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7 mistakes to avoid when repurposing online training content

Are you thinking about reusing your outdated online training resources? Not sure where to begin or what to do to make the materials even more effective than before? In this article, I’ll share 7 mistakes to avoid when re purposing online training content.

In today’s world where so much emphasis is given to recycling, breathing new life into outdated online training materials is the new norm. In fact, it’s a smarter way to disseminate knowledge and reach a wider audience. In layman’s term, repurposing online training content involves recycling the online training content from one medium to the other. Be it the entire content or in bits and pieces, with or without any modifications. This sounds easy but there are a few things one must keep in mind to ensure your revamped online training resources are still effective and reach the right audience.

To help you begin, here are 7 common mistakes you should avoid when re purposing online training content.

No idea of the inventory

In any organisation, there is a lot of knowledge lying in silos which makes it difficult to access or even know about its existence.  Before you start re purposing online training content, you should be well aware of all the online training resources that are available.  Accounting for all your online training assets makes it easy to evaluate the relevance of the online training material, as well as make minor changes to old online training content to meet the current learning objectives. During this process, you should also take stock of all the e-learning authoring tools you have access to.  This would ensure a smooth execution and allow you to allocate online training resources more effectively.  For example, avoid purchasing additional software when you already have a suitable solution in your toolbox.

When you’re working on a tight timeline, you might be tempted to just duplicate all the online training content of an instructor-led training or a PowerPoint presentation to an e-learning module.  However, you’d be missing out on a golden opportunity to modernise the online training materials and improve employee engagement.  In most cases, the online training course becomes too text heavy and loses its essence.  Also, you are not taking full advantage of the different multimedia resources available to make online training interactive and fun.  It’s a known fact that adding images, graphics and sound increases the learning retention rate.  Gamification is also a great way to keep the learners engaged.

Excessive use of technology

With so many multimedia features available to make your online training more interactive, you might go a little overboard with the tech resources.  There must be the perfect balance between text and other graphical or video representations.  Irrelevant and unnecessary multimedia content could distract online learners.  This would hamper their online training experience and fail to meet the learning objectives.  You should also make sure the quality of the multimedia content is of the highest level to enhance the value of the online training experience.

While re purposing the online training content, it’s equally important to classify and tag them into the appropriate buckets.  A standard set of taxonomies should be used to categorise the online training content.  These taxonomies should be based on the topic, content type, and the target audience.  This makes it easy for online learners to search and identify the online training resources that are appropriate for their learning preferences.  Indexing the online training resources and putting them into smaller sections can also enhance the online training experience. Online learners can skip right to the section that they are interested in knowing about, without having to sift through an entire online training library.  Thus, they only spend time on what is relevant to them and their job duties or skill gaps.

No scope for modifications

Don’t make your online training content so rigid that it becomes difficult to re purpose in the future.  Every object or content in the online training module should be independent and easy to move or change without affecting the rest of the content.  For consistent results, use templates to ensure that the new online training resources convey your brand image and include all the design essentials.  This also makes it more convenient to adjust the online training content later and add additional information, thanks to placeholders that can simply be substituted with text boxes, data visualisations, and interactive online training activities.

Lack of audience research

Even if you’re creating online training content for the same talent pool, you still need to reevaluate their needs, goals, and preferences.  Their expectations have probably evolved.  Thus, your re purposed online training content must meet their new requirements and objectives.  Conduct online surveys and assessments to determine what they need to bridge gaps and achieve their goals.  Then use the data to guide your re purposing efforts.  For example, a simulation-based online assessment reveals that your employees need to work on their communication skills.  Thus, you’re able to identify which online training assets can be re purposed and how.  Such as combining your new and improved communication tips and tricks guide with a series of branching scenarios for developing interpersonal skills.

Repurposing doesn’t just apply to the online training content your team has developed. You can also curate third-party content and use it in your online training course.  But there are some stipulations you should bear in mind.  One of the most common mistakes designers make when repurposing online content is infringing on copyright laws.  You must attribute the source or ask for written permission, when necessary.  For example, include an attribution link in the video description when using a third-party clip in your compliance online presentation.

Reinventing the wheel is a waste of time.  Especially when you already have a wealth of online training materials at your disposal.  Online training content that has worked for you in the past can be re purposed for your new audience.  Just be sure to check for relevance from time to time and make necessary modifications when required.

Avoiding these common mistakes can help you provide a seamless online training experience for your corporate learners.


learning and development
modern workplace
online training

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