Seven quick tips and tricks for creating effective eLearning content.
A client recently asked us for a couple of quick tips and tricks for creating effective eLearning content, so we thought we’d share the love with the rest of our readers.
So here are seven quick tips and tricks for creating effective eLearning content:
Be Clear and Concise
We understand that by investing your time and money into an eLearning you want to ensure that you cover every single fact about your company, values, goals, and product spec’s into one course, but this may not be the best plan if your goal is knowledge retention for your audience. According to the forgetting curve “within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information you presented. Within 24 hours, they have forgotten an average of 70 percent of new information, and within a week, forgetting claims an average of 90 percent of it.” Try and focus on what employees need to do, or do differently, as a result of your training and be concise.
Keep calm, and Use Bulleted Lists
Using bullets can condense long paragraphs into a few short points or sentences. By breaking information down, it keeps the learner from experiencing cognitive overload; “a situation where the teacher gives too much information or too many tasks to learners simultaneously, resulting in the learner being unable to process this information.” It also saves precious training minutes for the company who may be paying the employee to take the training. A win-win situation for all parties involved.
Don’t “label,” but Use Sub-Headers
If a paragraph is too lengthy, but you feel all the information is needed, break it up with interesting sub- headers to keep the learner engaged. The average learner gives a piece of content less than ten seconds to decide if it’s worth their time before jumping to the next slide. So keep your subheadings strong, unique and engaging if you expect to keep the reader immersed in your content. Quick tip: You can also bold important information within a paragraph or bullet, this way if they’re skimming text they know what to put in the memory bank.
Creative is the Variable
Pictures are worth a thousand words. If you know you have a nice library full of stock photos, focus more on what those will say rather than over-explaining with text. It’s the job of the Creative Director, Animators and Graphic Designers to find the right imagery to match your text and they know what they’re doing. Create simple straight forward support text and lend your library to say the rest.
Repetition is not Cray Cray
Albert Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but with eLearning, we’ve learned it’s quite the opposite. Ever heard of ‘effective frequency’? A term used to describe the number of times a consumer must be exposed to a concept before getting the desired response. Some use the rule of seven, while other’s – Microsoft for example – say 20. Meaning, if you have a purpose for your eLearning, you better repeat it in some way – subliminally or directly.
Don’t be romantic for URL’s
We understand that in marketing there are certain strategies that require useful tricks like backlinks, but in eLearning, this isn’t the greatest idea. When you create a hyperlink within a course, it encourages the learner to leave your training and focus on something else, leading to incompletions, poor assessment marks, and lengthy completion times. If you really can’t live without link within your course. Include them at the very end after they’ve completed the assessment portion of your training.
7. Trick Assessment Questions are a Faux Pas…Sorry, not sorry.
We’ve talked about incentivization and carrot based thinking in our previous blog posts, and it’s as true now as it was then. Our goals as an eLearning provider is to provide an experience that engages the learner and encourages them to build an affinity with your brand. Tricking learners with overly complicated quiz questions doesn’t feed anyone’s mind. What it does produce is failed completions, lower course ratings, and higher attempt stats. When you create assessment questions make sure the subject matter was repeated more than once and simplify the copy. Make sure you are testing them on things you really want them to take home.