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8 tips to create courses and engage your learners
Nov 10, 2020
45 minutes
Tessa Razafindrakoto
Senior Onboarding Specialist
Welcome

Tessa 0:02 — So, welcome all of you who have joined. I see that quite a few of you have already hopped on, perhaps some others will come in a little bit later, that’s totally fine. They can just jump into the session when they are free, perhaps some of you are joining from another meeting. But this session is also being recorded. So, if you have any colleagues who were planning on joining and they weren’t able to make it, no worries, it is being recorded, and it will be sent over to everyone who was invited, or who showed interest. So, you will also be receiving this recording afterwards. So, no worries for that.  

 

Just a quick introduction from my side before we start: I’m Tessa, I’ve spoken already to quite a lot of you, but perhaps not to everyone here. So, if you don’t know me yet, I’m Tessa, Onboarding Specialist at Easygenerator. It’s my goal to ensure that all users like yourselves are able to use Easygenerator, but it’s also my goal to ensure that I’m sharing some tips and best practices with you. So that is the purpose of today’s session. I’m going to go through some best practices in course creation to allow you to create courses, not only quicker but also have higher quality and with higher learning impact. So those are the tips I’m going to go through today.  

 

If you have any questions throughout, you are muted, but you are able to use the chat and the Q&A option. Feel free to use either one, I’m keeping an eye on them. And if it’s relevant at the time that you’ve asked it, I will answer it immediately on the spot. And if not, I will keep it for the end, where you can also ask questions during the Q&A part of the session. So, if you have any questions, don’t keep them in your head — you might forget them. Make use of the chat or the Q&A section in Zoom and I will keep an eye on it.

 

 

Tip #1: Learning objectives

Top tips for creating higher quality courses your learners will remember

 

Alright, perfect. So, I think I’m ready to go ahead and get started. So, what I’m going to do is I’m just going to talk you through what you are going to see today. These are the top tips I’m going to share, and I will try to keep this as practical as possible so that when you leave this session, you have some new tools and tricks to use when you’re creating your e-learning. Now these top tips that I’m going to go through are actually based on a mini experiment that we held within Easygenerator on some existing users in the tool — how they were creating courses. We were also having a look at the effect that that had on courses, and also the effect that it had on learners. And based on that we’ve come up with these top tips that are going to help you with your course creation as well.  

 

Now, if you have any more practical questions, please feel free to also shoot them into the chat. I’m not going too much into the practicality of you know how to add content, how to add questions. But if you have those questions, feel free to add them and we’ll make sure to answer those as well.  

 

Now, before I go through the top tips, I would like to share with you an example of what a training or a quiz can look like within Easygenerator. And using this example. I also want to show you how easy it is. I also want to show you how short your resources can be. So, I’ve just added a quick example of a Microsoft Teams quiz.  

 

So, this really is a quiz. It’s not so much an e-learning. But I’m just going to show you essentially what it looks like. So, you should now be able to see this quiz that I’ve opened. This quiz only has three questions. So, it’s very short. And the idea here is that the learner has to answer these three questions. So here, they’re just going to go ahead and drag and drop some items where they think they are relevant. Here the second question is multiple choice questions. So, the learner can answer which ones they think are relevant. And the third one is actually a survey-based question that’s just there for you as an author to gather information from your learner. So, “has this training excited you about Teams?” Absolutely. And I can now submit my answers. So, this is a quiz that was created within Easygenerator. And I’m just using this as a form of an example to show you, how short a resource can be, but it can still be very effective.  

 

Tessa 4:37 — So in this example, the idea here is that a session can take place prior — so perhaps a face-to-face, a live session on Teams or on Zoom — or something like that. Then you can administer a quiz like the one I just showed you, followed by, perhaps, the second training session. So, you’re switching up the formats. Now, what are the benefits of doing this? You have a positive, engaging experience for the learner. It’s also a successful way for learners to check their own understanding. And it’s also a successful way for you to check their understanding. So, in the context of this example, in session two, you as a trainer — or a knowledge share — you have the insights that you need from the pop quiz to start off your second session. So that’s just a quick example to show you how short your resources can be, but that thing can still be very useful. And I will refer back to this example as we go along, so try to keep it in mind as well. 
 

