eLearning tutorials, both long-term materials stored for future training and more immediate classes, remain a challenge for many companies. A lack of talented content development and a misunderstanding of how employees interact with online sites hinder many tutorials from fulfilling their goals. Refuse to fall into the common E-learning traps by following these suggestions in making the most flexible, informative tutorials so that your employees actually learn the material instead of merely paying it lip service.
1. Always Start with Goals and Sub-Goals:
Every tutorial module should be divided into a primary goal and the sub-goals necessary to meet it. What do employees need to learn? What tasks must they accomplish in order to learn? This simple step is often skipped or misunderstood by companies hastily trying to modify older training into an online format or attempting to cobble together quick lessons. The result is a confusing bundle of information lacking in clarity. Create a list of the necessary skills the lesson will impart, then devote every section to meet those goals. This will go far in helping your tutorial to succeed.
2. Consistently Ask Learners for Input or Answers:
eLearning can often fall into the trap of creating in-depth content that simply doesn’t register with employees. The primary problem with self-guided tutorials is that they encourage skipping content to simply finish the lesson. One of the best solutions to this typical problem is consistently asking learners for their input or for answers. Lessons should challenge learners from the beginning to create their own scenarios or remember applicable events in their own lives. Scattering answers throughout the material instead of collecting them at the end of the sections will also help people pay attention consistently through the experience.
3. Avoid Autoplay and Summarization:
Autoplay flash presentations and audio files encourage employees to drift off rather than pay attention. Likewise, summaries, especially lengthy versions with lots of text, frequently cause readers to skip down to more interesting content. While it may be tempting to use videos and other autoplay multimedia features, always choose customer interactivity instead to help encourage true learning.
4. Use Real-Life Situations and Simulations Whenever Possible:
Case studies help employees understand how to apply facts and lessons in their daily lives. Real-life situations and historical examples of the lessons can aid students in absorbing materials. Likewise, for tutorials that teach how to use systems or technology, simulations can provide invaluable instruction, whether it be inputting data or answering a test phone call.
5. Try Focusing on Intrinsic Feedback:
Intrinsic feedback during tests and simulations attempts to mimic real-life scenarios by providing useful tallies. In other words, instead of questions answered correctly or points assigned, the user is giving a growing sales figure score, or a customer satisfaction rating. This links activity with important results, not just some abstraction related only to the lesson.
6. Make Long-Term Information User-Friendly:
Tutorials often end up in long-term databases where employees can continually access them. Make these databases as user-friendly as possible: Give all sections clear titles, organize by searchable subjects, and create workable sitemaps that help rather than hinder. Confusing databases that bury subject matter do no one any favors.