Best Practice: Creating Templates

This article introduces some practical steps to consider when setting up your Template within Elucidat to ensure your authors have the best possible starting point for their Projects. 

Contents

1. Example

2. 5 tips for setting up a successful Template for your authors

3. Summary


Example

Our existing Learning Accelerator Templates provide great examples of how Templates can be set up in Elucidat with a lot of flexibility, both from a content and visual perspective. Here you can see an example of our game-like quiz Template:

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The Template is very simple in terms of styling, with guidance text and placeholder imagery that informs authors about how to populate it with their content. The simplicity of this Template makes it very adaptable for different subject areas, as shown by these two built examples:

Data protection compliance content

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Product knowledge

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These two Projects have different visual Styles applied and are unique to their subject matter with relevant text content and images, but were also extremely quick to produce as they were based on the same robust Template.

Knowing how flexible your Template needs to be for different content types and branding will inform how you set it up, so it’s important to consider this upfront. View our best practice article on planning an effective and flexible Template for more information on this, and read on for some practical tips when working in Elucidat.

 

5 tips for setting up a successful Template for your authors


1. Consider how far you take the visual styling

Think about how much you want to do for your authors from a styling perspective and whether the Template will need to flex for different sub-brands. 

If you know that your Template will always be used for content that represents the same brand and needs to have a consistent look and feel then you can apply more on-page styling to your Template. This removes the need for your authors to think about anything from a visual perspective.

If you need it to work for lots of different visual styles then you might want to take a more pared back approach. For example, the Learning Accelerator Template shown above relies solely on what can be controlled in the Styles area, and will therefore be easily interchangeable between brands.


2. Think about what content can be baked in to the Template and what needs to flex

On a similar note to the visual styling it’s worth thinking about what content can be pre-populated in your Template and what might need to be placeholder or guidance content. For example, if you take a look at the image below you can see a more worked-up Template page:

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Here all the author needs to do is populate the text for their scenario and swap in a relevant background image. The rest of the page elements, e.g. the question text, icon and styling, have already been set up in a way that they will work for any content, making it much quicker to edit. 

If the text in the Template needs to be more flexible, consider adding guidance text. Including advice within the Template makes it easier for the author to work out what content to add at each section and any other tips that are valuable to include. For example, our Learning Accelerator Templates have guidance text that explain:

  • How many words to use to fit the space available (and avoid overwhelm!)
  • What content to add to each section, e.g. should they add a question here, or a quote from an expert? 
  • Any tips for the best learning experience, e.g. making all answer options for a question the same length, to avoid it being easy to guess that a longer option is the correct one. 

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3. Set your page and Project settings 

Remove the need for your authors to set their page and Project settings for each individual Project by making sure your Template is set up with the appropriate settings in advance.

We recommend setting the Scoring & Completion settings for each page in your Template as you build it. For example, making sure test questions are set to track by the user submitting a score.

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You can also set up your Project completion and learning tracking settings in the Configure area to ensure that all Projects based on the Template will be reporting learner completion in a consistent way.

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4. Carry out thorough testing

As with every Project you release to your learners, we’d always recommend you carry out thorough testing before you make your Template available to your authors. This is especially important as any issues will quickly get multiplied when your Templates are in use.

The authoring advice in Best Practice: Testing before going live to learners gives some guidance around what to check for.

Want to be confident your Templates are author-ready?

Get an expert review of your Template Project so you can be sure it’s setting authors up for success. Our Learning Consultants will check that your Templates are structured in the best way for authors to create quality people-centered learning with ease. Get in touch with your Account Manager or Customer Success Manager to find out more.


5. Ensure your authors know how to use the Template

Consider how you are going to inform your authoring team about what Templates are available to them and how they can use them. Is there somewhere internally you can make guidance available?

When our Learning Consultancy team share Templates they have created for customers, they always share a guidance document along with it. This explains any specific features of the Template and anything that authors will need to be aware of when they come to use and adapt it for their Projects.

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Tip: You could link out from the first page in your Template Project to any external resources you have around using the Template. For example 'Before you get started authoring your Project, take a look at this short guide about using this Template.'

 

Summary

By following the tips above you can be confident that your Templates will be set up in a way that makes them a robust base for your authors to use and quick to populate with content. However, we’d also recommend regularly reviewing the Projects being created by your authors to understand if there are any further improvements you can make to streamline the approach. One great benefit of the Templates in Elucidat is that you can edit them further at any time to more closely meet your needs.

 

Want some extra support with template creation?

Our Learning Consultancy team is on hand to help. They can work with you to plan the most effective, flexible Template designs to meet your needs, and even build them out for you if you’d like. Get in touch with your Account Manager or Customer Success Manager to find out more about how our Learning Consultancy services can set you up for success.

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