Perhaps one of the biggest pitfalls made during the creation of corporate and business-related training materials is the lack of a human element.
When you’re writing the script or developing the content for your eLearning material, you may go on auto-pilot and simply write as if you’re a computer.
Unfortunately, that tendency to forget you’re creating content for real people is also possibly what’s sabotaging the effectiveness of your training.
If you’re concerned your eLearning or training materials are lacking the all-important human element, consider these tips:
- Focus on a learner-centric design. What this means is that you don’t create content with only your own objectives in mind, but instead you really delve into your learner’s thoughts, motivations, deficiencies and strengths when you’re creating the content. While this may seem like a lot of effort up-front, the end result is going to be a maximizing of your content and you’re going to see more return on your investment both in terms of time and money. One of the key principles of a learner-centric design is that you’re not just thinking about what you want your employees to learn, but you’re also thinking about how you can make it relevant to them in their daily lives. You need to take the responsibility on of showing them how the information is going to impact their job, immediately.
- Writing matters. You may think your writing style doesn’t matter and all that really matters is that your students are getting the content they need, but that’s an incorrect assumption. The writing style you utilize, whether it’s in your video scripts or on text-based screens, is one of the most important components of humanizing your eLearning. Think about the style you enjoy reading. Do you enjoy stiff, robotic speak? Probably not, and neither do your learners. If you’re unsure about your own writing skills, this can be a great place to outsource the creation of some of your content. If you’re not able to outsource, have your written content edited several times by different people in your organization so you can make changes in the tone and wording based on their recommendations.
- When you’re deciding on imagery, to add that human element focus on choose pictures that are going to be easily relatable for your audience. You can use real-life photos that are fairly representative of your workforce, or you can even use pictures of your actual workplace. This will transform your training content from something that seems to be lacking any relevance, to something that your learner feels like they can connect with.
- Develop options for collaboration, interaction and socialization. In a traditional classroom learning environment, there’s all of these components, but sometimes when developing eLearning-based training, it’s easy to forget to include these elements. You want your learner to feel like they’re surrounded by a supportive network of trainers who can provide them with feedback or answer questions, and you also want them to gain that teamwork element that comes from interacting with other students during the learning process.
- The graphic design of your coursework is going to come into play in terms of humanizing your training as well. You want to focus on colors, fonts and screen design that feels interesting, vibrant, dynamic and welcoming. Often employers will simply present information on a basic screen with no real focus on the visual elements, and just like an office that’s uninviting, the coursework also tends to seem uninviting. You want a design that makes learners feel as if they’re part of something interesting and stimulating, and that can be conveyed through the design elements you incorporate into your training.