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Ways to Reuse Content Successfully Using a Rapid Authoring Tool

Charles Gerli

As you conduct your needs analysis prior to beginning any new project, several characteristics about your learners are likely to come to light. A 2018 study conducted by the eLearning Industry revealed that today’s modern learners want to learn but don’t feel they have enough time to dedicate to learning and training. They want the content to feel personal and be relevant to their unique needs, and they want to learn whenever and wherever the mood strikes them. Learning today is not limited to brick and mortar classrooms, and often takes place on mobile devices while learners are commuting, eating, or otherwise away from their desks. Faced with these challenges, it may feel impossible to create content that will satisfy everyone. This is where content curation comes in, the practice of refreshing and reusing pre-existing content to meet diverse learners’ needs. Follow these tips to successfully curate your content, while delivering your projects on time and within budget.

Create Your Own Templates

In our previous article on the advantages of using templates, we discussed how templates offer a consistent feel across courses. We recommend creating your own template that reflects your organization’s look, feel, and branding (such as fonts, colors ,and logo placement) and to use this as the basis of all your courses no matter the content. The precious minutes you save by not repeating these steps at the beginning of every new course will allow you to get to work faster on creating your content.

Give Your Content a Facelift in a Fresh Format

Consider how the same content can be presented in multiple formats to meet the needs of different learners. For example, challenge yourself to try some of the following adaptations:

  • Convert a PowerPoint presentation to a course: For a more budget-friendly alternative to classroom training which often involves travel expenses, consider adapting instructor-led training sessions to eLearning courses. Import your PowerPoint presentations into your rapid authoring tool to use as the basis of your course, then add engaging interactions to your pre-existing content for a truly rapid course development.
  • Convert a webinar to a course: If you present long, lecture-style webinars, there are limited ways to engage learners throughout the presentation. Similarly, recordings of webinars offer no opportunities for engagement. While your webinar content may be excellent, it’s all too easy for learners to tune out or simply click “play” and get up and walk away. Converting this content to an engaging eLearning allows you to present the same information in a more effective format.
  • Convert a training manual to an eLearning simulation: Do you have manuals that teach learners step-by-step processes? Would a hands-on, online simulation or demonstration be more effective in teaching the process than asking people to simply read about the process? If so, use your rapid authoring tool to create an interactive course to either replace or supplement the written manual.
  • Convert a section of your course to a micro-learning experience: If you are already “chunking” your content into bite-sized pieces, you are already building microlearning experiences. If any of these “chunks” could stand-alone as mini-lessons outside of the course they’re housed in, consider publishing them alone for learners to reference as needed without having to complete the entire course. The knowbly™ rapid authoring tool makes this a seamless process by offering cloud-based widgets, which are interactive elements you can use alone or repeat across numerous courses. When you update a widget, you have the option to automatically update it in one course or in every course where it’s used, so you don’t have to manually update it every place it’s used. Request a demo to see how easy it is!
  • Convert a course to an infographic: Can your course’s content be distilled down into a few main takeaway points? An infographic can quickly communicate your main points, and learners can reference this as needed either virtually or in person. Repetition can be a powerful teaching tool, and an infographic can be educational as well as decorative when displayed in the office.
  • Convert a course (or a course’s audio narration) to a podcast: If your learners are field-based or are frequently away from their desks, they may struggle to find the time to complete traditional training courses. Podcasts, however, can offer the same content in a more portable format. Several free audio tools such as Audacity allow you to create and edit audio files, which can be published to your learning management system, website, or even to a larger, commercial platform if you wish.  

Be Mindful of What Not to Curate

Content curation offers many benefits, but there are a few possible downsides to keep in mind. Any content that is particularly time sensitive or prone to frequent updates should be used sparingly, especially in a format such as eLearning where update cycles can be time-consuming and may not happen often. Similarly, organizational charts listing employees’ names and job titles are also subject to frequent change. Whenever possible, rather than including this information in your course directly, provide learners with the link to either view the organizational chart on your company’s intranet (it is posted and regularly updated there) or direct learners to contact an email alias for the organization rather than contact an individual by name. By including this type of content in your courses, and certainly by curating it across multiple courses and formats, you are essentially putting an expiration date on your content. This may give learners the impression that your course is out-of-date and is not worth their efforts.

If you're interested in a rapid authoring tool that would allow you to curate content at the click of a button, request a demo of knowbly™ today.

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