eLearning content is critical to creating engaging and quality courses. Good eLearning content allows learners, customers, or employees to access key information when and where it is most convenient, reduces training costs, broadens audience reach, and can help maximize information recall.
eLearning content are the elements that actually structure eLearning courses and should be thought of as learning experiences. There are two modes of eLearning content: passive content, such as a recorded lecture, and interactive content, such as a quiz. An eLearning program can incorporate various types of content, including video, text, infographics, slides, games and quizzes.
There are some rules to follow when developing eLearning resources, but quick consumption and clarity in organization are at the top of the list. So eLearning content must be quick to consume, condensing all the information to dramatically reduce training time and encourage immediate application in the real world.
Here are some of the most common types of eLearning content, followed by tips on how to create them.
Making videos can take longer than other content, but many learners prefer the visual format over static images or text. If the popularity of platforms such as YouTube and TikTok weren't enough to prove the liking of videos, one survey found that 94 percent agreed that videos improve student performance.
So, if you have the ability and your content fits well with video, consider creating such content.
Here are some types of videos you can use as part of eLearning content development:
- Lecture videos.
You can use video as the only type of content, and the course could simply be a series of videos in which you lecture on a specific topic. For example, if you want to create a course on a video montage, you could record yourself and your computer screen as you work through each step of the process.
You can then upload the videos to a video-sharing platform such as a social media outlet or directly to your learning management system (LMS).
Stand-alone training videos work best for topics that are not very complex, and they usually have a relaxed, informal tone. Keep in mind that although video content is often more engaging than audio or text content, if videos are the only source of information, you risk students becoming bored.
- Hybrid lectures.
It is possible to incorporate video into only certain parts of an eLearning lesson. The positive aspect of this approach is that you can use videos for certain topics and mix in more interactive elements within the course. For example, short videos lasting less than a minute can be used to introduce a concept on which to create a class discussion. You must keep in mind that the videos can be content you create yourself, or in the public domain, otherwise you must contact the creator of the content for permission to use it.
- Recordings of webinars or live training.
Recorded webinars are a great way to create material that can be turned into an online course. Live training can be more interesting and maintain an energetic and engaging tone during the duration of the broadcast. You can host webinars on the various social media available or use a paid platform. The best option depends on the size of your audience and where they connect with you. You can also include a question-and-answer section in the live webinar that will likely help subsequent viewers as well. Recording webinars then allows you to create other eLearning resources (such as short videos) that can be reused elsewhere.
- "How-to" videos.
Videos on how to do something are one of the most common forms of eLearning content. From a cooking recipe to building a chicken coop, users access videos to learn the steps to create, build, or repair something.
To create an effective "how-to" video, you need to include all the steps viewers will need to follow to successfully complete the activity and break them down clearly. Visual demonstration is a powerful learning tool for many people.
- Interactive videos.
Interactive videos are training videos with additional interactive features. For example, after watching a video, students can be asked to take a quiz to check their understanding of the material. In addition, clickable links can be included at the end of the video to give students the opportunity to explore a topic further. Interactive videos thus have the dual benefit of engaging students and helping them gather more information. In fact, interactive elements keep students' interest longer and help them remember the material.
Quizzes help monitor students' comprehension and progress, but they also help students remember and understand the material better. Quizzes can also be a nice break between parts of the lecture and help break down the eLearning course into more "digestible" parts. Quizzes also provide an opportunity to apply the knowledge learned to real-world scenarios. If the questions are well developed, they can add more context to the material and deepen the learner's understanding. Learners then get immediate feedback on their understanding and understand where they need to improve.
If including a quiz seems too formal and resembles an exam, you can add fun elements or graphics to lighten the mood. Many LMS platforms include customizable quizzes to include in the course.
Podcasts are a great type of eLearning resource because they are quintessentially the most accessible type of content. You can listen to a podcast while doing other activities, without having to look at a screen, and wherever you are, without necessarily needing an Internet connection. Unlike texts or videos, learners can listen to podcasts while traveling or while walking or exercising.
Podcasts are ideal for eLearning content that does not require a demo or delivery of instruction, but on content such as motivation, stories, general concepts, dialogues and interviews. As an added benefit, podcasts can be converted into video by adding pictures with simple editing.
Depending on your budget and the needs you are dealing with, a variety of games can be used for eLearning. They range from simple gamification to custom developed and built eGaming programs.
Most LMS systems include some gaming elements that can be included in courses. For example, participants can earn tokens or badges and see how they rank in a leaderboard. This leads learners to want to participate more actively in classes in order to win the game and creates a healthy competition among learners. This is simple gamification that is easily accessible to eLearning creators. Then there are more "serious" eLearning games, characterized by complex gameplay and elaborate graphics, and they require specialized developers. These technologies can be very expensive and are prohibitively expensive for many, but it is possible to create simple games that can engage learners even inexpensively.
Slide presentations are easy to create and combine text and images in an easy-to-use format. You can create engaging eLearning slides by including interactive elements such as gifs, animations, video clips, and graphics.
In a slide presentation, be sure not to add too much text for each slide. Slides are a multimedia format and work best with a good mix and focused, concise text.
LMS platforms allow you to create slide presentations; otherwise, it is easy to create great slides using free or easily accessible tools such as Google Slides or PowerPoint.
Infographics are a visual presentation of statistics or critical facts. Infographics help students conceptualize the information you are sharing, keep them on the page longer, and highlight essential information. They have gained prominence due to the popularity of content sharing modes such as posts and stories on popular social media. In fact, it is good to know that infographics are liked and shared three times more on social media than any other content.
This type of eLearning content is not as common, but it is a very quick and easy way to share information, precise instructions on complex processes and other manuals with students or employees, providing a good reading experience.
In addition to being one of the easiest content to create, eBooks make it easy to turn a blog or other unused written material into a more complete solution. In addition, eBooks tend to be visually rich, using infographics and images to highlight and illustrate the text.
Although they are a passive form of eLearning, eBooks can be an effective way to give learners easy access to targeted content.