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6 time-saving tricks to create interactive e-learning
Oct 12, 2021
30 minutes
Jordan Javadi
Onboarding Specialist
Welcome

Jordan 0:04 — Alright. So, I’m just going to go ahead and slowly get started here. Welcome everyone to today’s session. My name is Tessa, you may have noticed I got a little bit of a haircut. No — my name is Jordan; I’m filling in for Tessa today I’m also an onboarding specialist at Easygenerator.  

 

In today’s session, I’m going to be sharing some tips to allow you all to share your knowledge quicker than ever. And just to clarify, before I do get started here, this is not an Easygenerator demo, where I’m going to be going over the basic use of the tool. If you are interested in a session like that, then you can send me an email at jordan@easygenerator.com and we can arrange that for you.  

 

Today’s going to be more about sharing some tips on how you can save some time when you are creating your courses. There is a Q&A function in the webinar as well. So, if you do have any questions, please use the Q&A function, and my colleague, Anna, will be monitoring that. You can use the chat, of course, to chat with the other participants, as well. And again, this session is being recorded so this will be sent out by the end of the week, I believe. 

 

Let’s just go ahead and get into it. So, this session is going to be about 30 minutes. And these tips on the screen are the ones I’m going to be going over. They’re going to be basically focusing on how you can share your knowledge quickly without sacrificing quality. And that’s really the keyword here, “ without sacrificing quality.” It’s a few keywords. And so, I’ll explain a few different ways that you can maintain the quality of your courses, even when you’re creating them more quickly.  

 

At the end, if you guys have any other tips that you want to share with us, I’ll be collecting those. So, feel free to start thinking about some tips that you might want to share for other members or other participants of this session. I see that there are over 100 people have you here. So, I’m sure that some of you all have some really great tips to share.  

1. Before you start

And with that being said, let’s go ahead and get started with the first tip. And that is before you start. So, what I mean by that is before you start creating really the biggest time saving tip is to ask yourself two questions. The first question being, is a training really necessary for this learning need? Not all of your learning needs are going to require training. But a lot of times we get drawn into the idea that we need to create a training for absolutely everything. But oftentimes, the lack of time that we have naturally determines the priorities that we have. And that also will determine you know, what we actually create a training for, and what we simply communicate with our colleagues or our learners.  

 

But it’s important that you proactively Think about this. So, you should think you know, is this learning need one that I can satisfy by just having a quick call or communication? If so, then it might not really be worth the time investment of creating the training at all. So that’s an important question that you might want to ask yourself before you start actually creating the training.  

 

And if you didn’t answer yes to the first question, so the training is really necessary for that learning need, then you can ask yourself the second question. And that would be, does this training already exist? So, you might want to ask around to other knowledge shares in your organization, or within your department before you even really think about starting from scratch. Depending on how big your company is, you may have a group chat with other Easygenerator users, maybe you have a Slack channel or a Teams group or something like that. You can also ask in another type of community platform. You can send people direct messages, maybe send out an email or something. You don’t want to be doing unnecessary work. So, if someone has already created something that you can use, there’s not too much of a point in recreating it when you can just leverage what’s already been created. Of course, you can tweak it to best meet your learning needs. 

 

But assuming that the training is necessary, and let’s imagine that, you know, this time you are a bit unlucky and that training doesn’t yet exist, we can move on to the next tips that will help you actually create those trainings yourself, but also in less time.

2. Consider using resources

But before we even think about creating an e-learning course or start creating an e-learning course, there’s another question you might want to ask yourself as well. Lots of questions today. And that is, what is it that you should actually be creating? Should you be creating an e-learning course? Or should you create a resource? So, you might not be familiar with the difference here. So just a bit of an explanation. An e-learning course is more of a full training that covers a more broad topic. And usually, it has a steeper learning curve as well, that’s typically going to be done in the more formal phase of learning.  

 

So, if you have an onboarding training, or an induction course for a new for a new employee, there’s lots and lots of new things that they’ll need to learn. So that would be a good opportunity to use an e-learning course.  

 

Resources, on the other hand, are shorter. They’re bite sized learning support. Basically, one-pagers that are typically used on the job and not necessarily in the training phase. So, an example would be something like an instruction on how to create a sales opportunity and a CRM, or a checklist that would ensure that the employees are executing all of the proper steps to have a successful sales qualification call. And it’s really important that you decide for yourself what the learning need can be best satisfied with. So, do you need an e-learning course? Or could you use one or a few different resources? 

  

Jordan 6:27 — And there are a few rules of thumb are tips of you know, when you might use a resource and when you might use an e-learning. If you’re going to be teaching, you know, new knowledge and a brand-new skill, an e-learning course is probably going to be better. Uless it’s really basic knowledge or really simple skill.  

