By Jonathan Halls
Modern learning and development offers learners so much more than print workbooks. You can and should engage your learners on many different levels, including text, video, and audio. The best part is you can distribute these digitally from the same place: the internet.
This new world of media is complex, so I approach it from three different angles to make sure my digital content is as powerful as it can be.
Digital Trick #1: Which Mode to Use
The first angle I look at is which modes to use for my content. The different modes available include:
Each of these modes is valuable for different reasons:
- Audio engages the imagination the most, so use it for role-play or other empathy exercises.
- Video is best for demonstrating how to do something.
- Text is perfect for teaching the details of something.
To determine which to use, ask yourself: what is my story? How can I use all of these modalities to highlight each of these parts?
Ideally, you will have different pieces of content using different modes to engage with learners on all different levels.
Digital Trick #2: Which Platform to Use
Next, I think about how they will be receiving the content. In other words, what platform and device will they be using?
Our relationship with content is very physical, even when we are accessing it virtually. Think about watching a film at the cinema versus on your computer screen versus on your phone. Each one requires something different from you physically, so you should produce your content with that in mind.
For example, if you are producing video for the phone, you want to avoid using camera movements and instead, use lots of close-ups because the screen is so small. If your video will be on a classroom projector, then you will want higher contrast lighting.
Start thinking about each piece of content this way. Can you make your content multi-platform so that tip sheets your salespeople will access on the road are designed for mobile while the video is designed for them to watch in the office on their computers?
Digital Trick #3: Personalize Content
Digital content makes it easier than ever to personalize your learning courses. Learners are now used to Amazon and Netflix experiences where they don’t even have to browse for their next piece of content: the software suggests it to them automatically.
Now learning can start to do that, too. Digital content is shorter chunks that can be archived, tagged, and distributed easily. You can create non-linear courses to help learners find what they actually need to learn.
I always say video is full of potential but the truth of the matter is that digital content as a whole is exciting. We have an opportunity to create more engaging, more personalized courses than ever before. Keep these three priorities in mind and your content will be amazing.
Hear more on this topic from Jonathan Halls with the on-demand webinar “How to Use Digital Content to Give the Learner More Control.”
Jonathan Halls is a trainer, coach, and consultant on digital media, leadership, communication, and learning. Formerly a learning executive at the BBC, Jonathan has worked as a journalist, talk show host and trainer. He has delivered seminars & speeches in more than 25 countries. He delivers seminars and keynotes around the world and teaches at George Washington University in the USA. He is also an author and writer. Read more about him here.