What makes good learning content? 8 tips for success

August 24, 2020
June 26, 2023
Learning And Development

It’s pretty easy to argue that learning is only as good as its content. It determines whether people buy into it or not, which can affect pretty much everything in their learning experience.

Think about the times that you sat through seemingly endless slides or a full day of presentations, we’re guessing you spent a lot of the day struggling to concentrate. Chances are it wasn’t what the person was saying that disinterested you, it was the format and delivery of the information. That’s why it’s crucial that your learning content is geared around engagement.

It’s also why the popularity of learning platforms keeps growing because they enable you to break away from the traditional training principles of these drawn-out sessions. The truth is that people often want to learn, you just need to give them the right tools and materials. So, here are our eight tips for good learning content.

It’s the right length

If you’re not familiar with microlearning, it’s essentially the less is more approach to learning content. Instead of tackling multiple topics in one lengthy resource, you break them into bite-sized pieces that are easier for people to digest. This gives your learners flexibility and freedom to dip in and out of courses, but it also makes it easier for them to revisit the materials later. Because they tend to focus on one issue in a brief period, that’s also more engaging. It certainly doesn’t feel like traditional training.

However, when you’re tackling complex issues and detailed processes, microlearning might not always fit the bill. You might need something longer in those instances, but that’s not to say you can’t break that up with shorter content.

It’s the right format

This should really be dictated by who your learners are and the goals you’re trying to achieve. If there are certain content types that your people respond better to, incorporate those where you can. If you’re unsure, try to use a mixture of written, multimedia and interactive content. For example, you might use videos to describe an idea, a written summary to drive home the key points and a quiz at the end of your course to test their knowledge and improve retention. That way, you’re supporting visual learners and ending the reading fatigue.

It’s relevant

We mean this two ways: it’s relevant to your audience’s current knowledge and skill levels, and it’s relevant to your organisation. You don’t want to teach your learners how to suck eggs but you’ll also want to avoid content that goes way over their heads, so you’ll need to find the balance. When it comes to organisational relevance, it’s about contextualising learning for where it’s going to be applied. Where you can incorporate real-life situations and your products into your learning content.

It’s user-generated

If someone in your team has nailed a particular skill or is posting the best numbers, tap into that subject matter expert! As well as being a refreshing injection of content from a colleague, it’s ticking that relevance box so emphatically it might snap your pencil. It also provides your best people with a platform for recognition and connects them with curious team members.

It’s broken up by questions and reinforcing content

It might seem simple, but if your courses are one-way streets, your learners won’t really have the opportunity to question your content or what they’ve learnt from it. So whether it’s a test, quiz or just a few questions at the end of a section, you’ll want to include something interactive that encourages them to confront what they’ve understood.

One way to ensure that their responses are high quality is to apply the same principles to resources that summarise and reinforce the key takeaways. Include these periodically and make them accessible once any courses are complete.

It taps into emotion

Mindset can be all-important when it comes to learning, so that’s why you should frame your content around what it can do for your learner. The idea is not to tell them ‘this is what you need to know’, but to give them the context of why it’s important, what it’s going to do for them and how they might progress by buying into this course or training.

It creates conversation and collaboration

Around 70% of what people learn comes from job-related experiences and 20% from social interactions with colleagues. So if you’re not providing the platform for discussions between team members, you’re limiting how much people might retain and carry into their role. Instead, give employees a place to reflect and share their thoughts with each other. You’ll also drive social learning experiences, which will arguably build morale and create a buzz around learning.

It’s accessible

This is the part where we pitch HowNow as a solution. But the honest truth is that the easier it is for people to find your learning content, the easier it is for them to pick up and apply knowledge. That’s why it’s crucial to pick the right platform for distributing learning content.

For us, being accessible means allowing people to search for and share knowledge in the flow of work! HowNow integrates with all the apps you already use so that you can find resources in the moments that matter. We also appreciate that not everyone learns from home, and our mobile app gives your people the power to learn everywhere and download courses and resources.

Learn more about HowNow and what it can do for you here, or if you’d like to arrange a demo then you get in touch with us today.

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