1. Use learning objectives

So now, I’m just going to go through the first tip here, which has a little bit less to do with quizzes and knowledge checks, like the one I just showed you. This has more to do with e-learnings and trainings. So, if you’re creating an e-learning or an online training for your learners, you always have a goal. Otherwise, there isn’t really a reason to create the training, right? And so, you have a greater purpose for your training. And in order for your learners to reach that goal, they’re going to have to reach several sub goals. And in e-learning, those are what we call learning objectives. So, in order for your learner to reach the overall goal, they’re going to have to reach several sub goals. So, for example, in a different context, let’s say my goal is to run a marathon. Well, I can definitely not do that yet, I’m going to have the need to reach some sub goals. Perhaps I’m going to have to buy the correct shoes, eat balanced meals three times a day, perhaps I’m also going to have to run five kilometers per day. And only by reaching those sub goals, do I get closer to reaching the overall goal of that training. 

 

And it’s the same concept in e-learning. Those learning objectives are the sub goals for the overall goal. Now within the e-learning environment and Easygenerator, specifically, those learning objectives have two main functions. The first is that they’re there to inform the learners — to let the learners know what that section is about. And, also, to motivate them to complete it. That is the main function. But there’s also a second function, and that is the one for you. When you create a course, and you add a learning objective, you are also helping yourself, because you’re giving yourself some direction and it’s helping you determine what kind of content you can add, and how you can measure success, given that learning objective.  

 

Now, within Easygenerator, you can add your learning objective just below the section title. So, this is an example of a leadership course, or leadership training. And the first section has to do with roles and responsibilities of a leader. And just below that, you can add the learning objective. Now, if you need some support with creating a learning objective — it’s not always very easy to do, it can be quite challenging sometimes — I would recommend using the learning objective maker, which can help you with the process. And when you do that, all you have to do is, first of all, identify your learner or your audience, choose the level of knowledge and select a verb, describe the task that they have to do, and then describe the condition as detailed as possible. And by using this tool, you’re certain that you have all the important elements in there. And when your learner starts the course even on the very first page, as you can see here, this is the first thing that they will see. And that is why it’s so related to motivation. 

 

As soon as they click on the section “roles and responsibilities” to start that section, then they will also see the learning objective. And the benefit there is that when your learner reads that learning objective, they have it in mind while they’re reading the content, or watching the content, or interacting with the content. So that means that they have the learning objective in mind when they’re reading it, so they know what to get out of it. 

 

Tessa 9:15 — Now here if you are creating an e-learning, and it’s time to add the learning objective, and you’re not able to identify a learning objective, I would say that that is a good moment to challenge yourself and to think about why you’re trying to add the section in the first place. Because if you’re not able to add a learning objective to that section, then it’s possible — and I would say likely — that that section doesn’t actually contribute to the goal. So, adding that learning objective is also a little push for you to really think about why you’re adding each section. 

 

Now within the learning objective maker I just demonstrated. The second step is very important. If you remember correctly, the first step asks you “who is the learner,” so that has to do with your audience, and the second step asks you to identify a verb. And in this step, you’re going to have to choose the level of knowledge that your learner has to obtain. That starts from the level of remembering, all the way down to the level of creating. And these levels — if you’re familiar with the two, I’m sure you already figured it out — so, if you’re just reading these levels, you probably have figured it out. They are ordered on complexity. So, the first one, remembering, is the most basic. Creating is the most complex.  

 

So, to provide some, some context here, I’d like to use an example. If you were to create, let’s say, a training about France — just an example — and you would select the level of “remembering” — the most basic level — and you would select a verb that is associated with that level, then maybe your learning objective would be that your learners need to be able to identify the capital of France. That is something that they need to do by memory, it’s quite basic. One step more complex — if you select “understanding” and a verb within that level, then your learning objective may be that your learner’s need to be able to explain why Paris is the capital of France. So now there are already some theoretical, maybe legal underpinnings that need to be understood. Now, once the more complex, if you select “applying,” maybe your learning objectives will be that your learners need to be able to illustrate how Paris was chosen as the capital of France.  

 

So, at this stage, your learners are already starting to produce something. And as you go along — I’m not going to give an example for each — but for analyzing, evaluating and creating, it will become more complex. It will also become a little bit more difficult or challenging. And what I really want to highlight here is the difference between the first two levels and the last four. The first two levels, remembering and understanding, are only about the transfer of knowledge. So, in that respect, they are focused on awareness, on knowing, and not so much about doing. The last four, however, are focused on doing, so those are the actionable ones.  

