eLearning Content: 24 Types to Include in Training
January 19, 2023
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Designing effective eLearning content can be challenging, especially when learning styles vary dramatically across the team.
The goal of any eLearning content is to keep employees interested, so they absorb and retain the information. The best format is the one that helps learners apply new knowledge to their role, regardless of their learning style.
Maybe you have an instructional designer but are looking for some new ideas. Or perhaps you’re unsure where to start. This article shares 24 eLearning content formats to diversify training content and increase learner satisfaction.
Types of eLearning content
After three days of learning something new, the average person only remembers 10 to 20 percent of what they learned through text or voice. That increases to 65 percent if they learn visually.
As well as improving memory retention, training videos help communicate complex information in an easily digestible format. Use this eLearning content format for instructional purposes or to share data about the latest industry trends.
You can use eLearning videos also within your asynchronous learning program. Users can watch videos on their own time, making training more accessible to all.
VR and AR simulations
Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are relatively new concepts to eLearning. Still, the popularity of using both for education is predicted to increase within the next five years.
Include VR in your eLearning content by providing access to specifically designed VR headsets. Allow learners to practice real-life skills such as conflict management, first aid, and fire safety without putting people in dangerous situations.
AR, on the other hand, creates interactive experiences in real-life environments. It combines 3D reality with real-world situations to allow learners to immerse themselves in a rich learning experience.
eBooks are digital books employees can read on various devices, from eReaders (like Kindles) to smartphones. Almost 16 million eBooks are sold every month.
The best part? eBooks are superb for self-directed learning. Ninety-four percent of online learners prefer to study at their own pace with eBooks.
Slide presentations are one of the most versatile content types to include in your eLearning program. They allow you to embed videos, text, images, or charts into presentations quickly and easily.
You can access a range of fully customizable presentation templates with WorkRamp. Changes in company policies or health and safety legislation, for example, can be easily updated for new hires by simply changing one or two relevant slides—saving time and effort.
People who feel strong positive emotions retain information better. Incorporate this in your training program by making learning fun and enjoyable through quizzes.
Simple ways to incorporate quizzes into your eLearning content include:
- Drag and drop words to their correct place
- Multiple-choice questions that allow employees to choose from a range of possible answers
- True or false quizzes, giving learners the option of confirming whether a statement is true or false
The best part? Quizzes can increase learner confidence. Boost employees’ self-belief by adding badges and trophies when they meet set criteria or pass a module—gamification strategies bound to increase learner participation.
Gamification has been proven to increase learner engagement. Allow employees to experience the result of their decisions with simulations. Alternatively, create competitive games to improve team-building skills.
Employees can compete individually or in teams to score points and win the game.
Games help remove the pressure to get answers right; this is particularly helpful for employees who are anxious about new experiences.
Help team members master communication skills by blending dialogue simulations into your eLearning content. Dialogue simulations use imitation techniques to practice hard and soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, and conflict resolution.
Use dialogue simulations to train employees to handle real-time challenges, such as dealing with a frustrated customer or delivering a sales pitch.
Simulations allow participants to learn from each other and work as a team to solve common issues in their roles.
Did you know that 30 percent of the general population are auditory learners? Cater to this learning style by incorporating podcasts in your eLearning content.
Podcasts suit learners who prefer to listen to information rather than read text from a presentation or handout. Instead, they’ll focus on listening or speaking to process and retain information.
Podcasts are widely available—many expert-led and based on up-to-date research. And best of all: employees can learn on the go.
Virtual classrooms allow learners and trainers to connect in real time. Learners can answer questions, give immediate feedback, and join group activities (such as icebreaker questions) without physically being in the office.
Virtual classrooms often form part of a blended learning program, which promotes inclusivity by giving the same high-quality learning opportunities—regardless of where employees live or work.
Monitoring a participant’s starting point, how they’re progressing, and retaining knowledge at the end of a course is essential to developing Learning content. Assessments also help you understand how learners have grasped the course material and applied that new knowledge in their role.
