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3 ways to maximize the potential of your existing e-learning material
Jun 22, 2021
45 minutes
Tessa Razafindrakoto
Senior Onboarding Specialist
Introduction

Tessa 0:02 Welcome everyone. My name is Tessa. If you’ve joined one of my previous webinars, then of course you know who I am. And if not, I’m Tessa  onboarding specialist at Easygenerator  and in today’s webinar, I’m going to show you three ways to maximize the potential of existing e-learning material, e-learning courses, or e-learning content. So, for those of you who have already created at least one e-learning course, this session is perfect for you if you want to make really efficient use of it, because there are actually several different things that you can do besides just publishing that one e-learning course. For those of you who haven’t yet created at least one course, then this session is also still helpful for you because you will see all the potential that just one e-learning course has as well.  

 

So, for today’s session, I’m not going to show you how to create an e-learning course from scratch, it won’t be that basic of a training. But if you are interested in that basic training, then of course, you can always get in touch, and we can set that up. Bear in mind, also, this webinar is being recorded. And my colleague, Meghan, has joined me for today’s webinar as well and she will be monitoring the Q&A. So, if you do have any questions that you want answered, then please open up the Q&A and leave your questions there. If there are any outstanding ones or common questions that you have come across, then I will also address them towards the end of end of today’s webinar. It probably will only take about 30 minutes, by the way.  

 

Alright, so let’s go ahead and get started. This is what I’m going to cover today: three different ways to maximize the potential of just one e-learning course. So, there are a few things you can do with one e-learning course  one of them is turning into a quiz. You can also turn it into a resource. And, last but not least, you can turn it into multiple tailored courses instead of having just one generic one. So, I’m going to show you how to do this. I will also demonstrate it and of course tell you the benefits of why you would even want to do this in the first place.  

 

As I said, as usual, in the end, I will address common questions. But first, I would like to run a quick situation by you, and I’m wondering for how many of you this is recognizable. So, I’m going to shoot over a poll and if you can just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ that would be great just to have an idea for how many people this is familiar.  

 

So, the situation is: you’ve created a training  it can be an e-learning or not  either way, you’ve created a training for a group, for your team, maybe for employees on any kind of new system or new software that you’re going to use now. And those employees, or that group, they attend or take the training to learn how this new system works. Although the training may have been really great, and they’ve successfully learned how to use it, when they actually have to start using it in practice or in real life, they still come to you with questions  with some questions that were actually covered in the training.  

 

This is a situation that I expect some of you may recognize. So, I’d like to ask you, and I’ve just sent over a poll that you should be able to see: do you recognize this situation? I see some answers coming in. I’m not sure if all of you as participants can see what the answers are looking like. I know I can. And I see for now 98% of you recognize this situation and those are 116 of you. And now I wasn’t expecting it to be this black and white. But apparently, it is so many, many of you recognize this situation. Thanks for your input, by the way. I can actually share the results with you so this is what they look like. Actually, I was expecting this a little bit because it’s a really common thing. And it’s sort of also the reality of the situation when we learn new things.

Reuse content for a new course

It’s unavoidable. We forget most of it, or some of its parts of it at least. And there are a couple of different ways that you can improve retention, that you can make sure that they do remember as much as possible, and that’s what today’s session is also going to be about, right? So, I’m showing you how you can maximize the potential so that you can maximize retention. Meaning that hopefully, you will start to recognize this situation a little bit less. So, let me go over to the next. So actually, by turning your course into a quiz, or and turning your course into a resource, you can maximize retention at almost no extra effort. And that’s because it takes you just minutes to turn your course into a quiz or into a resource. And what this does is it makes it really easy to add repetitions. 

 

So let’s say you’ve created a course, a training or an e-learning. That’s your first exposure, or at least for the people who are learning from you, that’s their first exposure to the material. Now, if it takes just minutes to turn it into a quiz, that’s really easy for you. So, you can then administer that quiz. Let’s say maybe a couple of weeks later, you can send out a resource. Once again, it takes you a few minutes to create. And so, what you can see here is that you can easily have them repeat the information already three times, which means that they will remember it more than if they would have just had that one course.  

