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Creating excellent eLearning content may seem intimidating. You know what information you want your trainees to learn and understand to perform their best in their jobs. Learners benefit from clear, direct content in engaging formats. The following are a few pointers to take your content to the next level.
Any great learning journey begins with a well laid out path. As with any journey, you want to plan ahead as to where you are going and how you are going to get there. First, know what you want to teach. A course composed of several smaller lessons will begin with an overview of the topics and learning objectives for each lesson. Strong eLearning content has clearly-defined learning objectives that lay out what the learner is expected to understand by the end of the course. Learning paths, such as the ones available from Administrate, explain all expectations for both the trainer and trainee, including well-defined learning objectives and expectations for outcomes, assessment, time allotment, and a completion deadline.
One of the greatest indicators that eLearning content is excellent is the relevance to the learner. First-rate eLearning content is reflective of the level of understanding of the trainee. For example, a new hire to the company may require more information about the history and culture of the company, where an established employee may benefit from a brief update rather than a full overview. In general, the content of the course is relevant to the trainee and specific to what the trainee needs to know to be successful.
Great eLearning content takes into consideration that people learn in various ways. Blended learning combines a variety of learning formats that cater to all learning styles, including visual, audio, and kinesthetic. This allows for a variety of media from written text to video to hands-on practice.
No matter what format you choose for your learning materials, they should be of the best possible quality. Good eLearning content consists of written and audio-visual materials that have been edited. Video and audio have been edited to remove unnecessary information or distractions such as background noises or blurry images, written material has been edited for grammar and clarity, and hands-on practice has been tested to ensure it works well and mimics the actual tasks the trainees will be performing in their jobs.
Stories are a great learning tool because they provide engaging, real-life experiences that help the learner remember a particular point. The risk of storytelling is that it is easy to go off on a tangent and include too many details, which will ultimately cloud the point the story was trying to illuminate in the first place. Excessive details can distract from the learning experience and waste valuable time. Deliberately plan where you want to include these stories into your training and eliminate any parts of the story that don’t directly relate to the concept you want your trainee to understand.
Quality eLearning content is easy to use and has a clean and clear appearance free of unnecessary visual distractions. Both you and your trainees should be able to easily navigate through courses. Cluttered or unclear navigation systems are distracting to the learner. Using available tools such as a training management platform allows you to build a quality course without having to start from scratch because they utilize tested user interfaces.
Let’s face it; no one likes taking tests. However, you need a way to measure that your trainees are learning what you need them to learn, and not evaluating your trainees’ learning is a disservice to you and the trainee. How will you know that they learned what they needed to? How will they know? Luckily, there is more than one way to measure outcomes. As with mixed media for content, you can get creative and include a combination of ways to assess what your trainees are learning. While the basic quiz/exam method is standard and easier to develop and evaluate, you have other options such as trainees completing small work samples to demonstrate what they have learned. The drawback with work samples is that it takes longer to review on the end of the trainer than a simple multiple-choice test; however, it also allows you to see how trainees will incorporate what they’ve learned when they are performing on the job.
Taking your eLearning content from acceptable to excellent can be manageable with just a few adjustments to your process. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try some new methods or formats. Ultimately, remember to make sure that the content is accessible to your learners in that it is clear, to the point, easy to navigate, and available for learners of all types.
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