 

So, for example, if you’re setting up your home office, that’s a pretty basic skill that you could use a resource for. If you’re going to be explaining really specific processes or tasks, resources are best, because they’re going to give you the really concise instructions, maybe even some lists that you can use when you’re actually doing that task. You can just pull it up and follow along while you’re actually in the moment doing that task.  

 

If you’re going to support changes, or issues, or applications, resources are also best. So, in these situations, the learner already has a lot of prior knowledge. So, you’re really just teaching them some changes to their workflow or some changes to how things are done. The resources are a great way to just provide a bit of support to help them remember the new ways of doing things or the slight changes you might make to those processes.  

 

And so often e-learnings are really great during the formal training phase, whereas resources are a bit more useful or better for on-the-job support, because you can quickly pull up a resource and follow along when you need it. And so hopefully this should help you decide when you might want to create a e-learning or a resource. And also, an important thing to note here is that resources are typically much faster to create than a course as well.  

 

So here we have an example of using a CRM tool — a Customer Relationship Management tool. And e-learning would be really perfect for a course to explain, you know exactly how the tool works, what the functionalities do an overview of everything. But on the other hand, a resource – so maybe a how-to guide, for example – would be a great way to support employees with a very specific process that they might need help with. So, to make sure they’re actually using it properly, so they can follow along with it as they go through.  

 

So actually, it’s something that they would use while they’re actually, you know, closing that sales opportunity to ensure that they’re doing it well and doing it the right way. If you haven’t created resources before in Easygenerator, you actually will click the resources button surprise at the top of the page. And then you’ll be able to choose if you want to create a how-to guide or a checklist. And then on the slide here you see an example of a checklist being created. So, to create a checklist, for example, you simply add your title, you explain you know when you might actually use this checklist, and then you add the checklist items.  

 

And you can just like with creating a course you can add all of the content types that you’re used to adding an Easygenerator. So that means you can add documents or videos or images, whatever you need there that will help the learner. And I can promise you that this is going to be the fastest way for you to share your knowledge and expertise.  

 

So, you can build a checklist in in literally a few minutes and then send it out immediately afterwards to your learners. So, using resources, when possible will save you a lot of time compared to creating a full e-learning course.  

3. Start with a template

And the next tip, so now you’ve decided you know what it is you’re actually going to create. You know, a course, a how-to guide, a checklist. Regardless of what you’re going to create, we also have templates that you can use to help get started creating. And if you find the topic of your training, we have, we might have a template for that topic. And then all you need to do is actually edit the template. So, there’s placeholder text that you can then just change, you can add content, you can move things around, add your questions, and we’re always adding more templates. So, the list of templates that we have is constantly getting bigger and growing. And you can always add – if you have any specific requests for templates – you can maybe throw it in the chat, and we will keep an eye on that. So, you can see on the slide we have templates for the courses for the checklists, and for the how-to guide.  

 

Jordan 11:08 — And to give you an idea of how it works, at least for the course, we have a little animation here that should play in just a second. So, you would just click “new course” and then. You would select that you want to start from a template, you then can navigate through the different templates that we have to offer they’re categorized. On the top left, you’ll see the different categories. And from here, find one that you like.  

 

Once you select it will create the template course and then you’ll be able to go into any elements of the course that’s created and edit the content as you need to. So, you can completely change or manipulate it however you want. So, it can save you a lot of time because it already has content there. There are already questions there. And you can just manipulate it to best suit your particular learning need.  

 

And you can also use your own courses to create templates. So, within Easygenerator, you can duplicate an e-learning and then you can use that duplicate as a template for the next one. So, that’s another really easy way that you can save yourself some time. You could even use a colleague’s course as a template. All you need to do in that case is have your colleague add you as a co-author for that course. And then you can duplicate the course, and then use that course, the duplicate, as a template and the exact same way.  

 

So, when I mentioned in the very first tip does the course already exists, this would be a way that you can reuse either the full course by duplicating it, or just reusing some bits and pieces of it for a course that you may be working on. And the duplicated course, you simply hover over any of the courses that you’ll see in your course overview. And then there is a duplicate button on the right side that will appear when whenever you’re hovering. 

4. Add your content last

The next tip is about, sort of, the order that you create your courses. If you’re creating an e-learning course – so not a resource, but a course – oftentimes, the main reason that it takes so long to create is because you choose to add a lot of content. And the more content that you add, the more time you’re going to be spending on doing it, on creating. And the reason that you typically add a lot of content is because it really seems to be the most intuitive way to create a course. You just start adding your content in Easygenerator.  

