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4621 N Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
United States



NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

Not-so-rapid development


Not-so-rapid development

Joelle Urbanczyk

In the land of custom e-learning, rapid development tools get a bad rap. That’s because rapid  development tools generally have more limitations compared to custom developed courseware. However, there are some advantages to using out-of-the-box software.
The biggest advantage to using rapid development is that companies can purchase software for internal use, giving them the option of making future updates and changes in-house.

Now, any person or company can purchase rapid development software and create an e-learning course and tool. But will that course or tool be engaging and effective? It doesn’t matter if you build a course using open-source tools, or use a rapid development tool. What matters is the foundation of that development. That’s where we come in.

What makes rapid development courses unique at NogginLabs is what doesn’t come out of the box. Whether it is a custom product or the result of a rapid development tool, every course we build utilizes the four pillars: instructional design, writing, design, and programming.

This is where the not-so-rapid rapid development comes into play. Even when we build a course using a rapid development product, you still get a custom deliverable. From concept to inception, every phase of the rapid development project lifecycle gets the same attention and level of detail as a custom build.


The collaboration begins with our first pillar, instructional design. Our instructional designers and content producers study the content and objectives of the project to craft an engaging and effective experience for learners. It’s in the instructional design where an ordinary course can become extraordinary. We’re always trying to push the envelope and break through the barriers of rapid development limitations.


Once the instructional design element of a project is determined, our writers dive deep into the source material to create the course content. This is where the second pillar, creative writing, comes into play. Our writers work closely with clients, the instructional designers, and the rapid development team to put the concept to paper.


A quality course wouldn’t be possible without the third pillar, design. Courses need to be intellectually and visually engaging. This is where our design team comes in. They make the ordinary extraordinary.


Last but certainly not least is our fourth pillar, programming. Our programmers allow us to break the barriers of limitations within the realm of rapid development. They work tirelessly with the rapid development team to turn the vision into reality.

Whether you choose to use a rapid development tool or build a custom course from the ground up, it all comes down to this: care. Care about the experience your learners will have. Care about engaging them and changing their behavior. Care about getting them excited about e-learning. Your authoring tools are simply tools--you decide what to do with them.