 

So, although a course is already great, a course and a quiz is better, and a course and the quiz and a resource is even better. Right? So, by adding those repetitions, you’re beating the forgetting curve and it means you’re having them actively process the information several times in different formats, also to keep things interesting.  

 

So, what this actually looks like in reality  well, something like this: first of all, you send out a course. I would say this, this is the case even without e-learning, even for face-to-face trainings. You can send out the course and then, maybe two weeks later, send out a quiz, which is also meaning that they are actively processing it because quizzes are slightly more challenging. And maybe two weeks later, or even one month later, you can send them a resource that they can actually use exactly when they need it. So, that’s the benefit of turning it into a quiz or turning it into a resource, or both.  

 

Now, as for creating several tailored courses, instead of one general course, the benefit is a little bit different here. Although in general, it is also to maximize retention as almost no effort. Now, having multiple tailored courses instead of one generic course has to do with relevance  perceived relevance — from the learners or from the employees. Relevance is actually a key factor for motivation and for successful learning. And I’m sure that you can recognize this for yourself as well. In general, when you learn anything or when the when your employees are learning something, you want to make sure that they have utility value and relatedness. Utility value means that they know what they are going to use it for, so that they know it will be useful for them. And relatedness means that they know what it has to do with them  their position. So, these two things are quite similar, but have a bit of a different angle to it.  

 

Now, although one course can sometimes fit all, when the group is quite small or uniform, if you have a larger group or a more varied group, it’s possible that more tailored courses for those subgroups would be better suited. Because if you know that you have subgroups, they might have different reasons to want to take the course, they might have different motivations to do so. So even just by changing a couple of sentences and tailoring it to your audience can increase retention.  

 

So those were the three things, right? Turning it into a quiz, turning it into a resource and turning it into multiple tailored courses instead of one generic course. You can do these three things with just one e-learning course to start with. So let me continue to explain using an example. 

  

Tessa 9:32 — Let’s say you’ve created one training  and this is the example I’m going to use for the rest of today’s webinar. Let’s say I’ve created a phishing awareness training, an e-learning course, and this particular course has two sections inside it. So, this is a course. Let’s say I’ve created it for all the employees in the business everyone in my company. Everyone needs to take it to learn more about how to identify malicious emails and what to do about it.  

 

Now, that’s already great. You’ve created the course, you can publish it, you can distribute it to everyone so that they can learn how to do this. So that’s already great, actually. But it doesn’t have to stop there. So, let’s go on with the first one  how can I turn this into a quiz? Now, what it would really mean to turn it into a quiz is that, instead of having the course like this, I could turn it into this. So you’re really just taking your e-learning course and turning it into a quiz. This takes a matter of minutes. And I’m going to show you right now how this can actually be done. So, I’m going to go over to Easygenerator to show you how to turn a course into a quiz.  

 

So let me just move this over. Now, this is the course I was talking about. So, this is the e-learning course, the phishing awareness training where they can actually go through it. Let’s say I’ve published this already. Now I want to turn it into a quiz. So, I would go, of course, to my Easygenerator account where I have this course, you go to the “Create” step, which is where you can start to edit. So, this is where I created my course in the first place. Now, to turn this into a quiz, one of the first things you have to do is have the duplicate. So let me just go back actually to my course dashboard. This is the course that I’ve created. What you do is you create a duplicate, so a copy. You will then enter that copy and that’s where you’ll turn it into a quiz.  

 

Now, of course, the first thing to do is to rename it. It’s no longer a training — it’s a quiz. Of course, that just takes a matter of seconds. The next thing you’re going to want to change is just the introduction, right? Because it’s no longer an introduction about the course, it’s really a quiz, right? So, I’m just going to introduce it as “hey, a few weeks ago, you took an e-learning course for this. Now, to refresh your knowledge, take this quiz. It’ll only take you 15 minutes.” 

 

That is the only thing you need to change — the title and the introduction. Leave the rest as it is. You’ll then go straight over to step three. This is the configuration where you want to make sure that it’s not behaving as a course anymore, but that it’s behaving as a quiz. So, what you’ll do here  and it starts mostly under extra features. If you want — and of course, all of these are optional, I’m just showing you all the options that can be relevant for a quiz or a test. If you’d like, you can potentially send out a certificate and potentially set up a time limit. I wouldn’t really recommend this for e-learning courses necessarily. But for a quiz, if you want to increase that level of pressure, then it may be worth setting up a time-limit.  

