Different ways to create online training that can be hosted on a LMS
The best way to manage your online training is to host your training products on a learning management system (LMS). This is especially important if you need to track your learner’s training completions. If you are using a LMS, it is vital your online training lessons are able to report to the LMS. File types which most support this function are xAPI (Tin Can API), SCORM, AICC or cmi5.
If we are hosting your training on the WUZZOO LMS, we prefer xAPI files.
In this blog, we are going to look at three common mediums for producing online training products that can be hosted on most learning management system.
Note: always understand the capacity of the LMS before producing your training products. eLearning can be take a lot of time and money to produce, so reduce your risk and frustration by knowing what is needed and what limitations the LMS has.
3 ways to create online training content
Video lessons can be frustrating and ineffective for people who are fast readers and those who would prefer to read the content. Therefore, we recommend using short videos and mixing up your content mediums. You can also offer transcripts of the video content and some LMS’s have a function where the learner can listen/watch videos in a fast forward mode.
When making video content, presenters should stick to the script and not waffle on. Lessons should be planned by using either a script or storyboards to ensure the content stays on point and learning outcomes are achieved.
Poor quality video or audio can be a distraction and be off putting. If a video is very poor quality, the learner may not be able to hear or concentrate on the information. Poor quality production could indicate poor quality information and the learner may lose confidence in the training if it is not presented professionally.
I’m a big fan of using video to demonstrate technical tasks. For example; you want to include a quick online resource for employees in case they need to change a gas bottle at the workshop. You create a quick video which demonstrates the step-by-step process of the activity and host the video on the LMS for easy employee access.
Consider using videos as part of a blended course; mix up videos, interactive activities, digital forms, journaling, etc.
- Not interactive, though some video software such as Camtasia has limited interactive functionality
- Can be annoying and ineffective for people who prefer to read information
- Some people won’t retain as much information
- Encourages emotion and connection
- Can be inexpensive to make; this will depend on the level of professionalism you are after
- Fast to make (smaller productions), which means you can be reactive to current needs
- Difficult to edit content. In most situations, you would likely need to re-record the video if changes are needed
- Good for learners on a mobile device, depending on the deployment method
- Great for demonstrating a technical process
It is possible to convert PowerPoint presentation to online training products. There are some conversion tools available online with a range of prices and functionality. We recommend your do your homework before investing and creating your presentation.
- No gamification and very little interaction, unless you pay for applications that will allow it.
- Can incorporate videos
- Inexpensive, though if you pay for conversion plugins or software, it becomes more expensive.
- Very little technical knowledge required
- PowerPoint makes graphic design easy
eLearning content authoring software
There is wide range of software available, with varying costs, technical skill needed and functionality.
We use Articulate 360 (both Storyline and Rise) to develop online training products for our clients.
Be wary of some inexpensive apps as they can have very limited functionality and hosting options.
Most software applications will require you to spend time learning how to use the software and developing your skills. By using a quality authoring tool, you can create quite complex and engaging training, with a lot of interactivities for the learner.
Whichever method you use to create your online training products, remember . . .
- Content is king
- Presentation and quality is vital
- Learning outcomes must be quantified and achieved
- It must be easy for the learner to access and understand
- The learner should gain knowledge and a sense of achievement by completing the training
Beware the hidden costs . . .
- Video recording or editing software
- Time spent on content writing, graphic design, developing interactions
- Licenses for images, audio, video libraries that can be used (beware copyright rules)
- Time spent learning to use software
- Hosting (LMS) costs
- Technical support for learners
This question comes down to the complexity of the production, however here are some industry guidelines:
- It takes about 30 hours to create one hour of content using rapid eLearning development
- It takes about 70 hours to create one hour of content using professional audio and graphics production
- It takes about 140 hours to create one hour of content incorporating custom designed programmed activities
- It takes about 280 hours to create one hour of content with branching scenarios and other complex eLearning activities
- It takes about 400 hours to create on hour of content that includes advanced graphic art, branching and customer activities
Note: these timeframes do not include writing your content.
My BIGGEST recommendation is to do your homework and create a detailed plan before you start