8 Storytelling Elements To Integrate In Online Training

Stories captivate your audience and create emotional connection. They tie the online training topics into real-world applications, thereby increasing employee motivation and engagement. In this article, I'll highlight the 8 essential storytelling elements eLearning professionals should include in online training.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

5 Essential Elements Of An Effective eLearning Story

Most of us aren't natural born storytellers. While some can spin a yarn with ease, our talents lie elsewhere. But that doesn't mean that we can't write a meaningful and attention-grabbing eLearning story for our eLearning course. In this article, I'll share the 5 essential elements of an effective eLearning story.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

6 Tips To Use Animations In eLearning

Animations may bring out our inner child, but they also have the power to improve knowledge retention, engage online learners, and simplify complex concepts. In this article, I'll talk about why you should use animation in your eLearning experiences and share 6 tips for using them in eLearning courses.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Storytelling In eLearning: 7 Tips And Tricks For eLearning Professionals

Can you weave a story that catches the hearts and minds of your audience? In this article, I’ll share the 7 top tips and tricks to include storytelling in eLearning and craft provoking tales for your eLearning content.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Developing eLearning Characters: A Quick Guide For eLearning Professionals

Are you looking for ways to connect with your learners on a more personal level? This article explores the benefits of using characters in eLearning, and highlights eLearning character types and some of the top tips that can help you create more dynamic and emotionally-centered eLearning courses.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

5 Ways To Create Unique Training

Check out these 5 ways to create unique training:

1. Add Character(s)
You can give each course you create its own unique personality by choosing a different cutout character each time. Your safety training course might call for an older, confident male character to instill safety rules in your learners. Your form compliance course might need a young, fun-looking guide who can spice up the topic. There are so many different directions you could go!

Of course, you’ll need a good resource for finding professionally cutout people images. One of my favorites is the eLearning Brothers Cutout People Library. The eLearning Brothers have a photography studio where they photograph all their models under the same lighting to ensure consistency. Plus, they do all the background removal work in Photoshop for you. No more staring cross-eyed at the magnetic lasso tool!

2. Use Your Personal Experiences
Personal knowledge and experiences can be a great source of information and a way to make your eLearning stand out from standard courses. Maybe you secretly know a ton about baking and can theme your course around that. Or perhaps you’re full of fun facts like “Ohio is one of the top five pumpkin-producing states in the United States,” and can turn your course into a trivia game.

Take a look at this great article to learn more about how your interests and experiences can give a unique touch to your training content: 6 Tips to Use Your Personal Interests and Experiences in e-Learning Course Design.

3. Fire up the Lights, Camera, Action!
Give your learners a break and let them watch some TV! Well, maybe not the next episode of The Voice, but you could add some training videos, especially if your course involves teaching anything hands-on.

Camtasia® screen recording software, which is bundled with Lectora® Inspire, is a great tool for creating instructional training videos. Here are some helpful how-to articles if you’re using video in Lectora:

How to Add Events to Audio and Video in Lectora and Lectora Online
How to Add Closed Captions to Video and Audio in Lectora
Recording Audio and Video with Lectora’s Built-in Tools
How to Create Your Own e-Learning Video

4. Get Interactive
What’s way better than another block of text or bulleted list? A game! Even if it’s just a simple drag and drop interaction, adding some game-like elements can make your training course feel more unique. If you don’t have the time and budget for all-out gamification, check out the eLearning Brothers Interaction Builder. You can download interactions pre-built for your specific authoring tool and instantly have a game in your eLearning course.

5. Localize
Want to make your learners feel special? Make your training course unique to them and their location. Add in local flavor with photos, correct phrases and more. This is especially important when you’re creating courses for learners in another country, but you can apply the same ideas to training created for learners in your own city. For example, if I were creating a course for coworkers in my office, I’d throw in some references to Skyline Chili and goetta. (Know what city I’m talking about? Tweet @Lectora with the answer and this blog link if you do!) Get more localization tips here: Localization Made Easy.

