How to Create a Great eLearning Content: Imagine that you have to learn a new skill to renew your professional certification or get a better job. You would like to learn it as soon as possible and possibly fit this project into your busy schedule.
However, soon after you’ve started learning, you’ve started to realize that it’s not working out for you. The main problem is that you find it a little bit hard to learn because the content is hard to understand;
for example, it’s too complicated or doesn’t have a lot of helpful information that you can apply in your work. Of course, you decide to stop because you don’t need irrelevant information or hard-to-understand content.
As a result, you lose an opportunity to renew your license or don’t a better job as soon as possible. Simply said, you wasted a lot of time and have to look for another course.
This happens much more often than you can think and there’s a lot of reasons for that, including different learning styles, a lack of experience in creating eLearning
content, a lack of research of the target learners’ needs from course creators that results in irrelevant content, and many more others.
Since most online training today is information-centric, content plays the deciding role in improving the outcomes of learners. So, when it comes to creating eLearning
content – for online courses or other purposes – providing learner-centered content in a meaningful context is what really matters.
In this article, we’re going to share four tips with you on how to create eLearning content that can make a difference for students and give them the knowledge they need to succeed.
Important Things to Consider before Content Creation
Content creation is a complex task that requires a strategy. Anyone with experience in this field will tell you that you need to do a lot of things like research and drafting before making something that can help someone learn new knowledge.
So, to make sure that your content is as best as it can possibly be, we’re going to learn how to do it right.
1. Reality Check Your Content Production Resources and Capabilities
Creating content takes time, resources, and skills, so if you don’t have what it takes to do it, chances are you’ll make the process much longer than it should be. So, make sure that you have a good understanding of what you can before actually doing it to avoid numerous revisions and changes.
For example, there are many content types that can be used in eLearning, including images, articles, infographics, videos, quizzes, interactive content, and many more others. Define the types that you – or your team – can create to ensure fast and consistent delivery of content.
2. Put Yourself in a Learner’s Shoes
Let’s go back to the example we used in the introduction really quickly. The learner found it hard to learn the new knowledge because it didn’t match their learning style plus the content was irrelevant to their needs.
This resulted in the need to change the course, therefore, abandonment, and the main problem here is that the developers of the course didn’t put themselves in the shoes of the learners.
What I mean by that is the developers failed to research the learning style of their target audience as well as the common/specific goals they expect to be able to reach after completing the course.
An effective eLearning content addresses diverse learning needs, so anyone creating it should keep this in mind. Moreover, to demonstrate how the new information will benefit the learner, a content creator should use it in highly specific content.
By doing so, the content creator will give the learners the reason to explore more.
How to Create a Great eLearning Content
1. Research the Needs of Target Learners
As I’ve repeatedly mentioned it above, content creators should make their work consumer-centered to ensure that they can benefit from it. There’s a simple yet effective process involved here, and following these steps will maximize the chance that your content will create a better experience for learners:
Determine the goals of your learners. What are the learners trying to achieve with the knowledge you’ll give them through content? Answering this question will help you to develop a good understanding of what they
expect to take away from your content and which skills they are looking to acquire. For example, if you’re creating a course on Lean manufacturing for production managers, the goals of the learners might include knowledge of waste reduction methods for specific manufacturing processes
Keep in mind that your learners are busy. Many learners today, especially adults looking to enroll in competency-based learning courses, have busy schedules (in fact, many Americans enrolled in online courses are professional learners or those
who need new skills to get a license or certification), so they would appreciate, for example, concise texts and short videos
Consider the current experience of your target learners. If you’re creating content for an online course, you need to keep in mind
the existing expertise of the target learners. For example, don’t overuse professional slang, abbreviations, and professional vocabulary that readers may not understand.
Clearly specify the target audience for the course so those who might have troubles understanding the material would make the best choice.
2. Assign Specific Learning Goals to Each Piece of Content
To ensure that your eLearning course delivers a smooth experience for learners, you need to keep them focused on their goals. It happens quite often that a learner starts to lose motivation and fail to
understand the value of a certain piece of content they’re learning from. As a result, it’s easy for them to forget why they’ve decided to learn and even start looking for other options elsewhere.
To make sure that your content can attract and retain as many people as possible, you can break the most important learning goal into mini-goals for each lesson (for a course) or assign a specific goal to each content piece.
Simply explained, here’s the essence of a goal for each content piece or a course that you should keep in mind a roadmap for designing them:
Learn [this], and you’ll be able to do [this and this].
So, the bottom line here is that each eLearning content piece you create should have a purpose so the learners clearly understand how they can benefit from it.
3. Encourage Learners to Try Using the New Knowledge
Implementing the newly learned knowledge is the best way to retain it, so you should try and encourage the target learners to do it. One good way to motivate them to try the new knowledge in action is to create an assignment,
for example, by the end of an article, an infographic, or a video. They will be much more willing to try to complete the assignment while the new information is still fresh in their mind.
4. Decide How to Deliver Content
Now that you know how to create learner-centered content, it’s time to decide how to deliver it in an engaging and effective way. This is where your knowledge of learning styles and preferences of your target
audience comes in because it can help you to decide how many pieces of certain content types you will create as well as how you will deliver them.
If you’re creating an eLearning course for visuals learners, it could have more videos, images, and infographics than textual pieces; moreover, the most important information should be presented in a visual format.
Most eLearning courses today are information-centric, which gives content paramount importance in helping learners achieve their goals. Don’t let issues like poor content to undermine the success of people who are looking to use your courses to
achieve goals that will improve their lives and careers. Feel free to follow the above tips to increase the chance that your content is relevant and helpful to your target learners.
Author’s bio. Daniela McVicker is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor at TopWritersReview. She graduated from Durham University and has an MA in psychological science. Her passion is traveling and finding ways to enrich students’ learning experience.