Businesses use technical training to educate their employees or customers on the skills required to interact with, install, troubleshoot, or operate a product, technology, or application. The required skills may vary from awareness and basic understanding to an expert level, and it may consist of e-learning, in-person, or a hybrid of the two.
When you think of technical training, you may picture hours of being “talked to” and not much interaction. However, by the very nature of the subject, technical training should be more interactive and hands-on than other types of training—you can still accomplish your learning objectives without a ton of lecturing. In fact, it’s best to stimulate engagement by creating interaction with a mix of content types. Here are five ways to bring your technical training to life.
#1 Engage Your Audience by Incorporating Learner Interactions
Higher levels of engagement during training result in greater retention and recall. Whether e-learning is online, in-person, or a hybrid, you can incorporate interaction in many ways in order to engage the audience. For example, with online learning, you can add these types of training methods to increase engagement:
- Synchronous discussions
- Peer assessments
- Simulation tools
For example, if you’re describing a troubleshooting process, you can have an interactive discussion where your audience builds the steps. You can also incorporate short quizzes periodically or have learners complete exercises on a simulation tool.
#2 Use Enhanced Video Animation to Explain Complex Topics
Including visual snippets in technical learning materials is a must. Presenting content in the form of an animation or a video can not only deliver complex information more easily and succinctly, but learners have also come to expect information (and not just training) in this form. It’s a great way to engage learners by making the content more fun and easier to absorb.
Animation is also a great way to tell a story, from explaining a technical or abstract concept to visualizing what could happen in ways that might not be affordable or possible in other ways. You have the creative freedom to tell a story with animation—choose the type of characters, images, moving parts, sounds, and text on the screen.
Include captions on the animations to help learners who aren’t native English speakers or are deaf or hard of hearing. In addition, some learners are visual and others prefer to read, so captioned animations offer the best of both worlds. And having captions will make it easier if you want to include subtitles for localized training content.
#3 Use Human or Artificial Intelligence (AI) Voiceovers
Don’t forget about the audio portion of technical learning materials! An engaging, professional voiceover or AI audio is another important way to engage learners. In addition to visuals, audio completes the package.
Hearing is one of the five human senses. If a voice is dull or flat or a recording is full of filler words like “um” and “uh,” people will quickly disengage. So, while it can be tempting to use an internal resource, such as an engineer, to record the audio, there are many advantages to using human voice or AI talent through an e-learning company.
- You can choose from a range of voiceover talents. From a female millennial to an older male, a professional voiceover company can offer a range of vocal characteristics that fit your voice and tone needs.
- If you plan to localize your training materials, make sure the company offers voiceovers in other languages.
- Voice talents are professionals, and they won’t use filler words.
- It takes the pressure off internal resources, and you don’t need to purchase recording equipment.
- An AI voiceover converts text to voice using AI technology, and it can be a good option for some e-learning content.
Just don’t let audio be an afterthought—or your animation could fall flat.
#4 Don’t Be Afraid to Refresh Your Old Training Materials
You probably already have some concrete training material that you’ve used over the years, possibly with a periodic refresh. Most likely, there’s some great content in there, so don’t think you have to start from scratch.
Sometimes, refreshing old training materials can be as easy as adding in some new elements, as we talked about in the first section of this blog. For example, you can give text-heavy e-learning courses new life by converting some of the text to short videos, infographics, audio clips, or images. You can also engage the audience by inserting questions, quizzes, and other types of interactive learning.
Another way to refresh materials is to break them up into shorter modules chunked into meaningful groups of information, making them more digestible and efficient. Shorter modules enable learners to fit them into their schedules more easily, and it’s better to retain and recall smaller amounts of information.
On that note, online learning modules must be mobile-friendly. In addition to the benefits of online searching on browsers for learning modules, 64% of learners say accessible training content from a mobile device is essential. Furthermore, 46% of learners participate in mobile learning before they go to sleep, and 52% use it after waking up.
Some old training materials may require more work than others, but the groundwork is there for great training content. Consider engaging an e-learning company to get a fresh set of eyes on the content and make recommendations on improvements. E-learning experts can help modify existing training content to help retain learner attention and provide better engagement throughout courses. A neutral party can offer new ideas to make the content more engaging and relevant.
#5 Make Sure Your e-learning Courses Are Accessible
Old e-learning materials may not be up to par with accessibility standards to allow people of all abilities to use them. To make sure everyone can use your e-learning materials, adjust the content to meet WCAG 2.0 standards.
For example, adding captions will help those learners who don’t speak English as their primary language or are deaf or hard of hearing. Having captions available will also make it easy if you need to translate them into other languages for learners. Captions will set you up for the future.
Providing a transcription is another way to make your old content accessible. A screen reader can read the transcription, allowing those audience members with visual or hearing disabilities to participate in your e-learning.
You can do many things to bring your technical content to life through e-learning, and you don’t necessarily have to do a major overhaul.
At TransPerfect, we help companies develop, refine, and support e-learning with in-person and hybrid training. We have professional voiceover talent and the latest recording technologies in more than 200 languages. We’re happy to help develop or modify your technical content to promote more engagement from your learners! Get in touch today to find out more!