3 Ways to Elevate Online Courses from Good to Great
For individuals that don't have a lot of extra time or resources, creating high-value eLearning content on their own is easier said than done. Studies also show that today's learners face endless distractions on their browsers, smartphones and social networking platforms. This makes creating engaging content a critical component of success.
Here are three important elements to consider when developing your eLearning courses, which can help take your course from good to great and keep your learners tuned in.
Incorporate Videos and Illustrations for a Multimedia Mix
When crafting your course, resist the urge to rely on words alone. While some learners might understand and grasp concepts by reading, this isn't the case for everyone. For example, how can you train someone to cook the perfect omelette without showing a video, or step-by-step images of the process?
Great eLearning courses often incorporate a variety of media to teach learners what they need to know, such as:
- Live-action video
- Animated video
- Static or animated graphics
- Photos, illustrations and graphs
- Additional learning materials linked outside of the course
- Audio files
Using media to create learning materials doesn't require a big budget or years of experience like it used to. Don't shy away from using a smartphone and external microphone to produce your content. You can incorporate multimedia into your eLearning courses using what's on hand.
Not only will multimedia help you convey concepts in different ways, it'll help keep your learners engaged.
Include Interactive Course Elements to Improve Engagement
Interactivity is the glue that will bind your content together. To take your online course to the next level, consider incorporating interactive elements that promote learner engagement and critical thinking.
Branching is one example of this; it lets learners "choose their own adventure." Course building platforms that offer branching can empower learners to practice making decisions in a safe environment, by illustrating a real-life situation. For example, an employee might need to take forklift safety training. Instead of being told—or shown—how to safely operate a forklift, the learner must watch a video scenario and choose the safest actions to take.
Branching is one of many useful interactive elements that can take your course to the next level while also helping your learners quickly and confidently grasp concepts. Other elements, such as true or false questions, mix and match scenarios, and multiple-choice questions can be sprinkled throughout your content to evaluate your learner's progress.
Develop and Design Your Content to Meet Your Goals
Building a beautifully designed course filled with multimedia and interactive elements is a huge step toward creating an engaging experience. But the best online courses use these elements in an intentional way.
In other words, content is still "king." Great courses successfully lead learners through content to help them achieve an intended outcome. Try these tips to boost your course:
- Focus on just one concept per screen or module. It's important not to overwhelm your learners with too much information at once; after all, we humans learn best in small, bite-sized pieces. Depending on the complexity of the topic or your learners' preferences, you might also consider incorporating microlearning, or turning an hour-long course into six 10-minute courses.
- Sequence your course content in a way that makes sense to your learners based on what they know so far. If your learners know very little about a topic, it's best to open a course or module with basic, introductory information. Once they get the hang of the basics, you can allow concepts to build on one another as your content grows in complexity.
- Lastly, all content should be relevant to your course's end goal. Your learners will be better equipped to accomplish the intended outcome if your content is meaningful, applicable and has a reason for being there.
Create Exceptional Online Courses for Your Learners
By using all three elements, you'll be on your way toward creating great eLearning courses that set your learners up for success, no matter their learning preferences.
With the recent launch of our cloud-based course builder Absorb Create LI—which stands for LMS Integrated—it's possible to create engaging courses in a fast, flexible and user-friendly way. With drag-and-drop functionality and a robust library of customizable templates and themes, the course authoring software is so intuitive that you can start turning your expertise into interactive eLearning courses within minutes.
Because it's seamlessly integrated with Absorb LMS, your learners (and your L&D goals) will benefit from an intuitive, deeply holistic eLearning experience. Combined, Absorb LMS and Absorb Create LI can empower your organization to craft and instantly publish the perfect blend of ready-to-use and customized course content. In other words: welcome to the ultimate driver's seat.
Check out Absorb Create LI and see how easy it can be to craft exceptional online learning experiences.
Already have an LMS? Check our LMS agnostic course builder: Absorb Create.