Anu Singh, Fiserv
November 15, 2022
In the last two years, the way organizations have evolved with respect to digital transformation, in a similar fashion, the traditional approach towards content development has evolved, and the line between–the guided and unguided learning has blurred with a noticeable shift in the learning environment that many of us might be experiencing.
In a corporate learning environment, as educators and clients’ success enablers, it is our responsibility to support learners on their product adoption or learning journey through a holistic learning process and create a learning environment that is safe and provides learners with an opportunity to play with the learning content. As we evolve with Industry 4.0, it is critical to consider the experiences that come with technology and complement it with content that users need with the technology they are using.
With the latest technology trends, intuitive products, and smart devices, it has become critical to create content that is credible, concise, and intelligent for enhancing client experiences for the products and services that an organization offers. As content creators, we must create content by leveraging technologies, learning principles, and omnichannel platforms to enrich the overall product experience while balancing the experiential learning of a user as well. This also means that we need to effectively curate information to help our users with just-in-time information and learning.
Creating Content: Success with content for a learner – what does it mean?
When we create content, and we make the content meaningful for our learners, we have a success story there.
The content we create is considered successful when we chunk it in such a way that the granular format helps us keep the learners or users focused without interfering in the learning process or adding unnecessary distractions. Success with content also means that content is available on various platforms and remains accessible to a learner, especially when they need it most. It is created with empathy and individualized as per a learner’s need and their learning path, and it must be engaging – you can weave a story to teach a lesson and apply design thinking.
To ensure we are creating content that is effective, it is important to consider the guiding principles for creating content especially when we are creating content for learning purposes. In a learning environment there are varied factors we need to account for like learners may act differently in a learning environment. Also, to consider, is the ways in which people learn. Do they learn better through auditory, visual, discussions, activities etc., while using the appropriate adult learning principles?
As content creators, the success of our content lies in integrating a variety of learning approaches and delivery techniques to create a platform for learners where they can draw a sense of self-esteem and take pride in how they are processing learning. We need to build that safety net for learners where they feel safe to expose their vulnerabilities and reach out for help where they find barriers so that they stay focused on their learning and happily pursue their learning path as an engaged learner. An engaged learner would remain active in their learning with an eagerness to participate and willingness to put efforts needed for learning. With effective content, we are going to have motivated and inspired learners!
Content must be created to attract, engage, convert, and delight learners!
Success with content for a learner – what does it take?
The following are potential focus areas for creating a successful learning content in a product organization:
- Content personalization: content is mapped to accomplishing a task or acquiring a skill for driving efficiencies
- Product discovery: gamified content with personalized product recommendations
- Journey personalization: content helps in creating the omnichannel customer journey experience
- Strategy: content for urgency and demand as well as for abandonment and re-engagement
- Promotional messaging: content is used for deploying strategic messaging with compelling business needs.
- Content development principles and guidelines: content is created using principles of minimalism and principles of accessibility
It is important to understand that when we are training a learner, we are also creating opportunities for developing soft skills. For example, when we train a user on the products, we are also coaching the user on how to find what they need, when they need it through “Just-in-Time” learning. Besides, by factoring in these focus areas, we identify best practices and efficiencies in the content development process.
These aspects are considered for creating effective content for portals and virtual classes, and we measure the content success on these parameters:
- Role-based task content
- Multi-media and multi-platform use
- How fast the content loads on the website
- Ease of navigation, availability of just-in-time information
- High-quality and searchable content
- Personalized user experiences.
- Device compatibility, responsive content
When it comes to the learning environments, the area of focus shifts and the success of content is influenced by an educator’s personality, their tone, gesture, language, etc., as well. Additionally, there are guiding principles and strategies to follow for creating content for learners.
Creating effective learning content – what does it take?
For creating effective learning content, it is recommended to use the following approaches:
- Microlearning: Microlearning is the process of learning with short, focused chunks of content, and it engages learners better than longer content. A good rule of thumb is “short enough to be engaging, complete enough to be effective.”
- A holistic chunking framework: Chunking is breaking down a topic. When chunking a topic, we need to give the topic a 360° treatment to ensure the topic has great depth and coverage.
- Contextualizing: Adding a context to a topic is vital and helps a learner with retention. When chunking a topic, help a learner contextualize the subject and see clearly how it fits into the learner’s existing body of knowledge. This is also called We need a context to create and enhance content relevance.
- Content reuse: an effective strategy to reduce, reuse and recycle learning content. It could become a historical fact or a piece of contemporary information. Develop strategies to get the most out of the content you created – the content you have created could become reference material for many learners.
- Connect learning with experiences: one of the most effective approaches to add empathy to your learning content. This ensures that the created content resonates more with a learner by relating content to their experiences. Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Blog said that if you create content with empathy for the searcher experience, that’s great content.
- Take feedback and improve. This is key to getting quick success with your content. Transform or upgrade your content by involving your learners. Take their feedback and consider their inputs and experiences to make your content exceptional.
- Consider platform: always consider mobile-friendly content, and emerging technologies to leverage and to stay relevant. For example, apply design thinking to your training approaches or use machine learning and Artificial Intelligence in your learning modules to enhance the overall learning experiences.
It is important to understand your learners and their learning needs first so that you identify individuals with special needs as well as the brightest minds and talented individuals to channel their energy and attention. Engaging learning or training content is a way of empowering learning. When learners are engaged on all levels, they begin to hold themselves accountable for meeting milestones and achieving learning performance goals. And reaching their goals provides them with a sense of personal achievement. This is success, your success with content!
As educators, trainers, and content developers, creating content by intent is critical and plays a vital role in ensuring the success of a learner. As Peter Drucker said, “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly or it vanishes.”
- Elucidat Homepage, http://elucidate.com
- Talent LMS Homepage, https://www.talentlms.com/ebook
- Blog Grovo Homepage, https://blog.grovo.com
- SBU Homepage, http://web.sbu.edu/psychology/lavin/daniella.htm