 

However, if you just start adding content immediately, it can really lead to a very long course. Because you don’t really have a lot of direction. And you may not know when to stop adding content. So then you can end up with a course that’s super long. So, it’s going to take your learner’s a long time to complete. But it’s also going to take you a long time to create. And just like you may not have a lot of time to spare in for creating courses and creating learnings, your learners probably also don’t have a ton of extra time to be taking these courses. And so, a long course is really not in anybody’s best interest.  

 

So, to create courses faster, and to keep them more focused and to keep the courses shorter as well, we recommend that you create the course in the order that I’m about to go into. So first, you’ll identify the learning objectives. That’s really the goal of the training. Then second, you’re actually going to create questions that assess that objective. So, to determine if the learners really understand that content and understand if they’ve met or accomplished the goal that you’ve identified at the beginning.  

 

And then only lastly, are you actually going to add the content. And you’re also only going to add the content that learners will need to answer the questions that you’ve created. And by doing this, it creates a course that’s shorter. It creates a course that’s more focused. And it also saves both you and the learners time. So, it will save you time and creating it and save the learners time and actually going through and completing it. This doesn’t always sound very intuitive at first, but trust me, it really does work. So, if you’re having problems, deciding when to where to start when creating your courses, I’d recommend going in this order.

5. Curate content

Jordan 15:39 — And when you actually do reach the step of adding the content to your course – so you’ve identified your learning objectives, you’ve created some questions, and now you’re actually ready to start adding your content – you don’t need to add or you don’t need to create all of the contents yourself. Remember, that’s in pretty much every case, the information that we’re trying to share, or that we’d be creating already exists out there. So, maybe it’s a colleague of yours has created it, maybe it exists, as a YouTube video or some blog posts that someone else has already written. You don’t really need to reinvent the wheel here.  

 

So, I really suggest that you curate content and by curating, you’re really looking for that information that is already out there. As an expert, you know where to find the valuable resources that are reliable, that are accurate. Then you’ll be you’ll collect all of those resources, bring them together in one place – so in your e-learning – and then you just contextualize them. So, what you’re doing when you’re curating is really just searching and sorting through existing content.  

 

You’re presenting that content in a meaningful way, according to the goal of your learning. And you’re really just creating the space and the context for a topic and then pointing people towards the right direction. So, I like to use an example of a museum. So, museums do not create new content, right? They curate content, they present content – paintings, for example – in a particular way to tell a story or to invoke a particular emotion. And you’re doing a similar thing when you’re curating content for e-learning, except your goal is to share knowledge.  

 

So, for example, in the case you see on the slide, I want to teach my fellow educators on the blended learning approach. I’m not going to write all of that down in my own words. That would be reinventing the wheel. There’s already plenty of high-quality resources out there that have already been created. So, I can just look for those high-quality resources. And as an expert in that topic, I’m the one that knows where I can find them. And then I’ll be able to present them in a way or frame them in a way that’s relevant for my particular learning goal.  

 

And you can of course, build upon this as well. So, you can add your own annotations, examples, experiences, maybe provide some background context, things like that. And of course, you can also add interactivity by adding questions, videos, and other types of content on top of that.  

 

And you can also curate your own content, or your colleagues’ content. So, once you’ve created a course, you can start moving or using that content from one course and putting it in some of your other courses. And you can do that by using the “existing sections” option. So, when you’re creating a new course, you have the “existing sections” option there on the left. And whenever you drag that into your course, you’ll be able to search through all of the sections from any of the other courses that you’ve created. And then you’ll be able to just simply reuse that section. And just keep in mind that if you do this, since the sections are being reused, they are linked. So, if you update that section in one course, it also updates the section in another course.  

 

And that also will save you time because if you’re going to reuse the same section in five courses, for example, you don’t have to edit it five times. You would just edit it once, and it updates across all of the courses. So, this will save you even more time as you create more and more courses. 

6. Collaborate with colleagues

Jordan 19:26 — And another time saving tip is to collaborate with colleagues. So, you can really easily ask someone to join you and help you create your courses and Easygenerator. So, let’s imagine you’ve already created section one in your course because you have those relevant resources, you have the background, the background knowledge, you have the time. You might want someone else to actually help you create section two. Maybe they’re the expert on that particular topic or maybe they just have some additional time and resources that they can put forward.  

 

You can just add them as a co-author and ask them to help you with that second section. And you can ask them to help you and communicate with them using the “comments” function. So, after you’ve added them as a co-author, which to do that, you would just click that co-authors button there at the top, you can then start communicating using the “comments” functionality. And here’s a little bit of a preview of what that “comments,” functionality looks like.  