 

From a business value perspective, typically, awareness is definitely important. I would say it’s also essential, but it’s not always enough. So, for example, if you’re creating an onboarding course for new a employee — someone that you’ve just recently hired — it’s typically not enough for them to just know the core values that are part of your organization. You also want them to be able to apply those core values in their day-to-day job. So that is the difference between the first two and the last four levels. The last four are actionable — those are the ones that are going to lead to actions. Deliverables change. This is something that was identified by Kathy Moore as action mapping. And Kathy Moore explained that a learning objective should contain an action if it’s going to change behavior.  

 

So, from a very practical perspective, my advice here is that when you create an e-learning, make sure that at least one of your sections has an actionable objective. Now, it’s common that perhaps your first section has something to do with awareness. And maybe your second and third have to do with applying. So, it doesn’t mean that all your sections have to have actionable objectives, but I would recommend having at least one.  

 

Alright, that brings me quite as smoothly over to the next tip. By the way, if you have questions about the tips, as we go along, please, please make sure to use the chat. 

 

Tip #2: Order matters!

2. Create your course in the right order

The second tip here has to do with the order of course creation. And what we’ve noticed from authors using Easygenerator — I would say probably applies to other platforms, or not even just e-learning but trainings in general — is that most people start by adding content first. Maybe this is something you can recognize in yourself as well. I know I started with that as well at the beginning.  

 

However, when you start by adding content first, it’s very likely that you will create a very content heavy course. And the reason for that is that you are the expert. So, you have a lot of content to share, you have a lot of knowledge to share, you have a lot of expertise to share, a lot of experience to share. And that can very easily lead to a long course. In the end, you want your learner to reach the objective or the goal that you’ve identified. And unfortunately, that goal can get lost in all of the content that you add if you add too much. So, our advice to avoid this from happening is to start off first by identifying the goal and the objective, then come up with questions that are going to assess whether that goal has been achieved. And only afterwards, add the contents that allows learners to answer those questions.  

 

Because when you work in this order, you’re certain that you’re only adding the content that is essential for the learner to reach the goal. So, any of the extra content, the nice-to-have content — perhaps all of the content that you are very proud of — if it’s not relevant for the goal, then keep it out. 

 

Tip #3: Beat the forgetting curve

3. Beat the forgetting curve

Tessa 15:51 — Alright, third tip here has to do with the forgetting curve. Now, the forgetting curve is something that was discovered by psychologist Ebbinghaus in 1885. But this was replicated plenty of times afterwards. If you are interested in the experiment, it’s quite a cool one — he actually experimented on himself, which was very interesting. But essentially, this is a simplified depiction of how our brains forget educational content. I really want to highlight here that it this only has to do with educational content, and not as much other occurrences. So our brain, of course, has a very different way of remembering or forgetting things that were very emotional, things that are very sensitive to us, close to our hearts. Of course, we remember that much more, even after just the one time that had happened.  

 

Unfortunately, educational material doesn’t have that benefit, so we are more likely to forget it. And that means that, as humans and as learners, we need that repetition. So, you’ll notice that on the orange line, when a learner is first exposed to the material for the very first time, they will forget 80 to 90%, of what they’ve learned four weeks after they’ve learned it. Now, if they’re exposed to the same material, again, that red line, they will remember much more, but not really enough, I would say. Only after the third, fourth, fifth, sixth exposure, are they really going to remember a majority of that information, so they will stop forgetting it.  

 

Now, the reason why we forget so much is not because we are stupid, right? So, it’s just because our brains need to make space for more information. But that does mean that as humans, we need that repetition. So, you may already have noticed that I’ve mentioned the learning objective, probably three or four times, so hopefully we’re at that gray or green line with that. But that also shows that it’s very natural to add the repetition. It’s probably something you’re already doing when you create your courses. It’s quite intuitive, quite natural. For example, if you are creating a training about France, perhaps on the first page you will add some text explaining the Paris is the capital of France. Maybe on the next page, you will add a video that explains that. Probably in the video, you will have several repetitions. And then maybe at the end of the training, you will incorporate a question — a test question — that adds an extra repetition. And then perhaps, as part of that question, you will also add some feedback.  

 

So very naturally, you can implement repetition within your course. My tip here is to have a look at the courses you’ve already created just to check whether that is the case. And creating courses moving forward, check whether you are implementing repetition, and if you’re not, consider implementing it more.  

