Guest post by Gerry Praysman, Buzz Marketer, Brainshark, Inc.

Brainshark, a Blackboard Signature Partner™, won two of ELearning! Media Group’s Annual Readers’ Choice Awards for product innovation and customer satisfaction. After the announcement, Gerry Praysman, Brainshark’s social outreach expert, sat down with their Learning & Development team to answer the question: What are we doing right? Here are the “Best Practices” Brainshark wanted to share with their peers in the eLearning community.

We here at Brainshark are incredibly proud of our recent wins at the Best of ELearning! Awards. Although we’ve been having a blast with this, we figured this would be a good time to take a short break from our celebrating and share a few tidbits of wisdom we’ve picked up over the years. Here are five tips that are sure to improve your eLearning and training programs:

1.       Know Your Audience – it’s easy to create broad learning material and try to cover all of your bases in one go. Although it’s quick, it’s not always effective. Be mindful of who your audience is with each course so that you can better tailor your messaging. The more engaged your learners are, the more they’ll learn.

2.       Go On-Demand – learning tends to improve when it can be done on the student’s own time. Find a solution that allows you to deliver your training on-demand and, if it’s appropriate, give your students ample time to finish it. More content will be absorbed if there is no rush or preoccupation with other tasks. Because there is no live instructor, make sure you can track your students’ progress, successes, and failures.

3.       Chunk Your Content – Building off the last point, content is consumed more easily if it’s presented in manageable pieces. If you’re tracking student progress, you should have some idea of how and where they tend to drop off with your learning content. Cut down your longer courses into series and investigate how to cut each individual course down to maximize attention levels.

4.       Go Mobile – In the interest of making it convenient for the learner, find a solution that makes your courses viewable on a smartphone or tablet. This makes it all the easier for students to receive training where and how they want it. It’s particularly convenient for constant travelers since it allows any student to put some distance between themselves and the computer. It’s always nice to have less baggage.

5.       Make a Connection – this is perhaps the most important tip. Don’t get into the mindset of preaching, but truly teaching. You should make clear to the student what’s in it for them. Try to show how this investment of their time and effort will be beneficial to them moving forward. Use realistic examples in your courses so that they can better relate and most importantly, always stay on message. It’s easy to veer off in an effort to provide all of your knowledge, but be focused and concise. Respecting the student’s time will only result in better engagement.

Success really boils down to making it easier for the learner. Feel free to check out Brainshark for Training to see if it’s a good fit or our Ideas Blog for more tips and tricks!

Do you have any good eLearning and training tips? Please share!

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