*This is a guest post from our featured blogger Ant Pugh.
If you are looking to invest in an LMS for your organization, you may be wondering where you can find enough content to keep your audience coming back for more. In this article we’ll take a quick look at five sources of online learning.
Cloud-based Learning Management Systems (LMS) provide organizations with the opportunity to quickly roll out training to employees and customers worldwide.
But many companies go into this without a long-term content strategy – if you are looking to implement a training platform, it is essential to think carefully about content roadmap or your platform will quickly.
I always revert back to the Facebook analogy: if Facebook wasn’t constantly being updated with new comments, photos and videos, none of us would spend much time on there.
The same can be said for an LMS. Once a learner has login and access the content, they need to be kept engaged with frequent and updated content.
Below I have listed five types of content that can be uploaded onto your LMS. The list is organized in order of implementation speed, beginning with the quickest.
1) Off the Shelf
Off-the-shelf training is a great way to deliver high-quality content to your learners. The courses are usually developed to a high standard and are very quick and easy to implement – simply download from the vendor site, upload to your LMS, test and launch.
These types of course can be quite expensive depending on the topic, and if you are delivering these are volume you may want to look for a bulk purchase offer.
One of the most famous libraries is Open Sesame, although you will find many more for more specialist subjects. Search Google with the keywords ‘elearning’+’marketplace’+’yourtopic’ to find exactly what you’re looking for – it may save you thousands of dollars and hours of wasted time trying to build a course yourself, when something else suitable is already out there.
2) Recorded Webinars
If you’re currently delivering training or product demonstrations by webinar, you can record the sessions and upload these as video files to the LMS.
Most webinar platforms have the functionality to record events, and if you ensure the presenter uses a good quality microphone, the final production can be very good.
Once you have the final webinar recorded, you have the option to upload it immediately to the LMS. However, you can drastically improve the user experience by chunking the webinar down into smaller, bite-sized modules. For example, if you have an hour-long WebEx, why not break the content into 12 x 5 minutes videos.
To add an element of interactivity, you could also add some quiz questions at the end of each module, using the LMS assessment functionality.
Whilst this may not be the purest and most effective form of online training, you can create very useful content in a short amount of time.
3) Recorded Face-to-face Training
Another quick way to create content without large investment of time is to record live training events.
One example of this technique being successfully used was with a company induction, which had previously only ever been delivered in a face-to-face environment. In order to allow those employees located in satellite offices in remote locations to go through the induction without flying to the head office, we set up some HD video cameras and recorded the live event.
To maximize the quality of the final production, we used a lapel microphone on the presenter which ensured a much better quality of voiceover than we would have experienced from only capturing audio via the video camera.
We also set up two video cameras, so that we could pan from one to another which would engage the learner slightly more.
A final tip for improving the quality of this type of is to use screen capture software to record the presenter slides. This gives you three camera angles with high-quality audio.
Similar to the previous example of recording a webinar, it would be good practice to chunk this recording down into small bite size modules. With some additional development work you can add some interactivity through quiz questions at the end of each module.
4) Outsourced Bespoke eLearning
Moving on to more time-consuming ways of creating content, you can obviously outsource an e-learning course to an external provider who would create the content for you from scratch.
You may currently have training in a variety of different formats, or have absolutely nothing at all. An external specialist will come in and turn your content or ideas into an interactive e-learning course.
The advantage of choosing this method of production is that the responsibility of developing the content is out of your hands. The obvious downside to this method is the expense involved.
5) Create e-learning internally
Another obvious way to provide content to your LMS is to build the content yourselves. This is clearly the most time-consuming and requires resource from within your company.
You will need an instructional designer, who can take SME material and write a storyboard based around content. You will also need someone with rapid authoring software skills to develop the content into an engaging course.
I have often seen companies trying to create e-learning courses themselves using software such as Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate, mistakenly thinking that creating a course is similar to creating a PowerPoint presentation.
Whilst it is possible, it is very rare that I see a company successfully achieving this, without some investment in specialist, internal instructional design and e-learning developer capability.
If you are looking to implement an LMS at your organization, you may want to think carefully about which of these types of content you plan add to the LMS and build out a roadmap which may include one or all of the methods.
It is very easy to underestimate the amount of time required to develop an effective piece of content. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that simply by implementing an LMS and e-learning course, all your training problems will be solved!
If you look after e-learning at your organization, you won’t want to miss out on this free crash course that will help improve engagement of e-learning at your organization.