 

So, I’m going to give them a total of 25 minutes for this quiz — makes things perhaps a little bit more exciting. Then I’ll go down to scoring. Under the answer settings, you get to choose whether learners submit their answers after every question, or all questions at once. All questions at once means that instead of receiving immediate feedback and finding out immediately which questions are wrong or right here, it means that although they answer all the questions one by one; they only receive the feedback in the end. And this has more of a quiz feeling. So, I’m going to set it to all questions at once. I’m then going to limit the number of attempts they have to answer, once again to increase the pressure, and I’m going to set this at two. Of course, it’s up to you, you can set it to three or four. You can even leave it to “unlimited” if you’d like for a quiz. You can then change the mastery score. I had it that 80%. I think 80% is still acceptable for a quiz. So, I’m going to leave it as it is, but you’re welcome to change this. 

 

Then, under “content and questions,” this is very important. Click here to hide any of the hints you may have added in your course and click here to hide any of the content pages. Of course, I had content pages; it was an e-learning course. So, there was a lot of information. I was sharing a lot of text, images, videos to teach. But here, I just want to have the questions because it’s just a quiz. So, click to hide your hints and hide your content pages. You can then choose whether you want all the questions on separate pages or all on one page.  

 

Having them all on one page is usually quite nice for a quiz, which means that actually, let’s say they’ve answered question one and two, and perhaps, as they’re answering question three, they think they might want to adjust question one, and they can then do that all on the same page.  

 

If you’d like you can also set up a question pool. And what this means is that you can select how many questions each learner will receive in my course, or in my quiz, at least this turning into a quiz. I have eight questions. So, I could say you know what, I want everyone to receive a random selection of five questions. So, they don’t need to answer all too much means that the quiz can also be short, but it’s just a random selection of questions they will receive. You can then choose if they have a second attempt or a third attempt, do you want them to receive the same questions? Or do you perhaps want them to receive a new set of questions? And you can choose to randomize the question order or not.  

 

You may then want to have their previous attempts reset and make things a little bit more challenging. And you can also randomize the answer options order, which means the answer options might not be in the same order as they were in the course, once again making things slightly more challenging.  

 

Once you have done all of that, click on “preview” and you will see it has turned into a quiz. So instead of this course, which had content inside of it, and information and questions, it’s now turned into a quiz with only questions. So, they’ll click because they’re ready to start, and they will have to start answering the questions, and in the end, they’ll find out if they were right or wrong, or which ones they were right for which ones they were wrong for. And this makes them repeat.  

 

So that is how you can turn an e-learning course into a quiz. As I said, it’s a matter of minutes, it really doesn’t take you a whole lot of time to do this. So that is why it maximizes the potential of your course. That was the first option. 

 

So, this is what we have now  up until now at least. We’ve got the course; we’ve started into a quiz in a couple of minutes. That’s already a second repetition, meaning they will hopefully remember much more. 

Reuse content for a takeaway resource

Tessa 17:41 — So, let’s move on to the next How can you turn an e-learning course into a resource, right? So we’re going from course to resource here. Now, first of all, I do want to say, a course and a resource do serve different purposes. A course is often best for teaching and a resource is more for supporting during a specific task or process. And it’s also much shorter than an e-learning course, because it focuses on specific tasks or processes. So it could be a checklist or an instructional guide.  

 

So just like when you’re turning a course into a quiz, we  if you remember correctly  we removed or we hid the content and hints. Now, when you’re turning a course into a resource, we actually want to remove the context, the informative bits that aren’t application based. We want to keep only the elements that are really applied. Now to do that, you can turn it into a checklist or into an instructional guide. So now if we take that same example, once again, this e-learning course that we’ve created in the first place, we want to turn it into a resource. Let’s just remember why we’re doing this, right? In the context of a phishing awareness training, this is a good training to explain to them what phishing is, what is the impact of phishing, what are the consequences of phishing, and also, how can you identify it. So, they’re going to learn all of that in this course.  

