eLearning templates, like any document or project template, are designed for creating a consistent look, feel, and navigation experience. Templates offer designers reduced development time and provide a user with a predictable, consistent learning environment.
I recently created two Articulate Storyline templates for a series of sales product and environmental compliance training WBTs. The design for both topics focuses on specific audiences: field service technicians, sales representatives, and sales engineers. To build content, reduce troubleshooting, and deploy the training to the audience as quickly as possible,templates were a necessary tool for completing the job because of the number of WBTs going to be created for each audience.
Normally, for single standalone WBTs, I build out the training look and feel specific to that one WBT. No templates or standard graphics. Only the necessary elements to best supply the interested party with the information needed to perform a task. The reason I don’t use templates in these cases is because using a generic template forces me to place content into a predefined environment or experience, which is not the best approach to teach someone a new skill. My approach is to design is to use templates specific to the content and audience. For example, I would never use the sales product training WBT template look and feel for corporate compliance or electrical safety training. Each environment speaks to the users who will view it. Things such as colors, images, or even tone of the WBT. My best practice template us is for training where a series of related courses are required. Otherwise, I create a unique design for single deployment, which allows me more freedom for new designs and evolve with new technologies.