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How to Nail eLearning

Nail eLearning

We’ve been working with companies for years to develop eLearning materials, as well as branding and customising LMS platforms, and crafting communication campaigns to introduce and sustain participation in ‘always on’ learning.

We’ve built up a wealth of knowledge so we’re sharing our top tips with you to ensure your eLearning success.  The same principles apply whether you’re embarking on developing eLearning for the first time… or if already have eLearning established in your organisation but are finding employees’ adoption and interest in self learning is waning.

First, is the eLearning mandatory or optional. Compulsory eLearning requires far less of a sales pitch and the modules don’t need to have all the bells and whistles to keep the audience as engaged.  They simply must complete the training to be accredited or compliant. 

Now we’re not saying that mandatory eLearning should be boring, far from it.  What you’re establishing at the start is the scope of effort you need to apply to ensure the target audience complete the training and absorb the content.  The goal of eLearning can’t be lost with any offering you provide – participants must come out the other side with the necessary knowledge.  

Self-learning modules, on the other hand, will need more thought from a ‘sales’ point of view.  Your communication campaign must be well thought out to entice your audience to voluntarily sign up for the eLearning.  That’s the first hurdle.  The second is keeping them engaged through the training leaving them motivated to adopt continuous learning.  This is where the bells and whistles are hugely beneficial.

Second, decide on a budget as this will determine the types of assets you can create and how you will host the content.  Most Learning Management System costs are based on number of user licenses. 

Now that you’ve determined the scope and budget, review your content – is it fairly light and easy to grasp, or is there a lot information for participants to go through? Will they need take away guidelines, process and summary documents to keep post the training.

eLearning must be thought of as a 360 degree exercise.  It’s not only about getting the user to complete the training, they must be upskilled and have the necessary tools post the module to put it into practice.

Successful eLearning is typically:

  • Bite size – short, to the point modules.

  • Visual as well as visually appealing – good design ranks right up there with learning success.

  • Includes narration / audio – far more can be said in a few minutes compared to reading the same material.

  • Interactive – participants are far more likely to keep engaged when they need to click buttons, comment, or complete a survey or quiz to test their knowledge throughout the training.

  • Mix it up – don’t have only videos, or only interactive PDFs.  A mixture of formats keeps interest.

Next decide how you will host your eLearning materials based on your budget, the density and complexity of your content, and the needs of your target audience.  There are many options for hosting ranging from free to quite expensive depending on the functionality you’re looking for:

  • Google Drive (15 GB free)

  • A website – a simple list of the modules on a web page or you can develop a custom system that includes a user login in, tracking and progress reporting.

  • An App – either an existing third party like Smart Up or develop your own (huge cost).  Apps offer more functionality than websites e.g. earning badges, push notifications and gamification to name a few.

  • A Learning Management System (LMS) – these range from simple functionality such as offered by Degreed with learning pathways or Talent LMS which provides polls, quizzes and surveys to be created within the platform. 

With your hosting and functionality determined, and taking the learning golden rules into account, determine if you need a single video if you content is short and ‘light’, or multiple assets to make up your eLearning training. If you have dense content, probably a 100+ slide deck, you can break it down as follows:

  • An introduction video no longer than 2 minutes that explains the context and need for the module… think Simon Sinek’s Why. 

  • An interactive PDF with a navigation.  Roll over button effects add a bit of a bling to PDFs.  Remember to include visuals, and don’t be afraid to include humour and fun. 

  • Include a quiz to test the participants understanding.

  • A short PowerPoint with narration and animation.  Narration can be done inhouse or with a professional voice artist recorded in studio.

  • Include another quiz, poll or survey component. 

  • An audio file that provides context for the last segment of the training.

  • An interactive video with buttons to navigate through it.  If your content allows for different possible outcomes, branching functionality within interactive videos is fantastic allowing the participant to select options to create different outcomes. 

  • Lastly, if required, provide a resources section for downloadable documents.  Remember to keep the branding on their take-aways consistent with the training visuals.

With training materials and hosting in place, don’t forget to create an impactful communications campaign.  How you position the need for the eLearning, the design and visual appeal of your emailer (or other forms of communicating) is vital to get buy-in and create excitement.  You can create great content, but if your audience don’t think it’s relevant, exciting or mandatory, you’re not going to achieve the desired result.

We hope this article has been helpful and added value to your eLearning journey.  If you need help with branding, creation of assets, developing a website for hosting or finding the right LMS for you, we’re here to help! 

Get in touch, email sandy@bluejuicedesign.com