 

Now, in addition to implementing repetition within your course, it’s also worth considering implementing repetition beyond your course. So, for example, what you can do is you can present your information in one way, for example, with an e-learning, and then after a period of time — that’s what we call a spacing of learning — you can reintroduce the same information in a different format. Now, why in a different format? Probably that’s the answer a question you can answer yourself as well. Not a lot of people are going to want to take the same e-learning twice or three times. So, by introducing it in a different format, you’re keeping it interesting.  

 

So, for example, at the very beginning, I showed you a quiz on Microsoft Teams. That quiz was followed by an initial training, which was sort of an online training. And after the quiz, there was another online training. But actually, the content of the quiz was the same content of the first training session. So that just shows sort of yet an application of this blended approach, where you space your learning, and present your information in different formats.  

 

Tessa 20:26 — Now, within Easygenerator, we’ve recently added a new feature. Some of you may already be familiar with this one, some of you may not. But the feature is available in step three, under the tab “content and questions.” And here, you will have the possibility to either show, which is the default, or hide your content pages. And here, I’d just like to provide some context. Essentially, what can this look like? You can create an e-learning in Easygenerator that has content and that also has questions. You can then publish that out to your learners as an e-learning. And then maybe four or five or six weeks later, you can come back to Easygenerator, click on step three, hide your content pages, and republish it to the same group.  

 

Except now, it’s not an e-learning anymore, it’s actually a quiz. Because all the content pages are hidden, and only the questions are being administered. So, in just one click, you can create a quiz out of a preexisting e-learning. So, this is a great way to implement this blended approach that I was just discussing, because you’re presenting your content in the form of an e-learning, followed by a quiz. And by using this new feature, you can do this in probably about 60 seconds.  

 

Now, in addition to this being a good facilitator for repetition, it’s also a lot of valuable data for you. When you’ve created an e-learning, you’re probably going to be quite curious as to how much is remembered, one month — two, three, four — maybe one year later, that can help you measure the success of your e-learning. It can also help you determine what your next steps are. For example, if you notice that most of your learners have forgotten the material because they’ve answered almost all the quiz questions incorrectly, then it may be a good moment for you to offer them that extra support — offer them a new training or reach out to them for any other purpose. 

 

Tip #4: Bite-sized learning

4. Bite-sized learning

Alright, fourth tip here has to do with the size of e-learnings. Now this one is probably the most popular question I receive. And that question is “how long should my e-learning be?”Or perhaps a different way of phrasing, “how short should my e-learning be?” And here I typically say bite-size is the right size. So, a short, digestible e-learning is going to be more effective. This is by the way, also where e-learning trends are going — more towards microlearning. Really short, 5-to-10-minute trainings that can be done on the go while you’re running to the bus station, for example.  

 

But what is short enough? That is a difficult question to answer. And that is because it will mostly depend on your audience. It will depend on mostly the motivation of your audience. So, if for example, you have a group of learners who are taking your course* because they want to — they’ve reached out to you, they want to take your course, perhaps they’ve purchased your course, perhaps they need the contents of your course in their day-to-day job and their motivation is high — then maybe an e-learning of about one hour is short enough. On the other hand, if you have a group of learners who are only taking your course, because it’s compulsory, because it’s a course that they need to take on a yearly basis and their motivation is low because they’ve already taken the same course last year, then maybe 20 minutes of an e-learning is already too long for the attention span that they have available.  

 

So, my tip here is really to tailor the length of your e-learning to the motivation that you expect your audience to have. On average, an e-learning that will take learners between 15 to 20 minutes — so one-five to 20 — is a good size for an e-learning. So for the online and remote learner. If you keep it between those 15 to 20 minutes or below, you will notice a better retention on behalf of learners. So, they will remember more because their attention span is high throughout the whole course. You will also notice if you keep it to 15 to 20 minutes, that more learners are actually starting your course, because it’s more inviting when it’s shorter. You’ll also notice that you will have higher completion rates. So not only are more learners starting your course, more learners are completing your course because they can typically do it in one sitting. And for you, the last benefit is that there’s also less time involved in creating that course, because it’s shorter.  

