is quickly becoming the standard way for companies to train new employees and teach new skills. But not all e-learning courses are created equal. E-learning, like traditional classroom learning, can at times fail to engage learners and instead leave employees feeling as though they've wasted their time. To build online courses that perform well among new hires and teach employees information and skills that they can apply to everyday work situations, keep these tips in mind.
Dazzle them with design
Nothing holds an e-learning course back more than a bland, uninspiring design. It doesn't matter how compelling the content is if your course can’t draw users in. Capture readers’ attention from start to finish with a course design that keeps learners engaged. Supplement your text with visuals that reinforce the ideas you are trying to get across. Choose pleasing colors such as blue or green. Be sure that with whatever colors you select, you keep your text black so it remains readable.
Stay focused and on point
Many companies require employees to take e-learning courses when new standards and procedures are adopted. But because of time constraints, and workers’ desire to get back to their jobs, many employees may not opt to go above and beyond the required course. Before you begin developing an online course, come up with a clear objective
. Do you want new hires to understand the culture of your company? Are you teaching a new process? Are you updating employees on new safety protocol? Once you know the objective, try not to stray too far from your main point.
If you put yourself in the shoes of an employee who may be taking part in a training course, it’s easy to see that to maximize effectiveness and retention, courses should be more than just page after page of text. As simple as it may sound, give learners the opportunity to click – and not just the “next page” button at the end of each slide. There are also many ways to mix up the way content is delivered. For example, make use of videos
, games, and quizzes. Force users to make decisions, and give them immediate feedback. Including interactive components of your training will reinforce core concepts, as well as maintain focus for employees.
Absorbing information is only part of the learning experience. Remember to give users the opportunity to take that information and apply it to real-world examples. After a section of the course is completed, have users participate in an online exercise so they can put what they've learned into practice. Breaking up the course with an interactive quiz or puzzle is also a good way to keep learners engaged.
Ask for feedback
It's hard to develop a perfect e-learning course the first time. Continue to improve your interactive online training sessions by asking users directly for feedback. Consider including a survey or questionnaire at the end of your course. Constructive criticism from your audience will point out flaws that prevent your course from providing the best learning experience possible.