 

But maybe a person taking the training only comes across a suspicious email two months down the road. So, then they may not remember what they learned in this course. And that’s why we want to create a resource. A resource that’s created based off of this training could look something like this. So, what you’re doing is you’re only taking the actionable points. You’re turning it into a checklist, and this is done quite easily just through copy-paste. So you’re just copying and pasting the most actionable points because a checklist is really used when you have an email in front of you, in this case, you’re, you’ve got an email and you’re thinking, “oh, this looks like a malicious email, I’m going to open up the checklist and use it to make sure that this one is actually safe, or to identify that it isn’t safe.” 

 

Alright, so this is really used when you have an email in front of you. I see that for some of you, these slides are quite small and not really readable. I’m not able to zoom in much more. Perhaps those of you find this quite small, perhaps you can zoom in from your end. I’m not sure if that’s possible. I don’t seem to be able to do it myself, unfortunately. 

 

Meghan 20:57 — You can also change the view  sorry to jump in as well. Up at the top right in the zoom, you can remove the panelist or the host at speaking and view at full screen, and also remove the chat. That seems to help me as well.  

 

Tessa 21:11 — Great. Thanks, Meghan. Alright. So, to coming back to this resource, just to clarify or perhaps to summarize, I’ve mentioned it already, when you are turning your course into a resource, you really just want to pick out the actionable bits. So, in this case, although this training covered the context of what phishing is and what the consequences are, within a resource, you really just want to focus on the action. What can they do if they have an email in front of you? And that is where the checklist really becomes handy.  

 

Now, as I said, to turn a course into a resource, it’s copy-paste. You just need to copy the actionable bits into a resource, paste it there. But how do you know what to paste and what not to paste? If you are using learning objectives, which hopefully, you are. Learning objectives are, of course, very useful when you’re creating an e-learning course. When you’re creating an e-learning course, a learning objective is basically the goal of the section. And if you’re using learning objectives, it’s easier to identify the actionable bits in your course.  

 

So, for example, here in my course, I had two sections. And one of them was about understanding the security and financially related consequences of unidentified fishing. The second section had to do with actually being able to identify them and take action. So, when I’m going to turn this into a resource, I’m not going to take anything from the first section. I’m only going to focus on the actionable bits. And that’s in the second section. So, I’ll open the second section and start copying and pasting into the resource to turn it into a checklist. And what that means is that now you’ve got this. 

 

Alright, so if you’ve done that, and if you’ve done the quiz beforehand, as well, you’ve got the course, the quiz, the resource. More and more repetition, meaning that hopefully they will once again, remember it even more. So that’s how to create a course — or from a course, turn it into a resource and turn it into a quiz.  

Create a quiz from existing content

That leaves us with the last one. When you have a course, how can you turn it into multiple tailored courses instead of just having that one generic course? Now, just to just to remind you of why you’d actually want to do this, it’s to maximize interest or maximize motivation at almost no extra effort. Remember, I mentioned utility value and I mentioned relatedness. It’s important that when someone takes a course, they feel like it’s relevant for them. They need to think, “hey, this is useful for me and that’s why I’m actually going to take it, and that’s why I’m also going to pay attention.” It means that that they will also remember more from it.  

 

Now, how can you create multiple tailored courses when you have one generic course? That’s what I’m going to demonstrate now. So, I’m going to go back over to my Easygenerator. So, let’s go back to my course dashboard. Here it is. So, this is the course I’ve created, the one I turned into a quiz as well. What you’re going to do here, once again, is create a duplicate. Once you’ve created a generic course, or just a course, in general, just create a copy out of it. 

 

Once you have that copy, you can start to tailor it to a sub audience a subgroup, right? So, think about the audience, you were going to publish this course to. In my case, it’s the whole company. Or maybe I want to tailor it to different departments. Maybe I have four departments. You can even go even more specific, but let’s say I’ve just got four. And I want to make sure that everyone feels like it’s relevant for them. Sometimes you can’t do that within just one course, right? So, this is why you would actually duplicate it, and tailor it for that specific group.  

 

The quickest and easiest way to do that is to tailor the introduction. It’s really that simple. You open up the introduction and you want to make sure that each and every person who takes the course feels like it’s relevant for them. And that happens on the very first page.  

