Before you can get an online learning program off the ground, it’s important to recognize that people engage and learn in many different ways. If you are new to the game, understanding the key learning styles is a must. There are three primary traditional learning styles to be aware of: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.
Here is a quick breakdown:
Auditory learners pick things up faster when they hear them spoken out loud. Videos, lectures, and audio presentations work best for these individuals.
Visual learners, as you’d expect, gravitate toward things they can see: diagrams, charts, and information organized into shapes and colors.
Kinesthetic learners (also known as experiential learners) need to DO in order to absorb a lesson. For example, you may ask them to take a quiz. Engagement tools and forums are also key for these learning styles.
In online learning, we encourage you to combine all of these approaches. In this way, you're able to cater to the needs of all the learners in your audience.
Whether you’re starting with a blank slate or have a vault of content that’s just waiting to be repurposed, here are some types of content that will appeal to a variety of learners:
The written word is powerful. So, when it comes to creating a quality learning experience and having it resonate with your audience, a lot depends on what you say and the way you say it. Luckily, many organizations already have this content at hand and those who don't can create it. Either way, as you lay out your text, think about formatting, breaking the content into logical chunks, and ways to incorporate visuals that could help learners stay engaged.
Slides: Powerpoint, Keynote
Dust off your old slides and presentations — they can often serve as powerful online learning material. Lay some audio commentary on top and you’re set!
Photography (stock or custom)
Great photography makes for a great course. Strong images not only establish a visual tone, but also work as powerful teaching tools. Depending on your resources, you may want to use stock photography. When possible, however, we encourage clients to create their own original photography. Investing in custom imagery that your learners won't see anywhere else will help your brand shine.
Video (if possible)
If your company doesn’t have a video budget or your own studio, fear not: Shooting, editing, and capturing video has become amazingly affordable. There are lots of ways to shoot high-quality video on a small budget. Wistia.com and many others offer some incredible tips, too.
Quizzes, tests, and surveys come hand-in-hand with online learning. Some courses offer accreditation and others are simply for fun. Either way, quizzes offer a great way to recap information and make sure that your customers fully grasp the concepts being presented.