Are your online tutorials looking a bit drab? Do your task walkthroughs need a little more pizazz? In this article, we’ll share 8 tips to jazz up your online tutorials in eLearning, regardless of your eLearning budget.
How To Jazz Up Your Online Tutorials In eLearning
Online tutorials simplify complex tasks and topics. Online learners have the opportunity to watch every step of the process in action. They can also view illustrations that break the information into easily digestible components. However, you must be able to engage and inspire online learners to enhance the benefits.
Here are 8 tips to take your online tutorials to the next level:
1. Know Your Mission
Every journey needs a destination. You must be able to focus your efforts on a specific objective and desired outcome while creating the online tutorial. In other words, you have to find your main mission.
Are you trying to reinforce a learning behavior? Do your online learners need to hone a specific skill? Are they looking for ways to overcome a common challenge?
A clear learning objective is the backbone of your online tutorial. Every element falls into place around it, including the images, audio, and built-in activities.
2. Include Interactive Elements
Since we’re on the subject of eLearning activities, now is probably a good time to address the elephant in the room. Online tutorials can be boring. This is particularly true when you fall into the “information dump” trap. It’s true, you need to convey the main takeaways.
However, you must also make your online tutorial interactive and engaging so that online learners actually absorb the information.
Include links to supplemental eLearning activities and online self-assessments. Integrate clickable hot spots that lead to serious games and online simulations. The goal is to turn your static online tutorial into a dynamic, tactile eLearning experience.
3. Frame It With A Story
Nobody can resist a well-written story with an interesting plot. Add a real-world challenge that online learners face on a regular basis, and you have a winning combination. Storytelling is a natural fit for online tutorials.
Instead of just instructing online learners on how to perform the task, frame it with a memorable story arc and setting. Begin by presenting the problem, then give them the tools to surmount the obstacle. In the end you provide them with a resolution that they can use in their real lives.
Develop a script beforehand and possibly even an eLearning storyboard to map out each scene. This ensures that your story flows effectively and covers all the main plot points. Not to mention, includes the key takeaways of the online lesson.
4. Use Emotionally-Compelling eLearning Characters
Whether you’re telling a story or simply exploring every step in a task, eLearning characters are sure to liven up your online tutorial. The secret is creating eLearning characters that are relatable and present, but not distracting. In other words, the eLearning character should support the subject matter instead of stealing the spotlight.
Research your audience to learn as much as you can about their background. Then choose eLearning characters that they might encounter in their everyday lives. For example, a disgruntled customer who needs some great service and a sympathetic ear.
5. Set The Mood With Music
Music is an absolute must for online tutorials. In fact, a simple background track has the power to make your online tutorial immersive, emotional, and engaging. You can also opt for an audio voiceover, sound effects, and other audio elements.
Whichever route you take, it’s important that audio falls in line with your tone and message. For example, hard rock music may not be the best choice for a stressful compliance online tutorial.
Instead, you might opt for classical or ambient music that calms the nerves and enhances mental focus. The trick is getting your online learner in the right frame of mind so that they concentrate on the task.
6. Keep It Conversational And Motivational
Online learners must be able to relate to the online tutorial. They should feel like every element is intended for them and their learning goals. As such, try to avoid industry-specific jargon and complex vocabulary. Unless, of course, your audience is already well-versed on the topic and experienced in the field.
You should also keep your script, images, and music motivational. Above all else, ensure that every aspect of your online tutorial seems natural and has an organic flow. Include transition screens to ease them into the next section, and offer helpful tips along the way to enrich the eLearning experience.
7. Include Screen Captures And Eye-Catching Images
Software online tutorials and task demos always benefit from visuals. For example, screen shots that tell online learners how to navigate the eLearning platform. Clearly illustrate how to perform every step in the process and how to remedy the problem at-hand.
If possible, include eye-catching images to improve knowledge retention and recall. Just make sure that they tie into the subject matter and support the learning objectives. For instance, a photo of each phase of the return process that customer service associates can use for reference.
8. Make It Short
Nothing is more engaging than bite-size online training that gets to the point and provides valuable information. As such, you should make your online tutorial brief and to-the-point. Give your online learners all the data they need to get the job done or solve the problem in an easily digestible format.
For example, opt for bullet lists instead of large text blocks. Include an infographic that highlights all the key stats. They can always pause the online tutorial video in order to examine other online materials. Or watch the online tutorial time and again to refresh their memory.
Online tutorials are a versatile tool that you can use for any training topic. The trick is knowing which information to include and how to grab your online learners’ attention. These 8 tips can help you jazz up your eLearning design and boost active participation among your audience.
Online tutorials and demos fall under the highly effective “moment of need” training category. Read about 8 Best Practices For Just-In-Time Online Training to discover the how to create just-in-time online training for your organization.