How to Shorten Your E-Learning Courses Without Impacting the Results
There is no optimum length for e-learning, as courses should be as long as they need to be to cover the topic and achieve your objectives. However, it is often possible to shorten e-learning courses.
That poses a number of questions:
- Why would you want to shorten an e-learning course?
- How can you tell if an e-learning course would benefit from being shortened?
- How can you shorten the course without impacting the results?
Why Shortening E-Learning Courses Can Be Beneficial
Time is one thing that most workers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia lack. Therefore, it can be difficult for learners to get a long, uninterrupted period of time to complete a training course. Even if they can, the time spent training can impact productivity. It can also result in the worker having to catch up with their day-to-day tasks.
Reducing the pressure on your team’s time is not the only benefit, though. Shortening e-learning courses can also improve them, produce better results, and increase engagement levels, as well as improving the learning experience. After all, you don’t want bored learners or learners who think their time is not being valued.
Indicators that Your E-Learning Course is Too Long
So, how can you identify e-learning courses that are too long? One of the best indicators is feedback from those who have completed the course. Learners might express low levels of satisfaction, or you can ask them specifically about their opinion on the length of the course.
Reviewing e-learning metrics is another indicator you can use. You might find it takes learners many days (or even weeks) to complete a course once it has been started. This can be an indicator that learners are struggling to find the time required to complete the course in full. You might also identify high dropout rates at certain points or drops in levels of engagement.
Then there is your gut instinct. Often it is possible to tell if an e-learning course is too long by spending some time going through parts of it yourself.
How to Shorten E-learning Courses and Improve them at the Same Time
Here are some of the main methods you can use to shorten your e-learning courses. Not only will these methods shorten the course, but they will also potentially improve it.
Create Personalised E-Learning Paths
One of the best ways to improve engagement with training and e-learning is to personalise learning pathways and empower learners. In other words, you give learners some control over the content they go through. This lets learners skip past sections they already understand, reducing the time it takes to complete the course.
Make the Text as Concise as Possible
E-learning courses are generally not the place to use flowery, over-the-top text. Instead, the text should be clear, concise, and straight to the point. It should use everyday conversational language too. This will help learners read and understand the text faster.
Other tips for shortening the text in your e-learning courses without impacting the message include:
- Use short sentences and paragraphs rather than large blocks of text.
- Rewrite paragraphs as bullet-point lists.
- Use headings and sub-headings to break up the text.
Remove Unnecessary Content
Removing unnecessary content will also shorten your e-learning courses. This includes unnecessary text and repetition. It’s important to note that repetition is also a training tool, i.e., repetition can help people learn. That’s not what we are talking about here. Instead, we are talking about unnecessary repetition.
It’s not just text either, as other unnecessary content should also be removed to make the course less cluttered and to ensure there are minimal distractions that will slow the learner down.
Make Media as Effective as Possible
The media elements that you include in your e-learning courses – images, infographics, charts, videos, etc. – help your team learn, as media can often explain an idea, skill, or concept more effectively than text. Media elements can also shorten your e-learning courses. The key to achieving this is to make them as effective as possible.
For example, don’t just use an image when you could replace text and improve the user experience with a chart or infographic.
Create a Clear Navigational Structure
In e-learning, navigational elements and structure are important for ensuring a good learning experience. They can also influence how long it takes learners to complete the course. Poor e-learning navigation, for example, can result in learners having to tap or click through screens they have already seen. It can also take learners longer to figure out what they need to do next if the navigation in the e-learning course is poor.
On the flip side, good navigation assists the learner as they progress through the course, ensuring the process is as smooth as possible.
Add Gamified Elements and Scenarios
Gamified elements and scenarios are tools you can use to improve engagement levels and the learning experience. However, they can also be powerful training tools that speed up the learning process. As a result, they can help shorten your e-learning courses.
Optimising the Length of Your E-Learning Courses
When considering the above points, it’s also important to remember that your e-learning courses can be too short as well as too long. Therefore, you should avoid trying to shorten a course by cutting important information or content that helps your team learn and understand the topic. The aim of using the above tips is to shorten the course to an optimum length without any negative impacts.