 

However, I can imagine that some of you may be thinking now, especially depending on the type of trainings you create — I know that I have quite a wide, wide audience here today — some of you might be thinking, “well, 15 to 20 minutes, that’s a great tip, but it doesn’t work for me. For my topic, it won’t work. It’s too complex, I have too many learning objectives that my learners need to reach. The topic is just too wide, too large, too broad.” And once again, depending on the type of training you’re creating, that can definitely be the case. If that is the case for you. I have two follow-up tips. And the first one is to have a very critical look at your content. Make sure that you’re only including the content that is essential for the learner to reach the identified goal. And how I like to do this, myself, is that I have a look at every single content element I have. So, for example, maybe on page six, I have a video. So, I look at that video, and I asked myself, “if I remove this video, can my learner still reach my goal? Yes or no?” And based on that, I can typically remove quite some content elements to shorten my e-learning; to make it more accessible for the learners that do have a lower motivation.  

 

Now, if you’ve done that, and your course is still too long for the expected motivation of your learners, I would recommend splitting your course up. So instead of sending out a course that is going to take 45 minutes or one hour for your learners to complete, send them multiple, shorter courses. So, shorten your course into a 15-minute module, followed by another 15-minute module followed by another 15-minute module. Just split the content up, then you can link those courses or those modules together, just to make sure that learners actually follow them in chronological order, so that they’re not completing module three before module two, for example.  

 

Depending on the way that you publish your courses — this is possible, so you can link them together if you publish via Easygenerator, so through the link, but also if you publish over to a Learning Management System — you can create a learning path, as they usually call it, within the Learning Management System side. And the benefit here, when you do this — the main benefit at least — is that your learner, if they have a lower motivation and because the module is shorter, they’re going to have the attention span available for the entire module — even if their motivation is low. And when that module ends, they’re naturally encouraged to take a break. And when they’re ready, when their attention is back, they can start module two. When they finish module two, once again, they’re naturally encouraged to take a break, and they can start module two when they’re ready.  

 

That does mean that for the entirety of each module, they have an attention span available that makes sure that they will actually remember the contents that were presented. The difference when you administer one long e-learning is that when a learner starts that e-learning, they’re typically going to finish it, regardless of how much motivation they have, learners — typically when they open up a course — they will think “I’ve started it, I want to complete it.” Completing something is always a really nice feeling, right? I think you can all relate to that. Especially if you’re not motivated, you really want to get through it. However, if you do have less motivated learners, probably throughout the middle or the end of that course, their attention will diminish, and they won’t actually remember the contents, which is counterproductive. So, I would say it’s best to have learners have a look at with a high attention span at each module, even if there are breaks in between, rather than having a learner go through one module in one sitting but not be attentive towards the middle in the end.  

 

Now that was the first benefit. The second benefit is such this sort of repetition schema is also a great facilitator for repetition. When you have a schema like this, you can sneak in a summary of module one in module two, you can sneak in a summary of module one and two in module three. So, it can facilitate that process of adding those repetitions to beat the forgetting curve that we just discussed earlier. Now the third benefit here are the breaks in between modules. If learners choose to take a break, this is really good for their motivation because they’re spacing their learning, which is highly correlated with retention and transfer of knowledge as well. So having them take a break is always actually positive, if that break is not too long.

 

Tip #5: Follow writing rules

5. Abide by these writing rules

Tessa 30:56 — Alright. Next tip here has to do with some writing rules or writing recommendations. Now, the first two are already ones that I’ve touched upon earlier. And it has to do with knowing your audience and having a clear goal. If you remember, from the very beginning, when I showed you the learning objective maker, these are actually the first two questions — who is your learner and what do they need to do? Now when you start by adding that learning objective, you’re going to have these things in mind when you’re writing the content. So, if you’ve identified your audience — the level of knowledge that they have to start with, their needs, the goal — then you’re going to write your content with that in mind. So you’re really writing your content for the audience, given the goal. And that is going to help you with your writing. 

 

The next tip here has to do with the layout of your page. Whenever you drag in a content page into Easygenerator, so into your section, and you want to start adding your content, think about what your most important takeaway is and add that at the beginning of the page. So in my case, I did that as well even though this isn’t so much an e-learning. But I did present the use of learning objectives first. That is because it was my key takeaway. And you should do the same in your content pages as well. So make sure that your most important information is at the top, less important information at the end, because when learners land on new page, they’re mostly attentive towards the beginning.  

 

Next, write in short, simple sentences and create content that is easy to find. Now, this has to do with the presentation of your information, not per se the information itself. Of course, if you have a complex topic to explain, then you have a complex topic to explain. And that’s not going to really change. But make sure that you present that topic in the most simple way possible so that learners can invest all of their energy and time on the topic itself and not on the way that you’ve presented it.  

