E-learning is fast becoming the new normal for learning. For teams working remotely and at home, it is absolutely mission critical.
So what does it take to make a successful e-learning?
At DMA Partners we’ve worked on many e-learning projects for our clients over recent years. Over time we have been learning about what works best.
So, here are our 7 steps to e-learning heaven.
1. Define your audience
Who is the e-learning for? Company newcomers? Management? Multilingual teams in multiple locations? Develop a clear profile of your ‘target’ learner and never forget their needs as you develop your e-learning.
2. What is the learning objective?
What’s the point of your e-learning? Build a very clear idea of what you would like the ‘students’ to learn. Think of it this way; by the end of the program what will your students/audience have learnt? What knowledge/skills will they have that they did not have before?
Make sure that your target learner and the learning objective really connect. Does it make sense? Is your e-learning goal too ambitious or too modest? All e-learning students want to be challenged. Don’t teach them what they already know!
3. Research and decide on your platform
Once you have your clear idea, familiarise yourself with the different platforms used to build e-learnings. Some may not have the features that you want, so it is important to know exactly what you can and cannot do on each platform. To make it easy, start by building your first outline version in PowerPoint.
At DMA Partners, we like Adobe Captivate, but here is a link to an article that compares available platforms: https://www.techradar.com/best/best-elearning-authoring-tool
4. High quality content
This is where the buck stops. Your content must be high quality. This will define the success of your e-learning.
Start with a big sheet of paper and write down all your content ideas. And then CUT! Reduce it down to the essentials and work hard to make the content really memorable and interesting for your e-learners.
From sentence to sentence and from slide to slide there should be a natural flow that allows for a seamless user-experience.
Start with a content overview so users can see what the program is and where they’re going.
Break your content into short modules or chapters. Users like to feel a sense of progression. They are often e-learning in short sessions as they relax after work, during breaks or even on the train to work. Summarise key takeaways at the end of each module – your e-learning users will love you for it.
Once this is done you have the flow of your e-learning ready. Now get creative!...
6. Creative, interactive and engaging
What about these ideas to bring colour and life to your e-learning?
Quizzes are always popular. You can have these at the end of each module or at the end of the entire e-learning. Users can check their scores and pass rates as they go.
Video links to short, content-rich and entertaining content. It doesn’t have to be comedy but something light-hearted, if appropriate, can help to get a point across.
Graphics/diagrams/illustrations can sometimes be much more effective than text or audio voiceover. We process images 60,000 times faster than text, so pictures really can be “worth a thousand words.”
Gamification methods like progress reports and competition ladders. Comparing performance to other learners can really help enthusiastic participation. People may say that they are not competitive, - but they are!
Humans love beautiful things.
Design can make your e-learning look good but even more importantly, it makes the whole user-experience simple and easy. If design is not your strength then find a top-notch design team to help you.
It will be so worth it once you see your final e-learning program and you start to get positive feedback from your users.
And remember that some of your users may have some visual, hearing or other impairment. Make sure that you make your learning as accessible as possible for all. You can read more about accessibility here: https://elearningindustry.com/designing-accessible-elearning-6-tips
And good luck!