6 Types of eLearning Content
Based on a recent study, 1 in 3 employees said that disengaging content is a barrier to learning. That’s why it’s crucial to choose the right eLearning content when developing online training programs.
In this guide, we’ll take you through some valuable types of eLearning content.
1. Training Videos
With high social media impact levels, video content has become extremely popular among users. People of almost all age groups and interests have become used to video content. And indisputably, videos are more engaging than static pictures or text, so they naturally make a higher impact on online learners too. Therefore, videos are now among the most common types of eLearning content. Let’s take a look at some ways in which video learning is used in training:
Live Training Playback or Webinars
Webinars are an incredible and affordable way to use videos as eLearning content. It involves providing online access to recordings of the previous virtual classroom or live training through an LMS or another eLearning platform.
It's also possible to embed videos in your online learning course. The video can be stock footage, public domain, or your work of creativity. If you do adopt this approach, consider using videos for specific topics, and combine them with more interactive elements within the course.
Standalone Training Videos
This is when you use videos as the only type of content in your online learning course. For instance, if you wish to train your managers on soft skills, such as managing people, you may record a series of videos on the topic and use it as eLearning content.
In addition to the above, advancements in technology have also made the following types of video content common these days:
These are specifically developed to train employees or users on certain software applications. These tutorials will automatically detect when you press keys, move the cursor, and select options on the screen. In the resultant video, the tool will add visual cues for these actions. This way, online learners know exactly how to use a software solution.
Have you seen those ‘how-to videos’ on websites or even product pages on Amazon? Video tutorials are the same as a common type of eLearning video. When you use them in eLearning courses, however, they need to be of much better quality and more engaging. Video tutorials use various elements, such as additional on-screen text and call-out boxes.
Presenter screencasts allow you to share your screen as well as the video captured by your webcam to train your online learners.
Hence, eLearning videos are one of the most engaging types of eLearning content, but when it comes to choosing the right video content options, you need to think wisely. For example, if you want to deliver only video-based learning, you may opt for a standalone video editing tool. However, if you want to combine video with other types of eLearning content, using an authoring toolkit should be more useful.
Regardless of how you use video eLearning or video editing tools, make sure that you develop high-quality videos for your online courses. Ideally, all features such as screen recording, webcam, audio, and editing should be available in a single platform.
2. Dialogue Simulations
Dialogue simulations are one of the most popular types of eLearning content in the world of eLearning. They're designed to simulate a real-life conversation with a third-party, such as a customer. This eLearning method is ideal for teaching the skills required to handle conversations efficiently.
In scenarios like these, employees are often expected to negotiate, reach mutually benefitting conclusions, establishing facts, making a point, and so on. Dialogue simulations are ideal for training employees on their skills. The technique uses branched scenarios, requiring learners to take decisions in a risk-free environment but have some consequences.
Thus, if a big part of your employees' jobs is to conduct conversations with customers or interact with others, dialogue simulations are the perfect type of eLearning content. A large number of organizations are already using this technique to teach their employees customer service and sales skills.
3. AR and VR Simulations
When examining different types of eLearning content, no other types seem more sophisticated than AR and VR-based simulations. They have taken eLearning to the next level, transforming the entire training experience for learners. Even with dialogue simulations, the reality couldn’t be established as effectively as that is achieved through AR and VR-based simulations.
VR, in particular, is an amazing technology to train learners on both practicalities and human interactions associated with specific roles. You can use VR simulations to replicate real-life physical scenarios to train your employees on the best course of action in those situations.
VR-based training solutions are also ideal for replicating dangerous or critical job roles, such as that of a pilot, medical practitioner, construction worker, or miner. In the health and medical field, for instance, cleaning up blood-borne pathogens is a risky job that involves spillages and exposures. Expecting employees to learn the skill on-the-job can jeopardize them because the slightest of mishaps can result in the transmission of life-threatening diseases from blood-borne pathogens.
VR simulations are a great solution to train these people in a safe environment. A VR simulation of blood-borne pathogen cleanup should be a lifesaver in this case. Learners won’t need to risk their health by attempting to learn dangerous tasks on-the-job. And if you think about it, no other types of eLearning content can replicate this scenario.
