Top tips for e-learning

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1. Question, question, question…

What do you want your students to learn? Why is the chosen delivery method appropriate? When do students need to learn it by? How will you know that they’ve learnt it? Before jumping in and just ‘doing’ think first about the appropriateness of the medium you’ve selected when answering these questions.

2. Preparation is key

It’s essential to give yourself time to prepare the content for your e-learning. Write the framework, does it make logical sense, can anything be cut, and does anything need adding? Take the time at this stage to ensure that you are communicating the essentials and achieving your objectives.

3. Brevity

Be concise. Be accurate. Be factual. Big blocks of text look impenetrable. Try to put yourself in the learner’s shoes; they aren’t subject matter experts and the content may make sense to you but it is new to them. When it comes to eLearning, less is more so don’t include vast amounts of information or detail; put this in another format and use the eLearning to deliver the tools to use or apply that information.

4. Use active verbs…

Active sentences enable you to bring your work to life and they also help you set clear and measurable objectives. For instance, a hard learning objective to measure would be: ‘At the end of this module you will understand about widgets’. What do they understand? It’s not very SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound). By using active verbs we can paint a clearer, measurable picture of the outcomes required, for example: ‘By the end of this module you will be able to differentiate between two types of widgets’.

5. Read out loud

Yes, people may think you’re bonkers but you’d be surprised at the difference this can make between a good and bad piece of content. When writing we sometimes omit key words or add in superfluous content and, because we know the subject, our brains ‘fill in the blanks’ when reading it back. However, when we read the content out loud you really get a feel and understanding of how learners will engage with the content. If you are recording audio, then this is essential; you may find that you are out of breath trying to saying aloud sentences which are fine for reading, but too long for speaking.