12 Tips and Tricks to Spice Up Your Bland eLearning Courses
How do you bring the spark back into a boring eLearning course and inject some personality into them? Well, it's all about approaching your course with a little creativity and extra work. Don't worry! In this post you'll learn how to avoid the Boring eLearning Syndrome.
Here are 12 tips and tricks to spice up your eLearning courses the next time your creativity needs a jolt:
Unleash the Power of Templates:
Great authoring tools offer a variety of templates that you can use to create more engaging and meaningful courses. Templates are created to add professionally designed interactivity to your courses without requiring any programming or graphic design skills. Learn more about templates here.
Feature a Main Character:
You can take your courses up a notch with a realistic touch. By using some type of character (avatars,learning agents, real people or even cartoons) you are giving your courses personality and boosting learners’ engagement. You can include them in your scenarios, or while explaining and assessing the learning.
Put Quality Over Quantity:
Be concise in your screens. If you take too long to get to your point, you’ll lose interest rapidly. Chunking content is a great technique to create successful eLearning. You can look for patterns and chunk related ideas, limit screens to one simple idea at a time or just focus on the “must-learn” content. Including visual content is also a great idea to give a breath to the learner. Cut out the unnecessary data. Follow this basic rule: if it doesn't help meet the initial learning objectives, take it out of the course!
Podcasts are a fantastic opportunity to share audio content with your learners. One of the most important educational features offered by podcasting is learning through listening. For many people, listening may be more attractive and less tedious than reading full-text screens.
Try using video:
Words get boring quickly. The perfect way to spice up your boring audience is to include a video. They provide greater engagement than just text or images because they combine audio, video and text. Additionally, it’s an effective way to tell stories, share information and educate. Consider using this resource to share tips, insights or even demonstrate how a product is used.
Games definitely make the course more enjoyable to use for the learner. Games represent much more than just points and levels... it's about presenting a challenge, and using interactivity and feedback to achieve specific goals. Just remember, don't focus on entertainment! For further information watch this presentation from Karl Kapp.
Identify your audience and stick with them:
Identify your opportunities, find your audience, and provide them with engaging content. Your eLearning strategy does not have to appeal everyone single person in the company, just those that will actually take the course. The key in all of this is to put yourself in the position of the new learner. And by doing this, you’ll make a course that is relevant and successful.
Present a Story:
Crafting a story which can capture the imagination of the learner is a great technique to spice up your courses. An element of storytelling is the creation and resolution of suspense as a way to draw in the learner. Think about how you content you already have in your company, into an easy-to-remember stories.
One way to breathe life into your courses is activate learners. Using an active voice rather than the passive voice it’s a good start, but not enough. You can go further by including activities that will make them think and analyze and by inspiring students to explore and get them to “pull” or discover the information they need along the course.
Offer format variety:
When text fails to get your point across, use other formats such as charts and diagrams, videos, system simulations, infographics, powerful images, etc.
Include links to relevant information:
Hyperlinks are a great (and simple) way to add interactivity to your courses; mainly because they allow learners to click on your screen and jump directly to any additional content they need (a different part of the course, a web page or a document). Hint: Only link to specific pages that are really necessary for the learner to read.
Be practical first… then be cool:
Creating eLearning courses is all about transferring information quickly and efficiently. Confusing navigation buttons, difficult to read text, and oversaturated screen need to be avoided. If you use creative and sophisticated button just be sure your audience knows what they will be able to do.
These tips are just for starters. There are plenty of other ways to spice-up your eLearning courses. With a little effort, you can make the learning experience a far more enjoyable one for learners.