 

You can communicate back and forth with all the people that you’re working with. So here, you’ll notice on the right side of every element, and every page of your course, there are these “comment” buttons. And from there, you can leave your comments. You can also reply to comments. And maybe really importantly, you can also tag people in comments or mention them. So, you can do that by just using the @ (at) symbol and then you know starting to type their name. And with this, you’re able to notify specific people when you mentioned them in a comment.  

 

So, this is a nice way to keep all of your communication about Easygenerator within the tool. So, you don’t have to go back and forth between you know, emails trying to figure out what needs to be done on your course. 

PowerPoint importer

The last time-saving tip here is the PowerPoint importer. So, this is a brand-new feature. At this point, I think it’s about a month old or so. And basically,this will allow you to import a PowerPoint that will be converted into an e-learning. And I’ll play a little animation in just a moment that will show this in action. But basically, to do this, you simply click the “upload PowerPoint” or “upload presentation” button. This will then upload your PowerPoint. And all of your slides will come over into Easygenerator as individual content pages, which you’ll see here in just a moment. And all of the text and images from your presentation will come over in a completely editable format.  

 

So, once it’s in Easygenerator, you’re completely free to edit or rearrange the content as you need to. You can, of course, add learning objectives, you can add interactive elements such as questions or using features like the Hotspots. This is a really fast way to get all of the text and images from your PowerPoint into Easygenerator, really with one click.  

 

Everything will be completely editable; all of the text will retain its formatting. So, if you have text that is bold, or if you have text that is italicized, or a link, or a table, that will stay over as well.  

 

But it’s important to remember that simply importing your PowerPoint here does not automatically make an effective e-learning. So, you will still need to add some of the elements that I’ve mentioned already, such as questions, because the questions help with the learning process, adding learning objectives, maybe including some videos, and whatever other elements that you think may increase the impact of your particular course that you’re creating. 

Quick summary

Jordan 23:18 — And so those are all of the tips today. So, just to give a bit of a recap here. Before we even starting to create, you really should ask yourself, is this training necessary? And does this training already exist if it is necessary? But then you should also think about, you know, can I do this with a resource? Or do I really need to create an e-learning course? Resources do take significantly less time to create then a full course. If you do decide on a course or resource, you can also think about, you know, should I start from a template, does one of my colleagues have a template I can use, do I have an existing course that I can pull some content from, etc.  

 

And, again, if you’re a bit stuck on the order, of course creation, try creating the courses in the order: learning objective, questions, content. Because that can help you create a course that’s shorter, saving you time, and that also creates courses that are more focused and save the learners times as well. And curating content is also a big one. Much of the content that you may want to use in your course might already exist out there. So curating it will save you the effort of having to recreate something that might already exist.  

 

And of course, working together and collaborating can save you a lot of time because you’re basically getting other people to help with the workload there. And finally, if you haven’t yet already tried the PowerPoint importer, that really is a bit of a one-click solution to get the text and images from the PowerPoint into Easygenerator. And once it’s in the tool, you may just need to rearrange it a bit, add some elements to make it a more effective e-learning. 

Live Q&A

So my colleague Anna is monitoring the Q&A to answer any last questions that may be coming through. But I see a couple that I’ll just quickly answer live. But while I’m doing that, if any of you have any time-saving tips of your own that may have helped you in creating some courses, please feel free to share those in the chat. And we will compile some of them to send out in an email. We’ll be sending this recording out by email by the end of the week as well. But let me just take a look at some of these open questions.  

 

So, I see that David asked about the PowerPoint presenter notes. The presenter notes do not come over as part of the import process. With the PowerPoint, those are typically presented by somebody. However, with an e-learning that is something that each learner will be taking on their own time. So, the presenter notes – they’re not necessary for an e-learning. Because no one is presenting that content to the learner. They’ll need to be reading everything and going through the e-learning themselves.  

 

There is a question about animations. So, animations will not be imported. So, if you do have animations in your PowerPoint that are used to basically build the slide up, so every time you click “next,” more content is added to that slide. The version that will come over will be sort of the “final version” of that PowerPoint slide. So, the slide with all of the contents on it at once.  

 

So those are the last open questions that I see there. But yeah, thank you to everyone that attended the session, the recording will be sent out by the end of the week. We also have a panel discussion with four e-learning experts coming up on Wednesday, 20th October, and they’ll be discussing the topic of the future of corporate training. You can sign up for that at the Easygenerator webinars page. And there also be a link to register for that session in the email that I’ll send out that contains the recording of this. But otherwise, I like to thank you all again for attending the session and have a great day, everyone.