VR simulations have already been adopted by facilities in the healthcare sector as well as by medical colleges to teach medical students. For example, medical practitioners at Children’s Hospital have developed a training program on handling emergencies involving young patients. The simulation focuses on teaching how to save an infant who has suffered a seizure or is in anaphylactic shock.
While VR technology is used to accurately simulate real-life situations, AR is a live or indirect view of the real-world with augmented elements using computer-generated sensory input such as video, graphics, audio, and GPS data. It is proving to be highly valuable to companies in IT, healthcare, engineering design processes, or process engineering sectors. Using animations relying on 3D and special effect tools and cutting edge graphics, businesses in these industries can develop high-quality training.
Let’s take an example to clarify how AR simulations can be used for training. In high-end automobile designing and manufacturing firms, engineers must have an in-depth understanding of the functionalities of auto parts. And we are not just referring to car manufacturing in this case. We’re talking about moving generators, trains, and other massive locomotives. Engineering, operations, and maintenance require complex training. Through AR technology, you can develop high-quality videos by imposing 3D digital content on real-life objects to ensure that each process and component is visible to learners.
These videos can then add to a video library accessible to employees. When they reiterate the processes they have seen in real life, their learning retention should greatly improve. The product is a much more productive, reliable, and confident workforce that's equipped with practical knowledge of even the most difficult work situations.
4. eLearning Games
The most common types of eLearning content include gamified modules. However, we're talking about more serious eLearning games here. Before we get to the point, it’s important to understand the clear difference between gamification and serious eLearning games.
You’re probably familiar with gamification, which is already part of most Learning Management Systems (LMSs) available out there. They include gaming elements like badges, leaderboards, etc. However, simply implying gamification into a training program or eLearning course doesn't necessarily provide a great learning experience. It has to be more than just trying technology in a course and seeing what sticks. It ultimately boils down to the skills of your instructional designer, who may be able to develop serious eLearning games.
Serious eLearning games are custom-developed programs that are more like what you would experience on a gaming console. They feature complex gameplay and rich graphics and reward learners for scoring points or completing tasks within the game. The development and success of serious eLearning games depend on the creativity and imagination of developers of training content in each organization.
Asking your learners questions about what they’ve just viewed or read is a straightforward, yet effective way to test their knowledge and understanding and improve learning retention. This is where Quizzes come into play. With well-designed and appropriately placed quizzes, your learners should be more likely to remember the acquired information and apply it to real-life scenarios.
Quizzes also help organizations track their learners’ skills and knowledge and find out whether the learning objectives of training programs are being met or not.
Another reason why quizzes are one of the most common types of eLearning content is that they help learners get instant performance feedback. By the time they're done taking the quiz, learners have a clear idea of what they're doing right and any areas of improvement. That's exactly what you need for your eLearning course to be beneficial for learners.
Also, to give your learners a sense of progression, there have to be natural breakpoints in between the modules or topics in the course. Quizzes are a fun and interactive way to split your course content.
However, there are various aspects to consider when deciding how and when to use quizzes in your eLearning course. Among a few factors to consider when incorporating quizzes include:
The type, of course, you’re developing
The length of the course
The complexity of the subject
Whether the course is accredited or not, and formal or informal
The other types of eLearning content you have used in the course
Generally, a formal, comprehensive quiz at the end should be more appropriate for longer courses. But be sure to add feedback and info slides. If your eLearning course comprises short, informal modules, however, it makes more sense to include informal knowledge checks in-between the modules or topics.
The top LMSs offered by experienced companies like Racoon Gang come with highly flexible, built-in quiz makers that allow you to add different types of questions such as hotspot questions, fill-in-the-blanks, interactive sequence questions, and more. Some even offer drag-and-drop question builders to help you create interactive sorting activities for learners.
6. Slide Presentations
Slide presentations are among the most easily developed types of eLearning content. To spice up the course material, you can easily add images, animations, videos, and graphs in slide presentations. One advantage of using this method is that because it’s a common format, your learners will be used to acquiring knowledge and skills this way. The only thing you should avoid in slide presentations is adding too much text per slide.
After going through the different types of eLearning content, you may feel overwhelmed by the options that you have. If you’re planning to develop a new learning management system (LMS) for your learners, weigh the compatibility of each of these types of eLearning content with your course content and then make a decision.
We, at Racoon Gang, have immense experience developing all types of eLearning content discussed above. Using the Open edX platform, we have been developing flexible online learning solutions for years.