E-learning can significantly reduce training time for employees, typically requiring 40-60% less employee time than learning in a classroom setting. As employees can access e-learning material anytime and anywhere they want, e-learning enables much faster delivery, allowing an employee to set their own pace and training whenever they have spare time.
Creating e-learning courses from existing materials can be a challenge though, and it can be tough to make the content engaging enough to keep the audiences’ attention and for them to retain the information when the course is completed..
According to Learn Upon, 71% of respondents found engagement to be the biggest challenge to delivering an effective e-learning course. So with that in mind, here 9 tips for ensuring engagement with your e-learning materials.
1. Set meaningful objectives for the learner
Your e-learning course should have a specific set of objectives that are relevant to the learner. Understanding the value the learner will place on your course and setting a series of objectives throughout the course relevant to that value will keep the learner interested. Modules within the course should be short and relevant to those objectives. Making it clear how each module relates back to the course objectives will keep the learner interested.
2. Use stories
Courses that talk about theory without talking about how that theory is relevant and applies to the learner are difficult to retain. Use stories that the learner can relate to in order to increase the chances that the learner will retain the information and apply it to the job.
3. Use video content
Research has confirmed that video improves learning results so utilising high-quality video as a key pillar of your e-learning content is a great way to increase engagement
4. Keep content short & simple
Keeping the length of video content short stops learners becoming bored and “switching off” from your course. Breaking content down into easily digestible videos of 3 to 6 minutes length should prevent the user becoming disengaged. This has an additional benefit of making it easier to track course progress and offer progress milestones and feedback.
5. Good visual design
Too often the visual design of course material is overlooked in favour of getting “the message” right. While the message of the material is of course paramount, poor visual design can prevent a learner from engaging fully with the content. Using text colours that don’t contrast enough with the background, or long text blocks will reduce the leaners attention. Similarly, poor diagrams, charts and images will be enough to reduce the attention the learner will pay.
6. Reward progress with gamification
Gamification is a great way to increase the motivation of a learner, increasing engagement with the course by motivating them to gain achievements through the completion of course objectives.
7. Make it interactive
Using quizzes or other interactive devices between modules of content is a good way to keep a learner involved. Quizzes in particular can be useful for increasing retention of the course content as they can be used as a gateway preventing progress onto the next module until a grasp of the current module can be demonstrated. Combine this with gamification and your audience can be motivated to compete using leaderboards and similar mechanisms.
8. Go regional
In a global business environment it can be easy to forget that not everyone within the business is the same. Catering to learners from around the world means making sure that your content is relevant to whichever region they are based in. For example, using stories relevant to how a company operates in one area of the world will not resonate with people who are not based in that same territory.
9. Translate your course content
It is hard to engage with an audience if you aren’t talking their language. Translating your e-learning content so that is is in the local language for the learner will make your course much more effective and more likely to be retained. Fully localising it so that is relevant to the audience will ensure that your course is easy to understand, as well as being more likely to be actually useful after the course has been completed. This approach doesn’t just mean translating a single set of course materials, but may also involve creating course modules that are unique to some territories.
Whatever the content of your course, and how you choose to deliver it, translation is an important step to making sure it can be understood by the audience.