30 Days of eLearning Tips

Written by Kim Oates on October 2011

We recently wrapped up our one-millionth online course enrollment celebration by tweeting elearning tips each day throughout the month of September. We had fun sharing some of our favorite elearning tips and hearing new ideas from other members of the elearning community.


Jeff Goldman (@MinuteBio), author of the elearning, mlearning and learning technology blog Minute Bio, tweeted: “Save yourself time by tweaking/updating old #graphics &/or #characters for re-use in new courses #elearningtip” We couldn’t agree more, updating materials for re-use is a great way to save time and keep content fresh.

On a similar note, we also recommend creating templates for courses so you can fill in the blanks when it’s time to add a new course. Not only will this save you time and money, it will also keep your courses consistent. As you’re creating templates, you might consider building a library of assets (think pictures, illustrations, links and screenshots) to make creating courses even easier. The Rapid E-Learning Blog has a useful post on organizing your graphics in PowerPoint – a great time-saver.

And don’t forget to reach out to your Subject Matter Experts (the guys who always have the answer to your questions) for more time savings!

We retweeted eLearning blogger Cathy Moore (@CatMoore): “If ?s are too easy, learners might assume material is irrelevant. Don’t be afraid to start with challenging ?s” When creating material, it’s important to capture and keep your learners’ attention and we agree that challenging them  right off the bat is a great start.

We also suggest using incentives, like $BlueBucks, to motivate your learners—which we have seen help increase course enrollments up to 10 times! Another way to keep participants engaged? Instead of simply telling learners what they need to know, use scenarios to help them discover the material on their own. Even the most informative elearning course is useless if your learners aren’t paying attention, so be sure your courses are designed to engage and motivate your audience.

September may be over, but we’d still love to hear more of your #elearningtip! We invite you to tweet your elearning tips to @BlueVolt (don’t forget to use the hashtag #elearningtip) and keep the conversation going! 

In case you missed any of the tips, here they are for quick reference:

  • Want to beat boredom? Emphasize interaction throughout your elearning courses. http://ow.ly/6819x
  • Offer up games and virtual scenarios to reinforce learning
  • Don't forget the Pareto Principle or 80 /20 rule. In elearning, 80% of the value & knowledge is gained from 20% of the content 
  • Build a library of assets; pictures, slides, templates, links. Planning ahead will make your job easier over time! 
  • Templates, Templates, Templates… make them and re-use them. They make your courses more consistent and save time & money!
  • Not every LMS is the same! Save time and money on an LMS with an online platform that updates automatically
  • @CatMoore tip: If ?s are too easy, learners might assume material is irrelevant. Don’t be afraid to start with challenging ?s.
  • No two people learn the same way. Appeal to different learning styles by adding videos, games and quizzes.
  • 2 heads are better than 1. Collaborative learning is powerful & effective. Allow learners to work together http://ow.ly/681nm
  • Make a good #webcast even better by archiving it for future reference.
  • Instead of just telling your learners what they need to learn, help them discover it through games or scenarios.
  • Repetition improves retention: Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.
  • Don't forget to lend a helping hand to your learners. Check course results and see which learners might need some extra help.
  • @minutebio: Save yourself time by tweaking/updating old #graphics &/or #characters for re-use in new courses
  • Even a small incentive goes a long way in motivating learners.
  • Launching a new product? Try elearning for a successful launch. Sales reps will be informed and ready to support your product.
  • Only use animations and sounds when they add value to a course. Whizbangs & whirligigs for their own sake are just annoying!
  • Avoid overwhelming learners. Break up a course or webcast into a series if there's a lot of material.
  • Use a control group of people who have received training and those who haven't to track if it helped drive sales
  • Create short video segments (2 min or less) of longer courses that can be viewed from a mobile device for a quick refresh
  • Remember, an elearning course doesn't need to be complicated to be effective, sometimes it's best to keep it simple.
  • Did you know that adding videos to an online learning course actually improves retention?
  • Product simulations allow learners to get in on the action from anywhere, any time.
  • Set up a designated hashtag on Twitter during webcasts to let attendees collaborate with one another.
  • SME (Subject Matter Experts): Know who they are & make good friends with them. http://ow.ly/681JS
  • Sharing your courses is a great way to extend your reach and keep content fresh. http://ow.ly/681IA
  • Slide driven content isn’t bad. Relevance is important. The best game on a topic a user doesn’t care about isn't engaging.
  • Pop quiz! Monitor progress and course effectiveness with short, interactive quizzes throughout the course.
  • Tired of earning CEUs in a stuffy classroom? Many states are allowing electricians to earn CEUs online. http://ow.ly/681Ny
  • Remember show and tell? Still applies today. Try adding video into a course to reduce training time.  
  • If all of your elearning courses look the same, try switching things up to keep learners interested.
  • Hello, is anyone there? Ask your learners for feedback to find out what is and isn't working in your elearning program.

Photo credit: manuelwaiter on Flickr 



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