Include different options for assessment in your eLearning course with:
- An end-of-module quiz to solidify new learning
- Activities that encourage employees to practice new skills in the workplace and share the outcome with others
- Exercises that focus on peer-to-peer assessment–giving learners the ability to review and edit each other’s work
Case studies are real-life stories inspired by previous scenarios in the workplace. Use them to help employees relate to your eLearning course materials.
For example, a case study about how a team improved customer service rates can be used for group discussions. Extend the activity by asking learners open-ended questions about what they did well and how they can sustain improvements for homework.
Roleplay can be a fun and engaging way to upskill employees. Team members can act out different scenarios and explore solutions, such as:
- Interviewing candidates or offering employee support following a long-term absence for aspiring managers
- Dealing with a frustrated customer for customer service teams
- Delivering a presentation to a group of people to improve communication skills
However, for some employees, roleplay can be daunting. Putting anxious people in stressful situations isn’t going to help anyone learn. Check-in with team members before attempting roleplay activities to ensure everyone is comfortable.
Give employees a range of interactive situations to develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Include a realistic problem and encourage learners to work together to find a way forward.
Alternatively, with some preparation beforehand, ask employees to think about a problem they’ve experienced to share with other group members. The best scenarios provide opportunities for discussion, highlight best practices, and cement new learning.
Interviews are an eLearning content format designed to reinforce new skills. Create bite-sized modules that include interviews with subject matter experts.
Video interviews are great for visual learners. Mix up quizzes and assessments with video rather than text. Embed questions and decision-making opportunities throughout videos and keep learners engaged.
Studies show that when employees have access to technology-based personalized learning pathways, there’s a positive effect on the course’s outcome.
Help employees complete complex training programs by breaking eLearning content into easily digestible chunks. Then, match these to each learner’s job title, experience level, and learning style.
An infographic is a static collection of images or text. Combining each format helps learners take in complex information creatively rather than walls of text.
Help learners quickly refer to important information with diagrams, pictograms, and animated infographics. Draw attention to important information using different formatting, colors, and fonts. Summarize key statistics by embedding these infographics in presentations or end-of-course summaries.
Blog posts dive deep into specific topics. They’re usually text-based, but often include images, bulleted lists, and illustrations to make them more engaging to read.
Incorporate blog posts in your eLearning content by sharing details of what other employees have learned. Describe how they’ve applied their knowledge in the workplace to motivate other employees.
A blog is also the perfect place to signpost employees towards the latest research. Plus, having a range of blog posts at your disposal helps when learners ask questions you can only answer in a little detail, given time restraints.
GIFs are moving images that can be used to demonstrate instructional content. GIFs can be animated, similar to cartoons, or made from a longer video.
Let’s put that into practice and say you’re training customer service representatives. Storing and logging customer data is a large part of their role. So, create GIFs that walk through how to do this in your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Employees can reference the GIFs in the future rather than asking (or interrupting) a colleague.
Embed reports into your eLearning content about industry developments in market research. Perhaps you need to share an internal report about business priorities for new hires, for example. Users can access important information anytime by adding the report to your learning platform.
Reports also allow employees to understand their learning history and help identify gaps to refresh skills.
WorkRamp offers advanced reporting to measure team performance, analyze trends, and track training effectiveness. These reports can help you measure employee training ROI and adjust eLearning content as necessary for retention and completion.
A screen capture takes a snapshot of a computer screen. Use this eLearning format to explain how new software works or show real customer comments (such as a complaint email).
Annotate the screenshot to describe what learners should do if they encounter the same scenario.
Articles and essays give employees the level of detail they need to broaden their learning. Embed articles into your eLearning modules.
Direct users to read articles during virtual instructor-led training sessions or at their own pace.
Learners can reference articles in any written work they need to complete. And by adding these to your LMS, there’s always the option to refer back to important articles later.
