How to Write Great Online Learning

July 22, 2019

 

Are you struggling to write a good e-learning program? Not sure where to start? Could you use a few tips and tricks? Look no further! Continue reading for our top seven tips on how to write great online learning that’s engaging and that your employees will actually retain!

 

Tip #1: Know what you want to achieve before you start.

 

Before you begin to write out your online training it’s a good idea to create a road map. For example, what topics do you need to cover? Don’t just start with the main topic. If you do this, you might start creating your training, get halfway through, and then realize you’ve totally strayed off from the point. 

 

It’s a great idea to write down the topics (agenda) that you want to discuss before you start writing it out. When you create the courses online in Systems 24-7, create “sections” for each topic so you can stay on track and not get off course while you’re writing.

 

Tip #2: Write good learning outcomes.

 

Learning outcomes are what you intend the readers to learn after they have completed their training. A good learning outcome is SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely). This is probably the most important tip of them all. Here’s an example.

 

A poor learning outcome: Today you’ll learn about how to create online training.

 

A good learning outcome: By the end of today’s session, you will be able to implement and utilize best practices for adult learning to create engaging online training on Systems 24-7.

 

Remember, when you write your outcomes they have to be measurable! This means you have to be able to test them! To prove your outcome, add questions to your final evaluation to demonstrate that the reader has achieved the learning outcome or test them through other activities and quizzes.

 

Tip #3: Good structure!

 

Adult readers retain information best when it is structured! Best adult learning practices are to include the following in your online learning:

  • An introduction, which includes:

    • Introduction

    • Purpose Statement

    • Overview

    • List of the topics you will cover

    • Review of learning outcomes

    • Ground rules/expectations (if there are any)

    • Explanation of the type of assessments used (what is the passing score, what to do if they fail, etc.)

  • Review of each topic

    • If this course is quite lengthy, at the end of every topic, you may want to summarize key points learned and add a little quiz to test their knowledge!

  • Conclusion

    • Review the learning outcomes

    • Review key points that you have learned

  • Final Evaluation

    • Remember, it’s best practice to tie test questions to your outcomes!

 

Tip #4: Use real-life examples that the reader can related to. 

 

Ugh, there is nothing worse than reading something you can’t relate to. It immediately makes you disinterested and less likely to retain what you have learned. When you create your online training, make sure to provide lots of case studies, examples or scenarios that are actually applicable to your audience. This means it’s also important to know who your audience is. 

 

In the end, you need to find some way to bring the topic home to your readers, whether that’s making hockey references, figuring out how the topic ties to pop culture, or even just by inserting some humour! Can you find a meme to drive your point home? Can you find a comic strip that relates? In the end, you should try to avoid long and lengthy legislative quotes and jargon that just do not matter to the everyday reader.

 

Tip #5: Write for the everyday reader.

 

Part of knowing your audience is also knowing how to talk to them. The days of formal lingo are coming to an end. Modern readers appreciate when things are casual and easy. 

 

Avoid traditional text-book style writing. It is best to write your content like you’re having a conversation. Try as much as possible to avoid the use of words which would require the reader to have a dictionary open beside them. It’s also important to try and write at a grade six literacy level, especially if you have ESL learners. The easier to read, the better.

 

Here’s another tip. If it will sound awkward later when you voice it over (see Tip #7),

re-think how you’ve written your content.  

 

Tip #6: Variety is the spice of life. Use different learning tools, such as videos, quizzes, activities, etc.

 

Systems 24-7 has a variety of great online tools to compliment your online training. Use some of our activities to create engaging training, or use our tools to insert videos.

 

Your goal should be to stop the reader every 2-3 minutes with some level of interaction, whether that be through a quiz, activity, video, etc.

 

Tip #7: Voiceover and record your online training.

 

Not only does it help with accessibility, but it’s also a way to make your training more interesting. Be fun while you record your training. Pick someone in your organization who is easy to listen to, or hire someone to help! If your recordings sound like the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, you’re going to put your readers to sleep.

 

For accessibility, if what you record in your voiceover is different than what is on the slide to read, make sure you upload a script into the beginning of your course. If you have a reader with a hearing impairment, this will ensure that you can successfully accommodate.

 

Now it’s time to get started! We hope you have fun creating your online training! Dunk & Associates/Systems 24-7 has hosted a variety of webinars on creating online content. For more information and assistance, email us at info@systems24-7.com

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