These are the advantages of using various content forms

Renate de Jonge

When talking about offering various content forms on your online learning hub there are numerous possibilities. We’ll show you several content forms and we’ll explain why it’s important to vary in the way you present content and which advantages this has. 

Watching the next slide with text and an image while yawning…

Presenting your learning content in one way will easily get boring. By using the same set up sheet after sheet, text on the left side and an image on the right, your users will quickly get tired. You need to vary more (and we don’t mean the text on the right and the image on the left when saying this 😉). The consequence of this monotony in your look will result in users getting distracted and quitting early.

How do you present your learning content better and how do you ensure that your complete training is interesting and fascinating? Content and relevance remain obviously on number one, but by using various styles in presenting this the user won’t stray off that easily.

This list is certainly not exhaustive, but it’s a good starting point to think about various ways to present your learning content in your online learning hub.

Presentation

This one is widely known! By means of text and image you present your learning material to the user. Examples are a PowerPoint presentation or a pdf.

As illustrated above, you should be careful that this isn’t the only content form your training consists of! The key word for this content form is ‘short’. The perfect use of this form is, for example, a summary, which you can excellently present in a sheet or pdf.

Demonstrations

Videos and animations are ideal for demonstrating tasks and procedures. By combining text, image and sound, the user will be completely ‘submerged’ in the offered content. In this way, you catch the attention of the users, but it will also be remembered longer.

Images and illustrations

Still or animated images, graphs and diagrams can strengthen the content. An infographic is a good example of sharing information visually. The users will take a good look at the information thanks to the inviting design and they won’t be put off by the amount of text. The lay out cannot overshadow the text, but must be complementary to it.

Humour suits an online training as well. You can very well add memes or animated GIF’s to your content, provided that they’re somehow relevant and illustrate your point. This works well for a light-hearted variation during the course, so everyone remains alert.

Interaction

Interactivity is enormously important to keep the interest of your users. By using activities, quizzes and games, you give the users an opportunity to apply their gained knowledge. This way they can test if they comprehend the content sufficiently and they actively convey their knowledge instead of passively taking it in.

Moreover, interactions provide a good intermediate goal and help to stay motivated: ‘As soon as you’ve finished module 3, you can play the end game!’

Sound

When you’ve once watched a thriller without sound, you notice how much this background music contributes to the whole film. Sound intrigues and gets attention. The same goes for sound in an online training. By applying sound, a podcast, various voices that bring a practical situation to life or a good soundtrack that submerges the user in the learning hub, you create optimal involvement.

Simulations

Simulations have the advantage that a user can practice a process or act in a complete save environment. The user will experience what goes well and what can be improved by practicing and trying in a super realistic environment. For example, speaking in public. Many people experience difficulty with this, mostly in the beginning. Using a good simulation, for example VR-glasses, users will enter a packed lecture hall and can practice mastering their nerves.

Case studies and stories

The ultimate learning situation is of course reality. Users learn much more from a story about real life than from a list of bullet points. Forget about those lists and tell a story about the learning content and show the users how it’s applicable in their situation. Success guaranteed!

The same goes for case studies. One of the best ways to learn is by hearing what happened to others and how they dealt with certain situations. By receiving such information users can determine for themselves how they can apply it to their own situations.

The advantages

What are the advantages of applying all these different content forms?

As the examples above show, every form serves its own goal. By applying various content forms you train the knowledge and skills of your users optimally.

An overarching advantage is that varying with the types of content keeps the users alert. Variation stimulates our brain. One in three employees says that non-inspiring content obstructs their learning process. Offering the content in various interesting and effective manners is thus rewarding. All to stimulate and improve the learning process.