The Ultimate E-Learning Design and Development Checklist


I have compiled several e-learning, instructional design, and web design checklists to create the ultimate e-learning design and development checklist. This list is thorough and covers a broad range of items. Keep in mind not every item will apply to every project.


  • Training needs analysis is complete
  • Project constraints have been identified
  • Project plan is complete
  • Audience analysis is complete
  • Task analysis is complete
  • Various instructional methods are used
  • Objectives are clearly stated
  • Objectives include measurable criteria
  • Instructional content relates directly to learning objectives
  • Course objectives are met
  • Content is segmented in small chunks
  • Information is grouped logically
  • Major headings are clear and descriptive
  • One-third of the content is presentation
  • Two-thirds of the content is application and feedback
  • There is a summary for every piece of  content
  • Glossary is used to define key concepts  and terms


  • All assessments are relevant and complete
  • Assessments are challenging and realistic
  • Various quiz methods and types are used
  • Assessments are used throughout
  • Final assessment at the end
  • Pass and fail marks are appropriate
  • Feedback is provided for questions   answered
  • Feedback is adequate
  • Feedback presented within reasonable time
  • Post course assessment/evaluation is included
  • New content is not presented in assessments or in assessment feedback


  • Total design is uniform in appearance
  • Branding guidelines have been   followed
  • Use of logos is appropriate
  • Colors used are consistent and suitable
  • High visibility and contrast
  • Navigation is consistent throughout
  • There is a generous amount of white space
  • Graphics and icons are used to signify important concepts
  • Patterns and textured backgrounds do not interfere with legibility


  • Maximum of three fonts used throughout
  • Decorative fonts are only used for headings
  • Body text uses sans serif fonts
  • Appropriate line spacing is used
  • Paragraph length is appropriate
  • Font sizes are appropriate and easily readable
  • Font colors visible against background color
  • Styles and colors are consistent throughout
  • Emphasis (bold, italics) is used sparingly
  • Body text is left justified


  • E-learning has been tested in multiple browsers
  • E-learning has been tested on multiple devices
  • E-learning has been tested in the Learning Management System (LMS)
  • E-learning has been tested in various resolutions
  • All links and buttons have been tested
  • Accessibility features have been tested
  • Course has been tested with a screen reader
  • All audio has been tested
  • All videos have been tested

  • Project load time is reasonable
  • Shortcut keys have been defined
  • FAQ document has been created
  • Hardware requirements have been   identified
  • Software requirements have been   identified
  • Dimensions are optimized for target audience
  • Pages can be printed
  • Total time to complete has been timed
  • Contact information available for   questions or problems


  • Course can be navigated with keyboard
  • All ALT tags are used
  • Text is provided for non-text   elements
  • Videos have script or dialogue
  • Captions provided for audio
  • No flashes faster than 3 times per second
  • No colors used to convey information
  • Use text with appropriate contrast ratio
  • No fine motor skills required
  • No timed activities
  • No use of hover states to display important information


  • Main navigation is easily identifiable
  • All navigation is correct sequence
  • Hyperlinks are clearly identified
  • All hyperlinks work
  • Minimum use of external links
  • Backward links to navigate to previous   screens
  • Number of navigation icons is reasonable
  • Table of contents used to lay out the   content
  • E-learning has guided tour and/or map for   further explanations


  • Use of animation and videos is appropriate
  • Files are compressed/optimized
  • Videos and animations are consistent in quality, size and type
  • Videos are legally   owned


  • Narration is not exact text on the screen
  • Narration is clear and concise
  • Audio quality is high (not fuzzy or   scrambled)
  • Narrator sounds confident and knowledgeable
  • Audio synced to the content
  • Audio can be paused
  • Volume can be muted
  • Volume can be controlled by user


  • Language is clear and concise
  • Spelling has been checked
  • Grammar has been checked
  • Language is culturally appropriate
  • Humor is used with care
  • Tone is consistent and appropriate
  • Text is gender neutral
  • Content is not plagiarized
  • Date formats, measurements, are consistent
  • SME has verified text content
  • Facts, statistics, data are accurate
  • Facts, statistics, data sources are   identified
  • Correct capitalization applies to units and acronyms
  • Correct capitalization is used
  • Punctuation is appropriate
  • Complex sentences are avoided
  • Content has been localized for all required languages


  • Images are meaningful and have a purpose
  • Images use appropriate file type
  • Photos are consistent in quality and style
  • Images are legally owned
  • System screen captures are up-to-date
  • Screen captures do not contain personal information

Since you’ve made it all the way to the end of the checklist, maybe you should subscribe to my blog!


17 thoughts on “The Ultimate E-Learning Design and Development Checklist

  1. Matthieu Esteve says:

    Thank you so much Nicole for sharing this great work. I have gathered a few more items (those with “-” are particularly important IMO), but some of them may sound obvious?

    I would really like to translate your checklist in french and post it online (in your blog or mine) if you’re OK with that.

    Last thing: in your pdf file the titles seems to be erased.

    – Every unnecessary piece of content or media (= not related to objectives) have been removed
    * Graphics are used every time it’s needed to support meaning
    – Transitions are used quite often (in order to remind the learner where he is in the global learning path)
    * Explain the benefit of each part or topic (engagement and motivation of the learner)
    * Important content is presented several times differently (from a different perspective or using a different information channel)
    * When possible, make the learner experience the content rather than presenting it
    – Segment the difficulty into multiple steps (so that the learner will gain confidence)
    – Place the information in context

    – Every learning objective is assessed (at least one time during the course)
    – Describe precisely the behavior of the assessment & tests activities in the storyboard (reminders, number of tries, scoring, advices and feedbacks related to each phase of the activity, branching links …)
    – Instructions are clearly written (simple syntax and no ambiguity)
    – A question with only one assessing objective do not measure measure multiple things
    * MCQ : minimum 3 items, maximum 6 items
    – Every distractor is plausible

    * Complete testing grids are used by the testers
    – Testing have been done in the real learning environment (LMS, web site …)
    – Testing have been done with a learner’s account
    – The tracking have been verified
    – All combinations of assessments & tests have been tested

    – Sources of medias are mentioned if needed

    – Prefer conversational writing to formal writing

    * Narration is prefered to text for explanations of graphics
    – Prefer conversational narration to formal narration

    * The last review date of the course is indicated
    – The next review date of the course is known by the development team (to avoid obsolete content)
    * The version of the course is indicated (V1, V2.16 …)
    – The duration of the course is indicated
    * Metadatas of the final product (version, description, review date …) have been filled

    (really, you read it all? thanks 🙂 )

    • Nicole Legault says:

      Matthieu – I already started a version 2 of the checklist, and I added/re-organized some items and added a new section for “localization”. Can I also add all the items you have listed ? I will update the PDF list with all the changes at some point this wkd – maybe a good idea to wait until I have updated/sent you the new version of the checklist before you translate to French ? 🙂 its up to you but I really appreciate all your added comments and list items … Thank you !!!

      • Matthieu Esteve says:

        You’re welcome Nicole. Of course, you can take everything you want from my list and reorganize it. I’ll wait for the version 2 before translating, indeed a better idea.

        Have a great week-end !

  2. Sonal says:

    I am a rookie and this list and MATTHIEU’s inputs together make an awesome checklist. I have printed it and pinned it on my desk board. Thank you guys so much.
    PS- Where do I get the Version 2 of this list?

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