Content plays a crucial role in any online course. It is the nerve of your e-learning platform. Presenting content in an engaging manner calls for a great deal of creativity and planning.
If the content is too complex or unengaging, the learner will not be motivated to complete the course, leaving it midway. This deters the basic purpose of your course despite having invested a significant amount of time and money in creating it.
Thus, it becomes worthwhile to plan content to avoid cognitive overloads and deliver learning interestingly. This keeps your learners hooked on until they finish.
Identify the Content Type
Before you get started with ways to present the e-learning lessons. It is essential to identify types of content that shall be delivered in the e-learning course. The content must be categorised to identify if it’s a fact based one with lots of data or a concept or principles/ guidelines (like in compliance training).
Here are some ways to succinctly present the content:
1. Create Simple Paragraphs:
All online course carries some text at least. This can be neatly presented in small paragraphs instead of lengthy ones which intimidate learners. Use smaller sentences instead of longer ones. Long sentences tend to lose meaning and interest of the learners.
2. Identify keywords
While planning the content presentation it is worth emphasising that keywords and concepts must be highlighted in a certain manner. This can be done through phrases/ quotations to convey users the idea or concept easily. This strategy works well to create understanding and longer retention.
3. Use Stories and Fables
The importance of stories and fables can never be undermined. It is one of the most interesting ways of presenting the concept, engaging the learners to enhance understanding and retention. A good story can be the one which relates to learners to let them associate with self and absorb concept.
4. Add Video
Another great way of presenting the lesson online is through videos. The entire platform gets spruced significantly with the presence such elements in a course. The video should neither be lengthy nor used too often across the course. If you have long videos, use them as extra resources.
5. Replace Bullet with Images
“A picture says it all,” agreed and must be applied too, especially when presenting the content in an online course. When images replace the text it enhances the attention span of learners further and increases retention.
Ensure that the images are of high quality and relevant. Take time to add images that are related to your course contents.
‘Where words fail, music speaks.’ You can never go wrong with this element. Adding clips to the online presentation can liven up the entire lesson.
It is noteworthy that music clips improves engagement, receives an encouraging response and retained longer. So, ensure you count this in your instructional design strategy.
7. Be Humorous
A light humorous approach of delivering concepts always receives an encouraging response from the learners. This approach can well be adopted in learning courses as well. But ensure you don’t overdo it or offend anyone. An overdose of humor can leave the very motive of learning overshadowed or may hurt anyone. So practice caution while you deal with it.
8. Include Visual Elements
A visually rich course content always helps learners understand better than text. An instructional designer can choose from various options like tables, graphs, pie-charts and flowcharts. These can be chosen in tandem with the course content.
For instance, a data-rich content or factual information can be presented in tables, graphs and pie-charts while processes can be better explained through flowcharts. Choose visual elements discreetly to enhance the overall content presentation.
9. Slideshow presentations
If your course content carries principles and guidelines, then it is worthwhile to include slideshow presentations. Presentations work well in defining & communicating the essence. But to make the most out of it, make sure you don’t add too much content on each slide.
Confucius quoted aptly “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” This seems to work in e-learning course as well. A learning management system must be so designed that it aesthetically packs all elements to encourage participative learning rather than just passive overloading of concepts packaged in the text.
The online course must aim at involvement, usage of learners’ sensory system and importantly be relevant and simple to attain its prime objective – learning.