Are you starting to dive into the world of eLearning and transitioning from teaching in a traditional classroom setting? Do you already have lessons or content that you have created for classroom learning and wondering how you can repurpose it for online learning? If so, then this is the article for you. We’ll provide you with seven tips on how to convert your classroom content for the wonderful world of eLearning.
Before you dive into converting your classroom content to online learning you’ll want to pick an eLearning development tool. There are many on the market and at Learn to Flourish we are experienced with a variety of eLearning development tools that we use to create eLearning modules for our clients. Some of the big names that you might already be familiar with are Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, and Lectora.
But our absolute favorite tool for the eLearning newbie is iSpring. In our program Creating Courses that Inspire, we walk brand new eLearning developers through the end to end process of creating exciting and engaging eLearning using iSpring and the Learn to Flourish methodologies for rapid eLearning development.
The tips provided in this article can be applied using any of the mentioned eLearning development tools so read on for our favorite tips to rapidly convert your classroom training to eLearning.
Watch the video or read the article below that is also full of real examples.
Tip #1: Convert Your PowerPoint Slides To HTML5
Our first tip is to convert your PowerPoint presentation into an HTML5 file using a tool like iSpring. You are able to create powerful and engaging slides in PowerPoint that can contain video, audio files, and animations. With the additional power of a tool like iSpring, you can rapidly turn your PowerPoint slides into eLearning. As an HTML5 file, learners can navigate through your stunning presentation on their web browser on PC or on their mobile devices.
There’s a lot more to creating engaging eLearning that captivates your audience and actually teaches something, but this is a good first step to get you moving in the right direction. This technique can be really effective if you take some extra time to make you slides fun and interesting.
Have a look at our comic book style education on How to Edit Your Videos.
Tip #2: Convert Your PowerPoint Slides To Video
Did you know that you can turn your PowerPoint presentation into a video? Video is an effective way to maintain your learner’s attention. However, if you use this incorrectly it could lead to an extremely boring information dump. PowerPoint does contain the features to add animations, video, and audio to your slides to add more movement and excitement to your presentation. Adding narration to each slide helps with learner’s engagement since they aren’t reduced to only reading the slides.
To save your presentation as a video file follow these steps.
- Click File → Save As.
- Change the file format to MP4 in the dropdown.
- Then click Save.
Here’s the same presentation that you saw in Tip 1. This time we have converted the file to video. Which one do you like better?
Tip #3: Convert Your Bullet Points to Video or Individual Pages
If you currently offer traditional in-class instruction then your PowerPoint presentations might be full of pages and pages of bullet points. For someone who is presenting in a classroom situation, this works ok because the visual focus is actually on the instructor. Also, the instructor is likely expanding on each bullet verbally with rich details and stories.
This does not translate well in an online course! Pages of bullet points are so boring and will drastically increase the chances of putting your learners to sleep.
You don’t want to put your learners to sleep, do you?
When you are converting your classroom training to eLearning, ditch the bullets and give each point the attention that it deserves, with its own page full of supporting graphics, animations, and audio.
Another option is to take your list of bullet points and turn them into a video! This is one of our favorites since we think that video is where it’s at.
Here’s an example for your viewing pleasure!
Tip #4: Use Heart-Head-Hands To Chunk Topics Into Microlearning Modules
It is best to chunk your topics into short segments since people learn best when information is presented to them is smaller more manageable pieces. One of Learn to Flourish’s eLearning frameworks is the Heart-Head-Hands approach. This framework can be used to organize and order your topics into different chunks. For each microlearning module, try to only focus on one concept or skill.
Here is a quick summary of the Heart-Head-Hands technique:
- Heart: This is the emotional hook at the beginning of your module. Try to get the learner to care about what you have to say by striking an emotional chord with them.
- Head: Now, present the learner with factual, must-do information. This can be presented as checklists, frameworks, processes, and models.
- Hands: Now, wrap things up by giving them a hands-on experience. Get your learners to take action and apply the concepts through questions and realistic experiences back on the job or with learning scenarios.
We use this technique for structuring both videos and eLearning modules. For an in-depth look at the Learn to Flourish Heart-Head-Hands framework, click here to access the online course now.
Tip #5: Add Interactivity
Our first tip was to convert your slides to HTML5 but if you want to create eLearning that people will love then you need to up your game! Adding interactivity to your course will allow the learner to engage with your content. An interaction is when your learner is physically interacting with the screen. Examples of interactions can be clickable diagrams, charts, and graphics; drag and drops, and games. Allowing your learner to interact with the content can provide a richer user experience.
Some eLearning development tools like iSpring even include pre-built interaction templates to allow you to rapidly create interactive content.
Here’s an example of a micro-learning module with interactive elements that we built using iSpring. Notice that the learner has multiple ways to access and interact with the content.
Tip #6: Add Questions and Quizzes
Add a variety of questions in your eLearning. This can serve multiple purposes:
- Allows your learners to test and validate their own knowledge
- Allows the learner to reflect on the content and how they would apply the knowledge in real life
- Another form of interactivity to get your learners physically doing stuff with the screen
- Can allow you to test their understanding and compliance
There are two terms that I use when talking about questions in eLearning. Quiz and knowledge check. Let’s talk a bit about the difference between these two terms.
A quiz is something you use when you need to see scored results from your learner. This is often used in an organization for compliance training or very technical training where it is imperative that the learner prove that they know, understand, and can apply the information.
A knowledge check, on the other hand, is an opportunity for your learners to check their own understanding of the content. Knowledge checks are often distributed throughout an eLearning module and they are not typically graded. Sometimes these are called survey questions. These survey questions are also a great way to add interactivity to your courses.
When using questions get creative! Don’t just use multiple choice and true and false options. Make it fun for your learners and try out the other types of questions such as drag and drop, hotspot, fill in the blanks, Likert scale, matching, and more. Go even further and spice things up by experimenting with the page layouts and adding videos, audio, and images to your questions.
Click here to take one of our quizzes on Video Editing.
Tip #7: Use Templates
I tell our students all the time, do NOT reinvent the wheel! There are very talented graphic designers in the world who have already created gorgeous layouts and designs.
So our final tip is to use pre-made templates to plug in your content. Most rapid eLearning development tools come with a number of pre-built templates that you can use to take the brain work out of graphic design. Believe me, the graphic design of an online course can take an enormous amount of energy and resources so this is a huge time saver.
Choose a template that offers a variety of slide layouts that feature course objectives, definitions, quotes, summaries, and more. Then all you have to do is edit the text and images of the slide layouts and you already have professional-looking pages for your eLearning.
If you’re not thrilled with the template options that came with your eLearning development software then look to other resources for inspiration such as https://www.presentermedia.com/ or https://fastercourse.com/
Here is a summary of the seven tips to convert your classroom content to eLearning:
- Convert your PowerPoint slides to HTML5.
- Convert your PowerPoint slides to video.
- Convert your bullet points to video or individual pages
- Use Heart-Head-Hands to chunk topics into microlearning modules
- Add interactivity.
- Add questions and quizzes.
- Use eLearning or slide templates.
Here’s the video again that summarizes all the key concepts presented in this article.
At Learn to Flourish we are all about creating relevant, engaging, and effective eLearning and videos. If you want to increase the quality of your educational videos, get our free training on how to make great demonstration videos for your audience.
Wishing you inspiration, innovation, and continuous learning,
Lorena and the Learn to Flourish Team
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