 

Next, use the active tone of voice and images and videos if possible. A combination of these is always best. Remember that your learner is probably taking your course at home, online, on their own. So, make them feel engaged. So verbally use the active tone of voice. Perhaps add a voiceover. Add a video where you’re explaining something. Images. Make them feel engaged. 

 

And last, but definitely not least, always have your course reviewed. If you’re not sure where to find this, I can show you in the end. But you can retrieve a link that you can share with a colleague, or perhaps even a learner, for them to give you feedback on your course. And based on the feedback you receive; you can then improve your course and improve the quality of your course. Now, I would say there’s really great value in doing this. Typically, a new pair of eyes — someone fresh — is definitely going to be able to see a lot more or is going to be able to give you a lot more feedback than you can give yourself when you’ve been looking at your course time and time and time again. So, from a time-efficiency perspective, this is for you — it’s really worth making use of this course review link to really make sure that your course is high enough quality when you get it published.  

 

Now I mentioned just a minute ago, or a minute and a half ago perhaps, that you when you create your page layouts, make sure that you have your most important information at the top and less important information at the bottom. And what I would like to show you now relates a little bit to that as well. And it is the “show more” option. Some of you are probably most likely familiar with this, but some of you may not. But the “show more” option allows you to add all of the extra information. So, it’s not necessarily for your most important information, but it’s very convenient for the extra stuff.  

 

So, when you add a “show more” option, you can add all types of content in here, images, text documents, and then you can also change the title. And I’m now going to show you what that looks like in a course that has four “show more” options added. You’ll notice that when the learner on this page, the only thing they see at the beginning are the titles. And if they think it’s relevant for them to open up, they will click on it. If it isn’t, they will leave it closed. Now, what is the benefit here, the benefit is that you’re giving the control to the learner, for them to decide what’s relevant for them. This has a benefit for the learners who do not need to see the information that’s there, and it also has a benefit for those who do. For those who don’t, they’re not overloaded with all the content.  

 

So if you wouldn’t have used these “show more” options, you would have just added all of the content in there, the learner would have been looking and would have probably scrolled through it, and maybe they would have missed content that was actually relevant for them. On the other hand, for the learners who are interested in this content, they can click on it and open it up. And clicking on it to open it up, for a learner who is interested, is also going to spike their motivation to read it. Because when you’ve actually made an action to open something up, interest will be stimulated.  

 

Now, this option is a really great option when you’re publishing a course to a bit of a wider audience. This may be the case for some of you here in this in this webinar. And when I mentioned a wider audience, I’m not necessarily talking about a really large audience necessarily. I would say that you can already have a wide audience when you have an audience of five or six learners. Because you’re always going to have some learners who already have quite a lot of background knowledge, you’re probably also going to have several learners who, for whom most of it is new. So, learners who don’t have that background knowledge and who need it. 

 

Typically, you’ll also have those learners who want to know every single detail out of interest. And you’ll also have some learners who don’t really want to bother with the details, and who only want to know the main important parts. So, by using these “show more” options, you can really cater to each of those subsets of audiences that you have, or that you already expect. That’s a very simple feature, I would say, but extremely powerful. So, if you haven’t used it yet, I would encourage you to try it out. There are many different ways that you can consider using this for.

 

Tip #6: Give feedback

6. Give your learners feedback

Alright. Next tip here has to do with giving feedback to your learners and, specifically, meaningful feedback. Within Easygenerator, when you add a question — this is just a screenshot of a single choice question — you’ll have the option at the bottom to add feedback for the correct answer, and also for the incorrect answers. So, depending on whether a learner has answered the question correctly or not, they’re going to see different feedback. And you can personalize this as much as you wish.  

 

Now the tip that I would like to share here has to do with giving meaningful feedback when a learner answers a question incorrectly. And why do I focus on incorrectly answered questions here? Perhaps you’ve already thought of it yourself. But when a learner answers a question correctly, typically, their motivation to read the feedback is a little bit lower. So, if you’ve answered the question correctly, you’re probably going to think, “alright, great, I’m happy, I don’t really need the feedback, let’s just move on to the next question or to the next page.” On the other hand, when you have learners who answer a question incorrectly, those are the learners who are going to want to read the feedback. Those are the learners who are going to think, “oops, I got it wrong, why did I get it wrong and what is the right answer, how can I fix it?” So, with those learners, you can make more of an impact.  

