eLearning – What Format Is Best? The five formats of eLearning
Running an eLearning content marketplace means that clients often ask for our recommendations for content that best meets their unique requirements.
Whilst, in part, we are well placed to provide a qualified answer, in other ways, we can find this a very challenging request. The reason being, that what makes for an effective format and style of content is very dependent on the audience preferences as well as the culture and norms of the purchasing organisation. Format and style are subjective matters and as much about creativity and artistry as science and pedagogy.
I therefore thought it may help if I tried to summarise the five main formats or style of eLearning content so that you can consider which style best suits your audience and needs.
1. Presenter to camera format (Presenter) – seeks to directly emulate a live tutor-led class with a subject matter expert presenting on camera directly to you, the learners. It offers a very familiar learning experience and can build engagement using engaging and inspiring presenters who utilise voice and body language to the full.
2. Graphic animation format (Animated) – leverages the power of computer graphics and CGI to deliver high impact visual content normally with voiceover or music audio. It can deliver a visually stimulating and engaging experience that fully leverages the fact that ‘a picture can paint a thousand words’
3. Scenario Drama format (Drama) – plays to our everyday enjoyment and willingness to consume drama on TV and film to deliver an immersive and life-like experience that can illustrate complex interactions and behaviours.
4. Cartoon format (Cartoon) – this is a combination of the Animated and Drama styles which utilises cartoon characters in a fully animated format to typically deliver a scenario-based experience.
5. Slide deck format (Slide) – this is the most basic and cost-effective format that delivers animated PowerPoint style content, typically with a voiceover. It’s benefits are the low cost and high speed of development coupled with the ability to convey large chunks of information efficiently.
Now of course, content design is not ‘binary’ i.e. it is not limited to use only one or the other formats, and the more sophisticated developers will combine several styles in one eLearning module, although it is still often possible to generalise in terms of the primary format utilised.
In a wider context, our challenge with maintaining learner engagement is more about being able to offer our learners a mix of formats across a larger catalogue of content that they need to consume over an extended period. Relying solely or predominantly on one style, no matter how good it is, may ultimately lead to boredom with that style and a desire for something fresh and new.
This is where our multi-publisher content catalogue coupled with our flexible purchase models come to the fore. We offer organisations the opportunity to ‘mix-and-match’ content form different publishers so they can pick the best content for each learning need and ring the changes in terms of styles and formats, either within a static catalogue, or by switching content from year to year. After all, who amongst us wants to have to complete the same compliance course on GDPR every year or so, no matter how good it is?
If you like the idea of PAYG content purchase why not search our extensive content library to find the right courses for your organisation’s eLearning needs?
Remember, that we can deliver any of the courses through your internal LMS, or we can provide you with a dedicated and branded version of our Course-Source LMS, if preferred.