8 types of content to include in your training program

types of elearning course content

Guest blog post by Megan Pacella. Megan is a contributor for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in HR, employee training, B2B marketing, and sales. She has also written for USA Today, Bearings Guide, 10Best Nashville, and other publications.


Learning management systems are a great way to conduct corporate training and help your staff improve their skills. E-learning exposes your staff to compliance training and extra learning opportunities that can be completed at their own pace and convenience.

However, simply offering e-learning content isn’t a magic bullet that will solve all of your problems. One in three employees say that uninspiring content is a barrier to their learning. That’s why it’s important to include several types of content in your training to offer engaging, effective learning opportunities.

If you’re thinking of implementing a new learning management system or e-learning library, start by taking a long, hard look at your current training system. Are your employees having trouble making training a priority? Are learners having trouble comprehending their material?

If your current training is falling flat, it’s possible that your courses aren’t as engaging as they need to be. This is often the case if e-learning relies too much on text and doesn’t include a variety of content types. If you’re looking to add variety to your online training courses, here’s a list of the types of content you should consider:

  • Slide Presentations: Slide decks are one of the most popular e-learning formats for good reason: you can easily add text, images, videos, animations, and graphs to a slide presentation to spice up the material. Since this is already a common format, your employees will be used to working through a course this way. Just steer clear of the temptation to add too much text per slide.
    Some LMS platforms will let you build slide presentations directly in the platform and customize the experience, while others may integrate with Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides.
  • Videos: It’s always helpful to break up text with an engaging video. Keep in mind that training videos shouldn’t be too long, otherwise you could lose the audience’s attention. You can also improve engagement by delivering content in a way that’s funny, interesting, and easy to follow.
  • Screen captures: If you’re providing software or product training, screen captures are a must-have. They help illustrate step-by-step instructions, side-by-side comparisons, and troubleshooting procedures.
  • Charts and graphs: This one kind of goes without saying, right? Any time you mention statistics, provide a visual illustration to help people follow along. If the source you pulled the data from doesn’t offer a visual, make your own with a basic editing tool like plotly, Infogram, or Visme.
  • Games: If you’ve been following LMS trends at all, you know that gamification is getting a lot of attention. Sometimes, it’s nice for your audience to feel like they’re having fun rather than just learning. You can use gamification to create a more interesting learning environment with different game modules, achievement badges and a leaderboard where learners can track progress.
  • Memes and animated GIFs: If you’ve spent any time at all on social media, you know that memes and GIFs are extremely popular. Consider adding relevant ones to your training when they can illustrate your point and add some humor to the learning environment. You can also add your own GIFs by taking a few pictures of a process or product feature and using a tool like Giphy to create a video loop.
  • Checklists: Checklists are a great content resource if you’re using e-learning to illustrate a new process or workflow. Simply provide a list of action items your learners need to fulfill, and draw their attention to the list throughout a training module. You can also include checklists as part of the actual learning process by having learners complete one at the end of the training.
  • Interviews: Short interviews with subject matter experts, industry experts or key players in your organization (such as a department manager or CEO) can convey best practices and expert advice. A good interview should include a short personal anecdote followed by a few tips that will help learners grasp important takeaways in a course.

Next Steps
It’s easy to underestimate how much variety needs to go into an online training initiative. If you’re thinking of implementing a new LMS or e-learning courses at your organization, start by considering how you would like to design your training. Then build a roadmap that includes what type of training you want to offer, how you want to structure each course, and what types of content need to be included.