline and Write Your Course

Once you’ve chosen a model, you should create an outline of your eLearning content. This can be as detailed or as simple as you want. Outlines help you refine your content and keep you on track. They save time, energy, and stress, so we highly recommend creating at least a brief one before you start writing.

 Then, you need to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). People often try to write a perfect first draft, but it will probably take a couple of drafts to get your writing the way you want it. On your first draft, focus on getting all of your ideas down in a logical order. To improve your writing, check out our blog post on the topic here.

4. Refine, Edit, and Proofread

Now that you have your first draft, you can begin the process of refining and perfecting it. Your first read-through should check the content. Ask yourself:

  • Does this say what I want it to say?
  • Have I missed anything?
  • Is everything here factually accurate?

Then, check that the writing is clear and compelling. Think:

  • Is there a better way to express this point?
  • Does it flow nicely?
  • Is the tone appropriate for my audience?

In our Knowledge Hub, we often talk about how important editing and proofreading is. Don’t skip these steps here. Imagine spending all this time creating incredible content only for a spelling mistake to ruin your reputation. If you need help establishing an editing and proofreading process, we have a blog post about it here.


The eLearning content market is set to explode in the next couple of years, so many businesses want to create engaging eLearning content that complements their services. But creating such content isn’t easy.

This article looked at how you can use an eLearning content development framework to create consistent, quality content at scale by defining your market; using a model; outlining and writing; and refining, proofreading, and editing your content to make sure it’s error-free.

Naturally, it might take some time to develop a system that works for you, your team, and your company, but we hope this blog post helps set you in the right direction.

If editing and proofreading your content seems too much for you, feel free to reach out! We’ve helped more than 1,000 businesses refine, edit, and proofread their content, speeding up their content production processes and leaving them free to do what they do best. When you’re ready to see what we can do for you, click here.

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