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Training materials: tips and tricks

Adrian Sita
10 Jul, 2020
3 m read

Training materials overview

When designing a training course, writing is only one component. There are other stages that play into how the content is absorbed and applied, like development, assessment, and delivery. However, the writing stage is an integral part of designing training material.

Training materials can be used in many settings, as part of induction or onboarding of new employees or to help build skills and knowledge in an online course. It is useful in delivering specific information to a wide audience and if it is well written, it will have higher engagement and yield better results. Once the training materials have been finalized, it can be used in a traditional style of teaching or follow the trends of digital learning and be converted into online training resources.

This article will cover tips on how to write training materials and how to convert them into e-learning content.

Writing tips for training materials

These tips will apply to a diverse range of training materials, whether it was intended to be read as a printed document, on a computer screen as part of an online course or a narrated script. It doesn’t matter because what we are aiming to achieve is to write in a style that is catered for your audience and will focus on the type of information you wish to impart.

Understand your audience

Who will be learning from the training material? What style of writing will they respond to better? What is the trainees/learner's conversational language? Different generations will also have varied interests and will relate to social and cultural references in their own way. Do your research before you begin writing.

Once you know your audience, note down their learning traits and characteristics and keep them in mind during your writing process. You are writing for them and to them. That means, do not refer to the learners in third-person, it gives a life-less, flat tone and gives a feeling of monotony. Use the second person to address the audience directly.

Use conversational language

Stray away from a rigid, overly formal style of writing. Yes, these are training materials and not a non-fiction short story, but it helps to understand how your audience talks and incorporate that style into how you write. Keep a balance of conversational and instructional language, and avoid overuse of colloquial slang. You want to sound approachable and informative.

Use case studies and storytelling

It is much easier to learn when you put engage with your learners. Case studies and telling stories are a great way to illustrate your point with real-life or imagined scenarios. It will not only deliver information that contributes to achieving their learning outcomes, but it will allow them to understand how to apply that knowledge in real-life a situation.

How to convert training material into online training resources:

There are many benefits to having online material to help train your new or existing employees and students. It is easily accessible and a cost-effective way to reach a lot of people.

Convert content to online training tutorials

This works especially well with traditional training manuals, where valuable information can be converted to other forms of media, like audio narrations, presentations, and video. It transforms heavy blocks of content into more digestible formats.

By adding engaging multimedia tools improves understanding and knowledge retention. It makes learning more visual and interesting.

Use online training simulations

The traditional exam is a test that collects data of what your audience has learned, but it does not show how well they understand it, or how the knowledge or skill can be applied. Online training simulations are qualitative assessments that provide an interactive platform to test your audience in a variety of ways to determine what they have learned and how they can use it.

Be inspired by the gaming template

Why not gamify your online training material? This encourages a competitive spirit that will help motivate your audience. Create stages that help break up your learning material into smaller parts, which retains a higher level of attention on the material. Incorporate scoreboards and badges to track progress, but make sure that you keep the learning objectives in mind when applying this strategy.

Some (final) thoughts

Writing effective training materials highly influence the way in which people internaluse information, turning it into life-long skills.

This article is part of a bigger topic called: 

Employee Engagament

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