How to Create Training Materials for eLearning Courses

Congratulations on moving from traditional instructor-led training to eLearning with the aid of animation as this is one of the most difficult decisions that you, a training manager, have ever made. After mapping out the training objectives, the next step is to prepare training materials. However, the task is too big and you easily get overloaded and overlook everything.

There are endless mistakes that you may encounter when learning how to create training materials. Could it come from the developers that don’t have a clue about what they’re doing? (Yes, it could). Would it come from the lack of a needs analysis for the training program? (Yes, it would.) Could it come from being overwhelmed when handling a large-scale project for the first time? (Yes, it could).

Then, of course, as the first to initiate the project and the last to inspect the final results, you need to keep notes of the dos and don’ts if you want to animate the course to get better outcomes.

Training materials v.s training content

Have you ever wondered what training materials and training contents are?

Content and material are basically the stuff in the training modules. They can be used interchangeably, but it also depends on the context. Our members at F.Learning Studio have researched how L&D teams use these corporate training terms. And here’s what we got:

  • Training content: Training content is the topic delivered through training modules. The contents can be a model, a theory, an analysis, or a case.
  • Training materials: The deliverables that cover the training content. If someone asks for the material of a course, it means all the documents and files that make up the course. Training materials can include PowerPoints, Videos, Audiobooks, Briefings, instructions, candidate guides, trainer packs, etc. 

Why do we need training materials for employees?

Before jumping into the training material development guide, let’s have a closer look at how training materials benefit the whole course-making process.

1. Defining roles and responsibilities

Training materials can assist employees in understanding their responsibilities in each position. As a result, they know where to invest time and energy. It also put an end to the common excuse or task refutation like “That’s not my job, I won’t do it!” from employees who have stayed with the companies but don’t understand their tasks clearly or vice versa. It will be easier for you and your team to navigate this argument if you have distinct expectations for each role specified in your training materials. 

Make your online and hybrid course more engaging with simple animation guide, why not?

Ultimate Guide to Make Animated Educational Videos

storyboard for educational video

2. Establishing best practices

For firms to expand, consistency in processes and procedures is vital. Your training materials will assist you in determining the best practices for your company. By outlining all the dos and don’ts in the training materials, Training managers may assist trainees in understanding the company’s fundamental requirements and who to contact if problems escalate.

Not to mention, if your training course receives great feedback from employees, it may be welcomed warmly in the market. If that is the case, then you should learn how to market educational courses online.

3. Better employee performance

Your training resources are an excellent resource for defining what constitutes exceptional performance and articulating professional growth opportunities. An employee who has been properly taught will always outperform their unskilled equivalent. Understanding their role will give them more confidence in what they’re doing and provide them with measurable targets to work toward.

4. Improved compliance

The explicit articulation of an organization’s rules and governing regulations sets a compliance expectation and indicates the potential repercussions of breaking these rules. Serious impacts may occur when employees can’t commit to following quality standards or rules. Make sure your training materials for employees are detailed in their explanations of the regulations, and that each employee thoroughly comprehends them.

A complete guide on how to create training materials

How do you now choose the sort of internal skills your staff should receive? It can be difficult to ensure that you are selecting the appropriate training for each team member and that your team is getting the greatest value from the skill-building program you have chosen. Learning how to create effective training materials is the key to designing successful training courses (which can be so overwhelming but we discussed it later). Let’s have a closer look below at the training materials for employees’ guide contents.

Step 1: Start with a training objective

Step 2: Evaluate existing content 

Step 3: Learners’ past knowledge should be included

Step 4: Create a course outline

Step 5: Choose the proper content format for training materials

Step 6: Organize training materials into Learning tracks

Step 7: Create the draft and ask for further suggestions to edit

Step 8: Measure the ROI of your training material development

Step 1: Start with a training objective.

The training objective is the center of any training course. It defines what a learner expects to know, understand, or do as a result of a training program. 

To successfully define the training objectives, here are three key components you need to be clear about::

  • Performance: Employees’ outputs through the course
  • Condition: Knowledge, tools, and documents required to complete the course
  • Criteria: The given conditions that employees must perform well

And remember to carry out a needs analysis and gap analysis before setting objectives. In this way, you can see trainees’ knowledge gaps, their past training, what’s worked, what hasn’t, and so on. When you understand the current situation of your company’s training ground, you will know what you need to do to improve it.

To write practical training objectives, check the below article!

Step 2: Evaluate existing content 

Once the training objective is finished, the next task is to evaluate the existing contents. Building new training materials does not correlate with throwing away the current ones. Therefore, to utilize the potential of the old materials, in your development process, you might ask a few inquiries regarding current material: 

  • Are there any current training resources (presentations, papers, manuals, standards, videos, etc.) that can help with the content development process?
  • Are all of the relevant details included in these materials? Is it true that they are outdated? Are there any mistakes? Are they engaging and interesting?
  • Is there any past comment on the training materials’ quality? What did the learners like/dislike in the past?
  • Is there anything you’re missing?
  • Why wasn’t the training deemed successful in the past?