Download a free 30-day trial of Lectora Inspire to start trying out these 5 ways to create unique training.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

6 Tips On How To Create Characters In eLearning

How To Create Characters In eLearning

It's a proven fact that emotionally compelling eLearning courses are highly successful. And one of the most effective ways to transform a boring or dry eLearning course into one that is immersive and engaging is the utilization of a character. Whether you are designing a deliverable intended for a tenth grade science class or a group of experienced physicians, characters can ALWAYS add a touch of realism and relatability to an eLearning experience.

  1. Create a character profile and a script.
    Before you begin integrating characters in eLearning, you'll want to have a detailed idea of exactly who the character is going to be and how it will deliver (or interact with) the subject matter effectively. To do this, you can create a profile that highlights the personality traits, mannerisms, tone, and even the back story of your character. You'll also need to write out a script ahead of time, so that you can ensure that you've integrated all the important lesson points of the eLearning course. If you aren't willing or ready to write your own script, you may want to get some help from a subject matter expert or a professional content writer who specializes in your niche. Just bear in mind that you don't have to include all aspects of your character's profile into the eLearning course, this is just a planning tool that can help you moving forward.
  2. Decide which role your character is going to play.
    There are a variety of roles that an eLearning character can play. They can be the narrator or the guide if you're trying to walk your learners through the eLearning course in an entertaining or engaging way, or they can be the one who poses questions that your learner may want to ponder throughout a module. You can also have them point out tips that might help the learners to more effectively acquire information or develop skill sets. Whatever the case may be, you should have a clearly defined idea of what purpose your character is going to serve. By giving them a set role, you can help to ensure that they serve the primary learning goal rather than serve as an unnecessary distraction.
  3. Choose your character image wisely
    Characters in eLearning courses can be depicted in photos, cartoons, or even be live actors, in the case of videos or webinars. If you are using an image, you'll want to choose very wisely, as this can either determine the eLearning course’s success in many respects. For example, if you're including a character that is dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and has a rather disheveled appearance, this would probably not be the ideal image for a business man who is supposed to be organized, polished, and confident. Beyond that, you'll want to opt for images that are of high quality and, of course, appropriate for your target audience.
  4. Research your audience to fine tune your character's dialogue and personality.
    One of the most invaluable tips for how to use characters in eLearning is to find out as much as possible about your audience. Do some research to pinpoint any jargon that you should include, the tone you may want to convey, and any other important dialogue points that should be considered. Try to survey your audience, or even observe them on the job, so that you can get an accurate sense of what your character's personality should be in order to improve relatability with your learners. Figure out if there are any stereotypical personality types within their industry that you can integrate into your character's profile. For example, if you are trying to create an antagonist for your eLearning course, you can incorporate various negative personality traits that your specific audience may be familiar with. This makes the character recognizable and helps the learner to connect with the subject matter in a more meaningful way.
  5. Make audio realistic and relevant.
    If you are including audio in your eLearning course, such as character dialogue or narration, you'll want to make it as realistic and relevant as possible. Have the character use language that is natural and fitting for the environment. Don't go off into tangents that will only distract the learner from the key pieces of information they need to acquire. If at all possible, enlist the services of a professional voice over actor who can narrate scenes for you or play the part of the eLearning character, as this will make your eLearning course more believable, and therefore more powerful.
  6. Opt for several different images featuring the same character.
    Rather than using just one image to visually represent your character, why not use a handful of images that feature the same character in order to enhance the realism of your eLearning course. Often, having several images on hand that depict different emotions or poses is ideal, given that you can accurately portray your character in different scenarios or scenes. You can also use photo editing software to create close ups of your character or to highlight different aspects of the image, such as cropping the photo to give up an close look at their hands during a task or zooming in on one particular character that's featured in the photo.

The important thing to keep in mind when developing and integrating eLearning characters is that they must add value to the learning experience, rather than distract the learner from the overall objective or subject matter. By using these tips you can ensure that your character serves the learning goal, rather than stealing the spotlight.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.