Chatbots are computer-based programs that simulate real-life conversations using text or speech. They use machine learning to formulate a response from a human perspective.
Keep learners engaged and motivated as they progress through course content with chatbots
- Give prompts on what to do next
- Use words of encouragement, such as “well done” or “great job,” entertaining them while keeping them informed
- Analyze tests and give results quickly
Chatbots reduce the cost of human interaction, and learners get immediate answers to their questions without waiting for the trainer to respond.
Some people find animations more exciting than static images. So cater to these team members with cartoons—moving animations that bring learning to life.
Use cartoons to cover complex topics with easy-to-understand illustrations. Airplane safety briefings are a prime example.
Use the cartoon-style briefing to communicate important health, safety, or compliance details in your eLearning program.
Include audio or text to explain the topic regardless of what you’re illustrating. Allow learners to pause animations at any point.
Comprehensive reports or guides can help employees understand complex issues. Also known as whitepapers, these eLearning content formats dive into greater detail about a subject, linked to the latest trends, research, and developments.
Create an activity where learners have to research a topic using whitepapers. Then, extend learning at the end of each module by signposting users to useful supporting documents.
Tips for creating eLearning content
A vast array of different eLearning content is available to create the perfect course. But with so many to choose from, how do you produce eLearning content your employees want to participate in?
Feel confident your course will meet its intended learning outcomes with these tips.
- Set learning objectives. Understand the impact of your course by setting realistic learning outcomes. That could be, “On completion of this eLearning course, employees will be able to use our customer service software to log customer complaints.”
- Fill in any gaps in existing learning content. Previous evaluations may show that learners didn’t quite grasp the content as you’d hoped, highlighting a gap in their knowledge. Prioritize filling those gaps before creating new content.
- Use a subject matter expert (SME). SMEs who share their expertise save Fortune 500 companies $31.5 billion annually. This adds variation to the delivery style, and SMEs bring personal opinions and expertise based on genuine experiences.
- Take inventory of existing content. Avoid duplication of resources. Before creating your eLearning course, take a complete inventory of existing learning content and materials.
- Use content curation platforms. Instead of creating eLearning content from scratch, gather industry-leading content through curation platforms like Quuu. You can also use WorkRamp Content to access prebuilt resources from industry experts and leaders on compliance, professional development, sales skills, and more.
- Use a storyboard. A storyboard sets out the framework for the course you want to create. Describe your course’s visuals, text, and audio elements through a storyboard to keep production on track.
- Build intuitive learning paths. Intuitive learning paths automatically guide users to the next round of training and development modules. Use a learning platform to build these paths for each role.
- Create content for different types of learners. Online training shouldn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Use a range of eLearning content formats that meet the needs of various learning styles with multimodal learning.
- Incorporate active learning. Allow employees to engage in learning by thinking, discussing, exploring, and designing. Use problem-solving or practice skills activities to generate discussions.
- Keep it simple. Use easy-to-understand instructions that take learners from one step to another. Microlearning, for example, keeps things simple by teaching topics in bite-sized chunks, reinforcing new learning over some time with digestible information.
- Make sure the content is high quality. Test your course before it goes live with actual employees. Use their feedback to make necessary improvements. It’s also worth future-proofing your course by dedicating time to refreshing it.
- Speak to your target audience. Find out what your team wants to learn more about, which elements of previous learning have been successful or unsuccessful, and why. Use this to create eLearning content that engages your team.
Why use WorkRamp for eLearning content?
WorkRamp supports many eLearning content types with prebuilt material and fully customizable courses to suit your organization.
Simplify course creation with editable templates available in the WorkRamp Marketplace to customize and launch in your LMS. It’s perfect when you don’t need to build an eLearning training course from scratch.
With WorkRamp, you can build learning paths your team wants to engage with and create a culture of continuous learning.
Want to learn more about how WorkRamp can help you create effective eLearning courses for your teams? Contact us to schedule a free demo.
Complete the form for a custom demo.
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