It may seem like a bunch of questions to go into. Therefore, critically, you should, in turn, go through these questions with the mindset: Existing content is only valuable if it aids in the creation of a high-quality learning experience that learners will like and remember. Think about what method of learning suits your employees best.

See how F.Learning turns content into a much more engaging way to learn with animation:

Step 3: Learners’ past knowledge should be included

The key to designing a successful eLearning course is to activate prior knowledge to make sense of new knowledge. That’s why L&D managers can make use of the knowledge of team members to put a seed in their heads about how their opinions matter.

How should you do it? 

  • Pay close attention to what is truly important.
  • Emphasize the connections between key topics.
  • Remind students of important past knowledge that they may use to grasp the new topics you’ll be teaching.

Step 4: Create a course outline

Much has been said about training materials, but if L&D leaders aren’t actually putting learners’ insights into a detailed outline, it doesn’t matter even if they say they’d make an effective course or more. Some training managers may fall into the trap of “The more, the better.” Stop creating never-ending courses, because:

  • Learners will only memorize less than 5 things in a sequence: According to a study by NIH Grant, working memory storage capacity is significant because cognitive activities can only be accomplished if the ability to keep information while it is being processed is sufficient. In adults, a core memory store with just 3 to 5 significant items. Indeed, the shorter, the better.
  • An adult learner can only focus for roughly 20 minutes on average by merely listening. It’s also difficult to convince them to participate in training on dull and dry issues like business compliance. So, how can you get them to participate more actively in the session? On that note, An interactive online training program may be the main solution for your business.
  • That said, L&D managers have to write really good condensed learning content. The knowledge dimension model is one of the great tools to consult. As stated by Curious Lion, the knowledge dimension is in accordance with the cognitive process dimension. We have the knowledge divided into 4 categories with the difficulty level ascending from factual (numbers, events, terms, etc), conceptual (the interrelationship between the facts), procedural (the how-to-do knowledge) to metacognitive (critical awareness or reflection of the knowledge). In order to master each level of knowledge, the training materials have to encourage learners to gradually apply all of the following skills: to remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and lastly, to create.

Step 5: Choose the proper content format for training materials

Now, that you have gone through the preparation parts, it’s time to get down to business and write your training materials for employees. There are so many formats when picking the right multimedia learning asset for the job. It can be print media, video, or live, to name a few. F.Learning has created templates to help you master how to create training materials. These simple templates make creating training content a snap. Here are a few of the best themes, organized by subject category. 

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Step 6: Organize training materials into Learning tracks

After getting the right content format, it’s time to organize your training materials. 

Businesses often conduct different training programs to improve employees’ performance and productivity. There is a significant number of training materials, and L&D managers need to reorganize those things. 

It’s better if the training materials can be sorted into the learning track because:

  • Employees gain more freedom to choose the best teaching method.
  • Everyone will learn in the way that is most convenient for them
  • L&D managers can incorporate various channels and formats into a single learning track

To lend L&D managers a helping hand, we suggest some methods to help you organize your training materials.

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Step 7: Create the draft and ask for further suggestions to edit

Before launching the course, ensure you have created the training material drafts. You can ask your teammates for further suggestions to improve the quality of the training materials as well. 

Here is the checklist to help you check the quality of your training materials:

  • Is the material capable of holding your learners’ attention?
  • Do the presentations convey information in an easy-to-understand manner?
  • Does the material include examples, case studies, or graphics to add to the interactiveness of the content?
  • Does the training material include ways for employees to apply what they’ve learned?
  • Does the material expose learners to new scenarios and problems where they can use their learned skills?

Step 8: Measure the ROI of your training material development

Last but not least, to wrap up the process into how to create learning materials, you must measure the final product. Here are 4 criteria you may consider:

  1. Employees’ likeliness – How did the employees react to the training?
  2. Employees’ learning experience – Did the employees benefit from the training?
  3. Employees’ post-training job performance — Are employees doing the duties they were hired to do?
  4. Quantifiable business outcomes – Is the business’s objective being met?

When undergoing this very last step, keep in mind that everything is connected. You should return to your initial needs analysis and quantify the impact on business outcomes. 

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Mastering how to create effective training materials is absolutely urgent. Obviously, good training materials for employees don’t have to be the same bulky, dull tome they used to be. People are accustomed to learning online and frequently prefer it to traditional learning methods. Online training manuals are also more convenient to use than their printed counterparts. They’re searchable, and users may save certain pages for quick access to frequently-used information. You may produce excellent training materials for colleagues or clients using the tools and methods shown here.

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