 

So, I would say especially if time is limited, focus your energy on adding feedback for incorrectly answered questions, more so than four correctly answered questions. And when you do that, make sure that you also extend your feedback a little further than just “that’s incorrect” or “try again.” So, link it to resources, link it to materials, support that they can use, show the real-world implications, make sure that they remember their answer as well. Because of course, as I mentioned earlier, feedback is also a great source of repetition. So, if you’d like to apply this tip but perhaps you’re struggling into what kind of feedback you can add, it’s always a good bet to add some repetition from the content. That’s a really quick way to do it.

 

Tip #7: Get feedback

7. Get feedback from the learner  


Now in addition to giving feedback to your learner, you can also gather feedback from your learner. And I like to say, your learner can learn a lot from you but you can learn just as much from your learner. So, within Easygenerator, you have the learner satisfaction survey that you can administer to each learner after they’ve completed the course. If you are publishing to a Learning Management System, typically, this is also an option that you’ll have on the Learning Management System side — some kind of learner satisfaction survey, some kind of NPS for learners — that you can probably administer there as well. And you can learn a whole lot from this. You can learn what the real experience of learners are. Of course, you’re creating the course for the learners so it’s most important to get their feedback. And that way, you can improve the course for new learners who are going to take it, but also just improve your authoring skills for all of the next courses that you’re going to create. 

 

Tip #8: Use old resources

8. Curate existing resources

Last but not least (actually, there’s supposed to be an eight there instead of a seven for those of you who’ve spotted it). But last tip has to do with curating. What we’ve noticed, typically is that most authors when they start creating is that they will often think that they need to create everything from scratch — type out all of the text, create all of the videos, create all of the documents that need to be shared, etc. But this is not always the case. Typically, there are a lot of resources available online, internally within the organization that other authors have perhaps created within Easygenerator that you may not even know about yet. There are so many resources that you can leverage. So, my advice here, before you start creating everything from scratch, is to have a look at the resources around you.  

 

After you’ve identified the goal, collect the content that is available that relates to that goal, then select the content that is most relevant or most essential for your learners to reach that goal. And then add the context that your learners need to understand the content, given the goal. And what you’re doing when you do this, is that you’re pointing people toward existing content, but you’re also providing the context that they need. So, it’s a bit of a different way of creating e-learning, perhaps a bit of a different mindset as well. But it’s a quicker way to, to get creating, and you’re really adding value where you can. Unique value.  

 

So, it’s very similar to how museums or exhibitions work as well. That’s why I’ve added the Van Gogh Museum. Whenever an exhibition is created, or starts, a group of persons are going to come up with a theme. So, it’s a bit different than an objective, of course, but a theme. Then they’re going to collect the content that relates to that theme, select the ones which are most relevant, and then add the context that their audience needs to understand it, given the theme. So, it’s very similar to the curating process of e-learning, let’s say. But the tip here is really to consider the resources that you have before you start creating it all from scratch.  

 

So those were the tips that I had here in mind to mention just a quick recap of these. First of all, make use of learning objectives. And if you’re not sure how to, consider using our learning objective maker. Create courses in the right order — start off with the learning objective, then add questions, then add content. To beat the forgetting curve, make sure that you implement repetition within your course, but also potentially beyond your course. Then make sure that your courses are not too lengthy for the motivation of your audience. And when this is not possible, consider implementing a repetition schema. Next, consider the writing rules — the layouts of your information and the importance of each element. Then offer feedback to learners, especially when they answer questions incorrectly. But also gather feedback from your learners — quick typo there. And lastly, curate rather than create when this is of course possible when you have the resources there around you. 

Q&A

So those were the top tips I had here to mention. Are there any questions that you all have for me? I haven’t seen any coming into the Q&A or to the chat. But if you do have questions at this stage, we do still have some time. So please feel free to add them here. Or if you’d like me to demonstrate something on the tool, then I’m also very happy to set that up as well.  

 

Perfect. Yes. If there are no other questions, that’s totally fine. You’re also welcome to drop off. I will just stay on a little longer to make sure that there are no questions — no additional questions to answer. But if there are no questions, then thank you all very much for joining. I hope that you have gathered some practical tips that you can then apply. You will be receiving the recording of this session. And if you want to reach out to me to set up another session or anything like that, please feel free to reach out. We do also have a really amazing support team who’s there to answer questions on the spot if you have these as well.