 

So here, this is the overall goal of the e-learning course. I can just add one sentence, it’s as simple as that, to clarify why this is relevant for them. So, I’m saying you know what, in the sales team, you reach out to so many prospects, which means that your business contact details are often public. This makes you especially vulnerable to this. And just that one sentence makes them feel like the course is more relevant for them, which in fact, actually, it is, right? So, it makes them probably focus more on the contents that will follow. This is, in general, one of the most important things to add in an introduction, you often do want to let them know, “hey, this is why it’s relevant for you.”  

 

And if you just duplicate your course and add even one or two sentences, specific to that subgroup, it will mean that they are going to pay more attention. So just to show you exactly what this would look like, if I just click on the preview, it’s really visible on the very first page. So, I underlined it here just so that you can see where it’s where it will end up, right? I would, I should have probably changed the title here, it still says that it’s a copy. But essentially, this is what’s what you would have. So, you’re tailoring really just the introduction here to that subgroup, which in this case is probably the sales department. 

 

Now what you can do besides that, if you want to tailor it even more — and this is also a very quick win — you can even change the learning objective. The learning objective, in my case was quite general, at least the audience was general: my employees will understand X, Y, and Z.  

 

Here, you can also just change this to sales employees just to make it more specific for them. So, when they see that learning objective, they’re constantly reminded that this is really relevant for them within the sales departments. So, it’s just a couple of words once again, but you’re making it more relevant.  

 

What you can then of course, do if the content needs to be tailored as well, feel free to add content that is specific for them. So, you can always add an additional page in here that’s specific to the sales team.  And that means that you would just open up the page and add content here. So, if there is content that is specific for them, go ahead and add it here.  

 

Tessa 29:27 — So going back to this graph of maximizing retention and interest, that’s almost no effort, we are now here.  

 

So that actually concludes what I wanted to share with you today — a couple of different ways to ensure that learners are going to remember as much as possible. And this in general can often be done through repetition. And these are actually at least the quiz and the resource are really quick ways to add repetition. Creating tailored courses is really more for the relevance side of things. So, these are two separate things, but both can and will improve retention. 

Live Q&A

That actually concludes today’s webinars. So, I did see a couple of questions or chats coming in. So perhaps this is a good moment to address them. Meghan, do you know if there are any outstanding questions or comments that we can address live? 

 

Meghan 30:38 — Yes. So, people are wondering on the recording of the session, and that I believe will be sent out. Correct, Tessa? 

 

Tessa 30:45 — Yeah. So that should be before the end of the week, it will be sent out. 

 

Meghan 30:49 — Perfect. Well, let me put into the chat as well. We do have a feedback form that we would appreciate you all filling out before dropping off. But also, Tessa, maybe just one quick thing that I thought was an interesting question was actually on the reusability between content. And if you are duplicating a course, then that information wouldn’t essentially be linked, let’s say if you do need to reuse a certain section of content. So, do you mind just pointing out where the “reuse section” option is, which then would link the content for any updates across multiple courses? 

 

Tessa 31:29 — Yeah, yeah, absolutely. That’s a very good point. It is indeed the case that if you duplicate a course, they will not be connected. To have sections connected, you can reuse existing sections. So, you’re probably familiar with this “new section” bit, that’s when you add a new section, and you create it from scratch. If you use an existing section, you basically just drag it into your course, and you’ll have to select a section that already exists elsewhere.  

 

So, I could just reuse this section here. It’s actually the same one, but let’s just say I’m going to include it here. You would then click “done.” And what’s important to mention here is that now they are connected indeed. So that means if I have to update something, it’ll update an old of courses that it’s being reused. So just make sure that it’s okay that they are linked. You don’t want to use this as a template, and then make alterations because if you make alterations, they will be made in the other courses where it’s in. But indeed, this is really ideal for making updates to courses. 

 

Meghan 32:44 — Yeah, other than that, I don’t think there were any that we need to go over. So yeah, we might all be good. 

 

Tessa 32:55 — Perfect. And then I think perhaps we can go ahead and close off. So yeah, thank you, everyone for joining. Hopefully, you’ve learned, once again, a couple of new things today. And yeah, perhaps see you at the next webinar.