Online courses and workshops are a quick and efficient way to gain important professional skills. Students and corporate employees from all over the world have been turning to online content to learn new skills more efficiently from the comfort of their homes. To give an example, the online learning site Coursera had 21 million subscribers in 2016. Thanks to the tectonic shift in global content consumption trends partly brought about by the pandemic, it garnered over 92 million paying subscribers by 2021. These figures point towards an important fact – making online training content can turn out to be a profitable venture for businesses. Apart from the financial upside, businesses also get to train and educate their employees much more efficiently through online training.
The content in your online training programme needs to be both easily accessible and engaging for it to be successful. In this article, we discuss a few important tips that can help you design better content for your online training initiatives. These tips primarily focus on making the content:
- Easily accessible for a diverse range of audiences.
Tips for Creating Online Training Content
Here are a few actionable tips and strategies to help you create better, more engaging content for your online training courses.
Choose your subject matter carefully
The first step towards crafting an engaging online training programme is choosing a relevant subject area that genuinely interests your target audience and can add significant value to their lives. Focusing on a fringe subject with few takers is not likely to draw in the crowds.
It is also important to fine-tune your approach to the subject in a way that can genuinely interest and engage your audience. For example, if you’re making a tutorial or training course about Google Workspace, you should put special emphasis on the tools your office team is more likely to use. If you work at a content development firm, your colleagues might want to learn how to use Google Docs proficiently. Similarly, accountants and data analysts might be more interested in learning about Google Sheets.
A great way to learn about your target audience’s educational needs and preferences is by conducting surveys. If you’re thinking of making training courses for your business, ask your employees about the skills that can help make their jobs easier. Similarly, research for general internet audiences can be conducted by analysing data from sites like Coursera and Udemy and circulating open survey forms.
Lay Down the Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes
Course objectives and learning outcomes help you articulate the core ideas and expectations behind your course directly and concisely. Mentioning these aspects right at the beginning of a course can help your audiences avoid decision fatigue and take quicker, more well-informed decisions regarding your course. The central idea here is to provide a measurable way for your audience to find out what they stand to gain from your course.
A key difference between course objectives and learning outcomes is that the former describes what the instructors aim to do, whereas learning outcomes are a quantification of what a student can hope to take away from the course. Further, course objectives are usually broad vision statements like; “Students will gain a working understanding of Google Sheets.”. Learning outcomes are more concrete, quantifiable statements, like “Students will be able to use shortcuts proficiently while working on Google Sheets.” Together, both of these act as a brief summary of your course that allows students to fully understand if the course is well-suited for them. Allowing your audiences to make better, more well-informed decisions can help you ensure that your course reaches a wide segment of your target audience.
Select an Apt Course Structure
Once you’re done listing your course’s objectives and learning outcomes, you should start designing a basic structure for your course. Having a set structure allows you to compartmentalize your content into small modules that can be easily consumed and understood by students. It also allows them to get a brief overview of everything they will learn from your course and pace themselves accordingly.
Your course structure should contain a brief rundown of all the topics you will cover and the exercises and tests that will be a part of your course. This can be done by breaking down your topic of choice into smaller, easily digestible modules. For instance, you can break your Google Sheets course down into the following topics,
- Basic functionality
- Graphic representation
- Using Sheets for advanced math
- Real-world use of spreadsheets
What topics you include in your course structure completely depends on how detailed you want your course to be. Keep in mind the level of proficiency of your target audience. While beginner audiences might need help with the fundamentals of Google Sheets, advanced audiences might want to explore ways in which they can use the tool more efficiently.
Choose the right platform to host your course
Making your online training programme accessible to the right audiences is critical. While most people believe accessibility is limited to simply being able to access content, the standard definition of web accessibility is much more diverse. A piece of content can only truly be considered accessible if it is easy for target audiences to access, interact with, and understand to the best of their abilities. This includes implementing a UI design that makes it easier for learners to focus on what’s being taught. You can even make special provisions like text-to-speech APIs that can help differently-abled learners access your content easily.
Choosing the right online content platform is crucial to making your training programme more accessible. Personalised Learning Environments (PLEs) can prove to be extremely useful here. PLEs like Learnium help educators and content curators organise and deliver educational content in a highly accessible and outcome-driven way. These PLEs make your courses easily accessible through smaller mobile devices and allow you to collect and analyse student data for custom report generation.
Visit us to learn more about how Learnium PLEs can give your training programme the edge it needs.