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How to design the right training materials

Posted by NOSA on Jul 3, 2017 12:15:00 PM

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Designing training materials is a bit like planning a dinner party – you have to come up with a menu, write the recipes, decide on the wine, and who you’re going to invite. This is the ‘plan before you do’ phase of creating your training.


12 points to keep in mind during design

  1. Design is crucial before development.
  2. Always focus primarily on the learning needs of your employees, and not on what’s easy for your trainers.
  3. Only create training content and assessments that relate directly to your learning objectives.
  4. Remember the adult learning principles.
  5. Include as much hands-on practice or simulation as possible: people learn by doing.
  6. Whenever possible, put the employees in control of the learning process (instead of the trainer).
  7. Let the employees talk and interact with the trainer and with each other during the training.
  8. Make sure there’s plenty of opportunity for feedback during training.
  9. Break your training materials up into small chunks that are easier to take in and understand.
  10. Order your chunked training materials in a logical manner.
  11. Try to use a blended learning approach that includes training in several different formats.
  12. Try to appeal to a variety of your workers’ senses during training.


4 tips for designing e-learning training material for a global audience


Remember, your employees may be spread across several continents, in different branches, and so it becomes important to consider the best way to design your course material in a way that all employees can best utilise them. Which is why the factors that determine the best e-learning course become significant.


Checklist: When is e-learning a good option?

  • When you have to deliver a significant amount of content to a large number of employees.
  • When employees are spread over a geographically-dispersed location.
  • When employees have limited mobility.
  • When employees have limited time to devote to learning during the day.
  • When employees have difficulty listening and reading effectively.
  • When employees have basic computer and internet-navigation skills.
  • When you require employees to develop homogenous background knowledge on the topic.
  • When employees are highly motivated to learn and enjoy being able to proceed at their own pace.
  • When you will reuse the content for other employee groups in the future.
  • When your training aims to build cognitive skills rather than psychomotor skills.
  • When your course addresses long-term, rather than short-term training needs.
  • When you need to collect and track data.


Designing an e-learning course that engages the learner is the biggest challenge. The first thing you need to do is analyse the content. Then, you need to identify the training needs. Creating e-learning courses that are ‘to the point’ will help learners decide if your e-learning course will offer them the skills and knowledge they need to achieve their goals. Once you receive inputs from your employees, start analysing the content and proceed with the next steps.


Here are a few tips to design training materials for a global organisation. These go a long way in ensuring your courses deliver the right objectives for employees around the world.


  1. Be sure about the cultural variations: Adding competitive games or some role plays may work well for some cultures. It is better to ask for help from your various regions to ensure each one gets the right fit.
  2. Be clear in your use of language:Though English is considered as the language of business, it is a second language for many. Avoid using idioms and colloquialisms that are not well-understood.
  3. Pay attention when using numbers:Be careful when using numbers in your online courses, especially when they are accessed globally. Indicate how you’d like it to be read when you are writing the date, year, phone number or units of currency.
  4. Use globally-accepted images:Use images that are globally accepted. For instance, rather use an image of children playing soccer to depict teamwork, instead of an image of children playing baseball, which is only popular in certain parts of the world.


4 e-learning components to consider including

E-learning approaches can combine different types of components, including:

  1. E-learning content: Simple learning resources; interactive lessons; electronic simulations, and job aids.
  2. E-tutoring; e-coaching; e-mentoring: Services that provide human and social dimensions can be offered to learners to support them through the learning experience.
  3. Collaborative learning: Collaborative activities range from discussions and knowledge sharing, to working together on a common project. Social software, such as chats, discussion forums and blogs, are used for online collaboration among learners.
  4. Virtual classrooms: A virtual classroom is the instructional method most similar to traditional classroom training, as it is led completely by an instructor.


5 ways to enhance the quality of your e-learning

The quality of an e-learning course is enhanced by:

·         learner-centred content: E-learning curricula should be relevant and specific to employees’ learning needs, roles and responsibilities in professional life. You should provide skills, knowledge and information in line with this.

·         granularity: Segment e-learning content to facilitate assimilation of new knowledge and to allow flexible scheduling of time for learning.

·         engaging content: Use instructional methods and techniques creatively to develop an engaging and motivating learning experience.

·         interactivity: Frequent learner interaction is needed to sustain attention and promote learning.

·         personalisation: Ensure self-paced courses can be customisable to reflect learners’ interests and needs; in instructor-led courses, tutors and facilitators should be able to follow the learners’ progress and performance individually.









Topics: Career in Health and Safety, HSE, Safety training, HSE training

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