When writing an eLearning module, it can be difficult to know where to begin, especially if you don’t have a background in education. But the good news is you don’t have to be a teacher or adult educator to write an effective training module – you just need a little helpful guidance from the experts. Here are some helpful tips and tricks:
Ask yourself why
Before you even start, ask yourself, “why is this needed?” Is it to protect your workers? Is it to provide information on their employment standards? Is it to help their well-being? Define the WHY and explain it in the beginning of your introduction to the module. If you want your employees to absorb what you’re saying, they must understand why it’s important.
Define Your Objectives
What are the objectives of your module – meaning, what skills do you want employees to walk away with? Your objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely). Each objective should be tested at least once within your module, either in a section quiz, activity or final test.
Outline Your Topics
Now that you know your objectives, outline the topics you need to cover. This will keep you on track when writing your module. In addition, these topics should become the sections in your eLearning module. Each topic should be no more than 10 minutes. If the number of topics means the course will be longer than 30 minutes in length, we strongly suggest dividing your content into separate modules to make learning digestible.
Write in a Conversational Style
Online modules should be conversational. Remember, this is an online course, not an in-class course so you won’t have a facilitator breaking down all your bullet points. Tell your story on the slide (or put it in the voiceover, just make sure you have an accessible script if the slide content is different from the voiceover). In addition, use examples and scenarios to allow the learner to put themselves in the shoes of another person. If the learner can see how it applies to them, they will be more likely to absorb the content.
Believe it or not, if you want an adult to learn, you must reinforce the concept! Take your objectives and reinforce them a few times. You can reinforce concepts through an activity, in a test question, repeat on another slide or bring it home in a summary page after each section. The more times the point is read/heard, the more likely it will be remembered.
Use Meaningful Images
Avoid stereotypes in the module content and ensure the imagery you select is diverse and inclusive; different races, body types, abilities, etc. If you’re not sure what to use or select, consider working with a graphic designer to illustrate your materials, take pictures of your own staff, or get employees involved by drawing pictures for the content. There are many fun ways to make your imagery meaningful. Remember, imagery isn’t to explain the message, it’s to reinforce your message.
Engage the User
Use activities every 5-10 slides to interrupt the learner and test their knowledge. This will help with reinforcement, and again, we recommend tying these to an objective. Remember to use different activity styles and feel free to use open-ended questions to ask the learner what they already think or know about a specific topic.
After you’re done, remember to collect feedback. Ask a few employees to go through the module; was it engaging? Did they understand the points you made? Did they have any tips to make it better? Take your feedback and use it to continuously improve your online module!