In these unpredictable times, you may suddenly find that you no longer have the luxury of time to migrate your training online. You may also find that it could take all your time just researching the options available for preparing your training content.
What you need are quick and easy solutions right now!
Elearning Delta’s “solution” is to offer expert advice on how you can get your training online quickly and painlessly. This is the second in a series of informal articles to help you do just that.
In Part One of this series, we talked about the importance of a Learning Management System (LMS) for disseminating your online training. And we demonstrated how to set up an LMS using one of our favorites, TalentLMS, in just one day.
In this second installment, we focus on quick and easy ways to prep your training content for an LMS.
Second piece of advice: Just get your training content up!
Yes, there is a lot of slick online training out there; but don’t think that yours has to be all that in order to be effective. You need to train your remote workforce, and you have to start somewhere.
Once your content is up, you can refine it and even reach out to your learners to see what is working for them and what needs improvement.
Step Two: Preparing Your Training Content
As we mentioned in Part One, the best Learning Management Systems can accommodate just about any type of content, including:
- Word Docs and PDFs
- Power Point Presentations – with or without audio
- Videos – uploaded directly, or pulled from YouTube or Vimeo
- Web content – pulled from Wikipedia, Slideshare, Scribd, Prezi, Flickr, etc.
- Flash, HTML, and other specialized content
- And of course, industry standard content like SCORM, xAPI, cmi5, etc.
So, you can build your courses quickly using your existing training content “as is” or by creating new content without the need for special software.
Once you’ve created a course in your LMS of choice, you can start adding your content.
We’ll continue to use TalentLMS to demonstrate how you can quickly prepare any type of content and add it to an actual LMS.
We created a course in TalentLMS and are ready to add our content. Here are our options for adding training material…
You have a couple options for getting your Word Documents into your courses on an LMS.
You can upload the files so learners can read or download them directly from the LMS. Typically, an LMS will have a viewer for documents that is mobile and desktop friendly. Here is what the viewer looks like in TalentLMS.
Or, you can copy the Word Document’s text and images to quickly build a lesson in the LMS. Choose the Content option in TalentLMS.
You have many formatting options for these types of lessons, similar to how you would format a regular Word doc. Here is how that is done in our example.
The lessons will look similar to a webpage. Try to keep these types of lessons short so the user doesn’t need to scroll too much. You can create as many as you need.
PDFs can also be uploaded easily to an LMS course. Chose the Presentation | Document option in TalentLMS (use this for Word docs as well).
Most LMSs have document viewers in place to accommodate PDF navigation, zooming, full screen modes, and more. Here is TalentLMS’s viewer.
Power Point Presentations
You have a few more options if your training material is in Power Point (PPT).
One option is to simply upload the file to the LMS, and learners can view it like a slide show.
Adding Animations and Audio
Power Point animations can make your slides more engaging. Here is a tutorial on how to add animations.
You can also add audio to individual slides or your entire presentation. Below is where you find that option in Power Point. And here is a tutorial on how to add audio.
You can even use TalentLMS to convert your presentation to a video, complete with animations and audio in place! This feature is less common in other LMSs, though.
Choose the Video option, then select “Use a Presentation.”
The PPT will run like a video lesson with audio and animations in place.
You can also upload audio files independently. Choose the Audio option in TalentLMS. You can upload a file or record audio on the spot.
This option offers learners a way to follow along from a PPT, PDF, or Word Document.
The PPT example above demonstrates an easy way to use your existing content to create video lessons. Here are some additional suggestions.
You can produce videos quickly using screencast software. Here are a few suggestions:
Camtasia is one of our go-to tools for many reasons. It does nice screencasts; but you can also use it for video editing, and for producing more sophisticated e-learning lessons.
Use Zoom or whatever webinar service you use to record lessons from your current training.
Either record an upcoming live session or record yourself presenting and flipping through slides as if you are live. You can then download the video from the service and use is as a video lesson. Here is a tutorial on recording and saving your Zoom meetings.
Within the LMS
You will typically have several ways to embed video into your courses on an LMS. You can upload videos directly, record them on the spot (TalentLMS offers this option), or pull in video from third-party services like Vimeo or YouTube.
Most LMSs also let you pull in content from other third-party sites. This is particularly useful if you already have content on sites like Slideshare, Flickr, Scribd, or Prezi.
Choose Web Content from TalentLMS.
You will need the direct URL from the source content you want to feature in your course.
Using Elearning Authoring Software for your Training Content
Since this article is about rapid deployment, we haven’t talked much about e-learning software. But that doesn’t mean that taking the software route isn’t “rapid.”
If you have the expertise or resources at your disposal, then by all means use Storyline, Captivate, or another authoring tool to produce SCORM lessons for your courses.
We specifically recommend Articulate 360 for rapid development.
You are ready!
Now that you are armed with practical solutions for preparing any type of content for your LMS, you are ready to start building your courses.
In TalentLMS, adding a course is a one-step process. Though we’ll cover some other settings you’ll want to have in place once your lessons are up in the next article.
Coming Up Next: Publish your courses, enroll users, and launch!
In Part 3, we’ll demonstrate:
- Additional course settings
- Adding assessments and other features to your courses
- How to rapidly register and enroll your learners
- Tips for a successful launch
Get ready for the next step by finalizing your lessons and adding them to your LMS courses.
How Elearning Delta Can Help with your Training Content
These are unprecedented times, and we want to help as much as we can!