How to make amazing online courses
How do you get started offering online training? Many have realized the benefits of offering self-paced training that can be reused and shared with course participants without special adaptation, that is, what is called e-learning, web-based training, or online training. This article describes how to do this in three steps.
Plan the content of the training
The first step consists of making a script of what should be included based on learning goals or business goals. What content is needed for the course participants to succeed the training? Make a simple table of contents or why not formulate the exam questions. In online training, it is extra important to have a common thread and a clear structure, as the course participant will go through the material on their own without anyone explaining and clarifying. Divide the material into short sections and be consistent in always having an introduction and an end. Remember to make delimitations - everything you can think of about the subject should probably not be included in the training.
The planning can be done in any way - by hand, in Word or in PowerPoint. Choose the way and the tool that you feel most comfortable with.
Produce section by section
The second step is the most technical. Now you will take the step to make your training digital and possible to distribute via the learning platform Sparkfore. Here are three formats and methods that work on the web:
- If you have documents that are to be included in the training, you should save them as pdf files before uploading them. Some advantages of pdf files are that they can be displayed directly in the browser (unlike Word or PowerPoint files that the course participant needs to download and then open on their computer) and that they are more difficult to change than Word and PowerPoint files. Keep in mind that the course participant can save the pdf file - great if it is a checklist or a similar tool that you want to share - but perhaps worse if it contains information that you should update from time to time because the course participant probably keeps their original file and misses the update.
- Video is a great way to show, tell and convey information. In its simplest form, you can record with your mobile phone or make a screen recording on your computer. If you use Microsoft Teams, you can hold a meeting with yourself where you share a screen and record the meeting. With the different presenter mode settings, you can choose to be seen in the image while going through a presentation. There is also a screen recording tool in PowerPoint. The videos can then be uploaded directly to the learning platform or embedded.
- But what would training be without offering the course participants to be activated? Documents and video are examples of information transfer where the recipient will be passive. But we also want to give the course participants the opportunity to get active. If you are going to do interactive exercises, where course participants can answer questions, drag and drop or click to read more, we recommend the powerful H5P program that is built into Sparkfore. With H5P, you can create slide shows that work on the web (unlike, for example, pptx files). Contact us for more advice on how to produce content in H5P.
Publish the online course
The third and final step is to invite course participants to test. Start by going to the course messages and activating the welcome mailing. You can decide whether to send it as an e-mail or SMS and, if needed, change the text of the default message. Then add users and let them go through the course. Gather feedback and fix any issues, but do not let the test pilots' wish list become an obstacle to getting started for real. Regard this online training as a first version and remember that you can always improve further later. The important thing is to get started and get the material out there.