Designing Training Content

updated on 18 November 2021

Educating requires passion, commitment, and unending journey of learning.

People all over the world are looking for training content to help them achieve their goals. 

If you're a founder of a company, customer education through content should be a critical part of your go-to market strategy. Your user's learning curve is proportional to your company's earning's curve.

Netflix-style online content that's free and available on-demand helps your customers on-board themselves. Providing education creates a preference and excitement for your product. Creating training content can be the best form of marketing. 

If you are a subject matter expert with insider knowledge about a topic and you're someone who's enthusiastic about sharing your knowledge and making other people's life better, you're perfect for creating training content. 

Know your audience 

Before you start creating any training content, you first need to understand your potential audience. Knowing your audience gets you a better idea what content to create and what teaching methods to use. It also makes it easier to come up with a topic, create a plan, and build outlines for the content.

Find out about your audience; their goals, challenges, problems, and then create content to solve these. 

Learner types

Different people learn differently. Some learners listen well but miss visual cues, some learners like to learn with others, and others like to learn on their own. If you find ways to cater to learners with different learning abilities, you'll find success in your content.

The base learning types follow the VARK model. V for visual, A for auditory, R for reading and writing, and K for kinesthetics.  

Visual

  • Characteristics: Learn best through graphic and visual presentations. They respond well to colors, charts, graphs, diagrams, and other types of visual representations. 
  • Strategies: Use visual imagery. You can include photos to emphasize each step of instruction.

Auditory

  • Characteristics: Like learning through listening. Respond well to rhythms, rhymes, music, and sounds. They usually remember things that they hear like conversations or explanations and so respond well to verbal presentations like speeches and lectures. 
  • Strategies: Add narration that's lively and engaging. Use rhymes and mnemonics. When telling stories prepare relevant sound effects and use different voices when saying the lines of different characters. Include relaxing background music.

Kinesthetic

  • Characteristics: Like learning by being hands-on. They prefer to take an active role in their learning process. They use all their senses while learning. 
  • Strategies: Have activities that encourage problem solving or mapping out their thoughts. Explain things in terms of feelings or sensations. 

Social

  • Characteristics: Learn best when communicating and socializing with others. They enjoy group activities and opportunities to discuss and interact with other learners.
  • Strategies: Try to make your content as interactive and engaging as possible. Assign tasks that involve interacting with others. Encourage students to discuss topics on a forum. Pair up students to give them a chance to discuss lessons.

When students can access information through their preferred learning modes, they're more motivated and understand concepts better. Most learners have more than one learning style. Although one of those learning styles is the dominant one. 

You can use the blended learning approach and combine instructor-led classroom methods with online materials to make learning a more holistic experience for different types of learners.

Find the right platform

Technology is just a tool. Designing engaging content is the key. 

An LMS is a software application that you can use to deliver, monitor, document, report, and automate training programs. You can use an LMS to deliver lessons, create reports, monitor the progress of your students, and more. 

Examples of an LMS: Academy of mine, Click4course, CourseCraft, Kajabi, LearnWorlds, OpenLearning, Podia, SkillsShare, Teachable, Thinkific, Udemy, and Uteach.

Decide on the subject

When you choosing the subject for your course, make sure it's aligned with your passions and interests. 

Choose a subject that's a niche. Choosing a niche helps you identify your target audience so you can create courses that speaks to your leaners at a deeper level.

If you choose a niche that's too broad you might get overwhelmed with all of the variations. Choose a narrower category. Specific, but broad enough to provide variety. 

Create your training content

You need to create a clear and concrete structure for your audience, so that they're engaged throughout the course. 

Step 1: Come up with goals and objectives

Creating learning goals and objectives are at the core of training content creation. Having these also helps the potential learners see if their goals match the goals of the course.

Goals and objectives are different. 

  • Goals are broad statements of what you'd like your students to learn. Goals are general broad and achievable in the long term though they aren't necessarily measurable. Write down at least 3 goals. Think about what you plan to emphasize in your course. What are the main themes that your students will go through. 
  • Objectives are more specific and lead to learning outcomes right away. You can break down the objectives further into learning assessments or activities to make them more measurable. Start your objectives with verbs. Some examples: Understand the importance of - Learn how to prepare everything you need for -. You can create one or more learning objective for each lesson or topic in your course.

Step 2: Set expectations for the training content

Write an overview for the training content, reasons why it's beneficial, and an outline for everything a learner will learn. 

Step 3: Come up with a list of topics

Research and brainstorm to come up with a list of topics that you'll teach. If your planning a comprehensive training, you should plan to have at least 8-10 topics. 

Search for these topics online to gauge the interest-level in each topic. Are people talking about the topics online and asking questions about them. 

Come up with catchy title for each of your topics so that they're memorable to your students. 

Organize your topics, make sure that your topics flow logically from one to another. Keep rearranging until you find the logical flow. 

Step 4: Choose a course format

Some of the most effective formats are:

  • Week-by-week format - Divide topics for each week. You can release one topic per week. It helps you teach your courses in a set amount of time. It's very effective for conceptual or highly technical topics.
  • Topic-by-topic format - Learners go through the topics at their own pace without time limits. Excellent for short and straightforward content. 
  • Reference format: You provide all the information and the students will use it as a reference as they self learn. This format lacks concrete structure and the learners can jump in and out of topics. 

Step 5: Build an outline

Come up with a specific outline for what to teach in each topic

Add assessments, worksheets, and all other elements to your outline. As you start adding details to your outline, you'll see the whole training program come together.

Step 6: Create the content for your topics

This is the most challenging, time-consuming, and fulfilling part of the process. 

Some examples of content you can create: articles or blog posts, audio files like podcasts, ebooks, graphic designs, mind maps, presentations, videos, animations, hands-on activities, assessments, webinars, games, and more.

You can also use your own learning materials. 

Tips:

  • Do your research. Research is an essential part of content creation.
  • Make sure it's fun and engaging. Make less exciting topics more compelling.
  • Find the balance between audio, video, and hands on activities.
  • Short interesting topics are easier to grasp than long ones.
  • Add a summary at the end of every topic. 

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