How to create an e-learning course worth shouting about

October 12, 2018

Our e-learning designer, Molly, shares her thoughts on how to create an engaging e-learning course.

By Molly Finnigan


Oooh you’re completing an e-learning course, how exciting!

Said no-one ever…

  • Work 9-5
  • Cook tea
  • Pick kids up from school
  • Coffee with a friend
  • E-learning course…!?


Our to-do lists these days are never ending, there’s always something that you need to check off that list, and when you do, another three things replace it! So, when you think about adding e-learning to the mix, it might be something you consider very far down on the list of priorities.

On average, people who work full time only dedicate 1% of their time to development, and if you think it’s going to be boring, unengaging and probably a waste of time then there’s not much motivation to make more time either!

So, how do we change that view? How do you make e-learning something that people don’t put off and yawn at?

Tell a story

Stories have been capturing our imagination since the creation of the human language, shaping our lives and bringing people together as far back as we can remember. Ancient man first began using stories to make sense of their lives and share their knowledge to fellow friends and we haven’t stopped since. Most of our daily conversations are taken up by them, stories of our days, stories of the past, stories other people have told us. So why wouldn’t we use this age old and heavily proven technique of relaying information in learning?

If people can emotionally connect to facts, they are much more likely to retain the information they are being given and ultimately, be more engaged throughout. If they can imagine themselves in that situation, they will be able to try and apply it in their own lives. By incorporating the information that you want to teach into intriguing characters and storylines, the information becomes 3D – it becomes real and applicable to the learner, making it much more likely to be used to its full potential.

Think about the language

Just because the content is serious, doesn’t mean you have to use archaic and boring language in your training. If you jazz it up a little and use initiative with each topic, treating it like a conversation, your learners are much more likely to feel connected to you as a teacher.

Deliver energy and humour through your words, address facts and serious information with a lighter touch to make them feel that way when they’re taking it in.

Reel them in with the visuals

This might sound a little obvious, but using bright and powerful visuals throughout will visually engage the learner, capture their senses, help them to retain the information successfully and hopefully really enjoy the experience overall.


Balance is always expressed as an important factor in everything we do: eating, exercise, working and socialising – and it’s the same with e-learning! Even when everything is bright, colourful and jam packed with interesting and intriguing stories, people’s attention will still wander.

This can be solved by balancing your e-learning with different types of activities throughout each chapter. It’s not always the best method to cram your chapters with one interactive activity after the next. It’s much more effective to balance each chapter with different parts to bring the puzzle together, a graphic, a test, a video or animation, a short quiz… each element builds a stronger and more diverse course which is much more likely to be successful in helping people learn.

With all of these pieces to add to the puzzle, we should be able to build fun, appealing and captivating e-learning courses to get people saying, “oooh e-learning, I can’t wait!”.

To find out more about e-learning, just get in touch!

Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

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