The hows and whys of using learning objects in online training from LN Industry Partner, iSpring

“How can I make online training more cost- and time-effective?” This is a common question that many L&D professionals are constantly trying to answer. One easy way to do this is to create and use learning objects (LOs).

A learning object is a small piece of educational content that can be distributed to learners individually or together with other LOs within a single course or learning module. They are also often referred to as “microlessons.”

Why use learning objects?

Using LOs is beneficial for both educators and learners.

For trainers. They don’t need to create new content from scratch every time they have to train another group of new employees. Instead, they can reuse existing LOs just by customizing them (if necessary) according to the needs of an individual or a group. This helps to significantly reduce creation costs and time. In the long run, it also allows them to establish a library of adaptable and long-lasting learning materials.

For trainees. Modern learners are pressed with time, so it’s not efficient to provide them with tons of new information at once. However, by breaking it into small LOs, educators can make training more engaging, more memorable, and, therefore, far more effective for their learners.

Various types of learning objects

Depending on training goals, existing content creation tools, and human resources, you can create different types of learning objects. However, regardless of what form they take, they all must be:

    • Instructional. Learning objects should have a specific learning objective.
    • Reusable. They can be easily grouped with other LOs that have the same learning goal.
    • Interoperable. They should be designed in a format supported by various hardware, OSs, and browsers.
    • Extractable. They should be tagged with special metadata to be easily found and accessible.

Here are the types of LOs that can be developed quickly and easily – with no technical skills required.

1. Training Videos

Video is a very affordable way to create learning content that will engage viewers and provide them with a large amount of knowledge in a short time. You can easily capture your screen if you need to demonstrate how to use specific software, a CRM, or an LMS, for example. And if you need to explain a theoretical topic in a dynamic manner, you can record a talking head video.

2. Presentations

This is another super-easy way to create a learning object that’s a perfect fit for introducing a new topic, presenting crucial information, or reviewing key concepts. You simply need to make PowerPoint slides and populate them with text, images, and short videos.

To make it more accessible for your learners, you can turn your presentation into an online format with specific software. In this way, your trainees will be able to view a presentation in any browser on any device.

3. Online quizzes

Assessments are important learning tools that almost no training program can do without. They allow trainees to review what they’ve learned and retain knowledge longer. They also let trainers see how well employees understand the material and monitor their progress.

Modern quiz maker tools enable you to create engaging interactive quizzes with different types of questions, from ubiquitous multiple-choice and true-or-false questions to sequences, drag-and-drops, and hotspots.

4. Role Plays

Do you want your sales reps or other employees to master communication skills? If so, role-plays, also known as dialogue simulations, can help them practice their skills without any risk of ruining a deal or damaging relations with a client.

A dialogue sim is an interactive exercise that imitates a real conversation with a person – a customer, a staff member, or a colleague – and can be based on an actual business case. With modern authoring tools like iSpring Suite, you can create role-plays on your own, even with no previous experience.

As you can see, learning objects can come in different shapes. By creating your own LOs, you can customize your content so it’s relevant for your learners, update the content easily, and make sure that each LO helps achieve your training goals.

To learn how to build learning objects that will add value to your courses, check out this article.

About the author

Helen Colman is an editor and content strategist at iSpring. She enjoys combining in-depth research with expert knowledge of the eLearning industry.