There is a compelling reason to change the traditional publishing paradigm when it comes to content delivery. Because of the contemporary learning and training environment, there needs to be a reevaluation of the way content will be presented and delivered to potential students, employees, and trainees. The status of lockdowns, institutional and organizational closings, and an increased reliance on an at-home academic and occupational atmosphere, continues to remain uncertain with no definite plan in place for a return to any semblance of normalcy. That means there is an imminent need for solutions that will allow all types of content delivery in an easily accessible and low-cost manner. Organizations with an ability to offer such services to educational, vocational, professional, and non-profit entities are in high demand.
Utilizing the growing eLearning environment for interactive subject matter production and distribution is now essential. Thus, there are a number of aspects of this process that need to be understood and evaluated when creating and delivering content in an eLearning environment. The most important elements include: How your content will be arranged and presented; How your content will be constructed; How user-friendly will your content be, and lastly; How will the audience connect and interact with the content. Let us go through some of the essential components regarding 3W1H, or Who, What, Why, and How.
Who Is Your Audience? The most important thing to consider with regard to content production, development, and delivery is the audience that will be on the receiving end. No longer can we rely on the same paradigm that was the printed book, manual, curriculum, and exam. Employees, students, and trainees are now changing not just due to the needs of newer generations, but also because of the new challenges brought on by COVID-19.
When thinking about your those who will be engaging content in an eLearning environment, there are a number of considerations. For example, it’s important to know how the people learn. Some are visual learners (video and animation), others prefer traditional modes of learning (reading text), while some like the challenge of interacting with the material.
Another concern must be centered on what it is you want your “learner” to know: Whether lessons on an academic subject, learning for a vocation, instruction, and preparation for a profession, or mandatory employee training in an organization, the nature of the content and the context of the learning environment must be taken into account.
How Will Content Be Arranged and Presented? Because the instructor or trainer is no longer in the same location as the learner, trainee, or employee, it is important to understand how information will be arranged and presented. One of the main concerns of all those who teach is how the learners will receive and comprehend the information presented. The most effective educators and trainers all know that making material easy to access and understand, as well as making it relatable, are hallmarks of comprehension and retention.
An online experience that is user friendly is essential when designing an eLearning environment. Introducing content in an organized and logical manner will keep people engaged and reduce frustration. As mentioned earlier, because people learn differently it is imperative that there is a focus on how content is presented. Thus, the arrangement of material should encompass audio-visual, traditional text, and interactivity all in a well-organized and intuitive presentation.
How Will Content be Constructed? Understanding what elements to incorporate in a well-constructed content design is key to creating an effective eLearning environment. This means utilizing all the tools that make learning and training online a unique and rewarding experience. Just like an in-person learning environment, keeping students interested and participating is essential. Types of content as well as the evaluation process are two crucial areas that should be considered when constructing content for online consumption.
The first area of content construction are audio-visual elements and text that must be used together to engage learners with the content being presented. Use a wide range of multimedia tools for maximum learners’ engagement. Videos are one way of conveying information that will help in subject matter comprehension. Videos are ideal for lectures, training scenarios, and company announcements. These videos can be simple spoken lessons or “how-to: instructions, or they can contain musical elements as well as special effects to deliver important information.
Besides videos, animations are an excellent way to introduce and communicate content. Utilize animation to customize the eLearning course and offer more interactive content. Animations are versatile in that they can contain many types of information including infographics, pictures, text, diagrams, and relevant scenarios. Graphics and photographs can also be incorporated into the online learning experience to further involve the learner.
In addition to the audio-visual content itself, making any number of these elements interactive – allowing the learner to engage the content – make the learning experience more immersive and easily comprehended.
The second area of content construction is evaluation which includes things like exams, quizzes, essays, and exercises to complete. Because some content will be required for credentials, degrees, or training certificates, it is important to develop ways of assessing whether the learner comprehends the content and to see if they are able to use it in the context for which it was intended.
There is much to consider when migrating from an in-person or paper environment to one that is either a hybrid of traditional and eLearning or one that is completely online. It is important to have a company with the experience, cost-effectiveness, and customer service elements that will make this process as painless as possible. S4Carlisle will work closely with educational institutions, vocational schools, and both private and public organizations to make sure your content is designed and presented in an engaging and effective manner.
Our next blog post will focus on using animation for eLearning content and all of the possibilities it offers to convey subjects in a unique and engaging manner.