E-learning courses on orientation training, safety training, etc., can be made interesting, instructionally and visually, by adding scenarios and ‘real’ images. But, how can you make online product training courses interesting and engaging, apart from using product images?
We, as online course designers, usually have a mindset that online product training courses are simple and straight forward with less scope for creativity. This is completely wrong. Product training courses can also be made engaging. Let’s see how.
In this post, I will share my experience of developing an engaging and interactive e-learning course to deliver product training.
The first important thing was to gain the learner’s attention. So, we started the course with a small video on dos and don’ts of using the product.
The second thing was to engage the learner on every screen. But, the client had a requirement that the course should not have audio. Here, the main challenge was to avoid content overload. We chunked the content thoroughly and presented the ‘need-to-know’ content as info-graphics and ‘nice-to-know’ content as click-to-reveal interactivities and as PDFs in resources section of the course. There is a thumb rule that every 3rd screen should be an interactive screen; we followed the same in the course to strike a balance between static and interactive screens.
The next important thing was to reinforce learning. At the end of each topic, we used formative assessments. Here, to keep the learners’ interest high, we used game-based formative assessments. Games enable courses to be more interactive and ensure deeper involvement in the learning process.
Instructionally, the course was going well. Then came a big challenge of improving the course visually. We created a real laboratory environment where the product is actually used. We used this as the background theme throughout the course in various styles. We also created characters and their attire to suit their real workplace. We used video bits to provide guidelines for using the product. In some places, where videos were not provided, we created animations. All these visuals elements added a lot of value to the learning process.
Here are some screenshots from the course.
Creating instructionally and visually rich online product training courses is not so difficult. I think, if we pay attention to these small things, we can to create engaging product training courses. Do share your thoughts.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2015 and has appeared in Learning Design category whereas now it is updated in Training solutions category.