eLearning is a great way to deliver training or educational content to employees or users. But, there are so many eLearning tools available that it can be hard to know which one to choose. There are also so many different ways you can use eLearning content that it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed by the process of creating effective courses. If you have a lot of experience using PowerPoint and authoring tools, you will have a head start in creating great eLearning courses. However, if you find these programs challenging, using them for eLearning might seem overwhelming. Fortunately, you can also convert powerpoint to eLearning using tools faster than before. Here are 10 tips for using PowerPoint and authoring tools to make your e-learning courses even better.
Make a storyboard first
Before you start designing your course, make a storyboard. A storyboard shows the sequence of events in your course, just as they would appear on the screen. It helps you to spot any potential issues with the flow of events before you start creating the screen design. You can do this in PowerPoint or with a dedicated storyboarding tool. You need to think about the sequence of events in your course and write them down in a visual format. If you have already written your course, you can use your existing slides as a storyboard.
Use simple animations
Animations can help to engage the user and improve the look of your course. But, it’s easy to go overboard and make your course look too flashy. The best way to use animations is to use one or two per slide. Use animations sparingly – maybe once or twice per topic. If you use too many animations, your course will look too flashy and the user might get distracted. Use simple animations rather than transitions between slides. Transitions are great for PowerPoint, but they don’t work well in an e-learning course. A simple fade between slides is usually fine. You can also use text animations, such as blinking or fading in and out. But, don’t overdo it. Most authoring tools come with pre-loaded animations, so you don’t need to download any extras.
Use the same fonts as your brand
If you use the same fonts as your brand, your e-learning course will look like it’s part of your brand. And that can only be a good thing! Choose fonts that are easy to read on a computer screen. Avoid fonts that look great in print, but are difficult to read when reduced to a small size on a computer screen. Most authoring tools allow you to choose the fonts for your course automatically. Just make sure you have the same fonts as your brand. If you are using PowerPoint, you can also install your brand fonts. You can either search online for a font pack with your brand fonts or use one of the free font libraries.
Use the same colours as your brand
Colours can also help to reinforce the visual style of your brand. The best e-learning courses are consistent with the visual style of your brand. So, using the same colours as your brand can help to make this happen. Use the colours in your logo, and make sure each background colour in your course matches one of your brand colours. You can also use colours to represent different topics. For example, you can use red to highlight important topics. Or, you can use green to represent topics related to sustainability. You can also use the colour wheel to select your colours. Each colour on the wheel is linked to a specific emotion. If you select your colours based on this, your course will have a consistent feeling, which ties it to your brand.
Add remote audio and video clips
If possible, add remote audio and video clips to your rapid eLearning development. This gives your courses more depth, and they are really easy to include in your authoring tool. You can find audio and video clips on the web or on stock image sites. Make sure you follow any licensing requirements and include a citation if you use any copyrighted materials. You can use audio clips to record interviews with your employees or experts in your field. Or, you can record your own voice to deliver spoken content. You can use video clips to record testimonials from employees or customers or to record short ‘how-to’ videos.
Don’t overuse colour or animation
As we’ve discussed, colour and animations can help to make your e-learning course look better. But, if you overdo it, your course might end up looking too flashy and distracting. Don’t use too many different colours in your course. Stick to the colours in your brand, and only use the colours you need to highlight important topics. Avoid overusing animations. Only use one or two on each slide, and only use the ones you need. Don’t use too many different fonts. Use your brand fonts, and only use the ones you need to highlight important topics.
Don’t use photo backgrounds
A beautiful image behind your course helps to tie it in with your brand. Unfortunately, photographs make it difficult to change the background at a later date. And if you are using an e-learning platform, you probably won’t be able to change the background at all. If you have to produce your e-learning for multiple brands or departments, you might want to avoid using photo backgrounds. Instead, use a plain background that you can easily change in the future. If you do want to use a photo, make sure it’s a high-resolution image. A photo background might look amazing when you first produce your course. But, as the image ages, it will look pixelated and grainy on a computer screen.
Don’t use overly-fancy typefaces
When selecting a typeface for your e-learning course, avoid overly-fancy typefaces. They might look great when printed on paper, but they don’t always translate well to a computer screen. If you use a fancy typeface, your readers might have trouble reading some of the text in your course. You can use a computer program to calculate the readability of your text. Or, you can use a readability formula to estimate your reading level.
Plan ahead with user experience in mind
You don’t want to design your e-learning course in a vacuum. Instead, design it with the user in mind. You can do this by considering how your users will engage with your course. What devices will they use? How much time will they have? What will their previous experiences be? You can also consider how your users will navigate your course. How will they navigate between topics? What will the path look like? What information will they need along the way? By thinking about how your users will engage with your course, you will have a better idea of how it should look and flow. This will help you avoid creating a course that is too busy or too distracting. Summary Elearning is a great way to deliver training or educational content to employees or users. But, there are so many elearning tools available that it can be hard to know which one to choose. There are also so many different ways you can use elearning content that it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed by the process of creating effective courses. Fortunately, you can use your existing skills and some new techniques to create better elearning courses faster than before.