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4 criteria of a great content course in eLearning

Jul 4, 2019Blog, course evaluation, e-learning, eLearning tips0 comments

In traditional learning, the more you get the better you are. Some may say that it’s best to give learners more information and harder knowledge than they need. However, when it comes to eLearning, less is more. It means that learners sometimes don’t get higher learning outcomes with a huge amount of information. On the contrary, they look for “smarter” learning content that enables them to gain more knowledge but spends less time. Therefore, what creators should do to keep the “smart” element in eLearning content creation? Here are 4 criteria of a great content course in eLearning.


1. Be relevant and helpful to learners

The first and most important element in eLearning content creation is being relevant and helpful. Here are the advantages of having related and useful content.


Providing helpful knowledge for learners

Nobody wants to take a course which doesn’t provide any additional values for their knowledge. Undeniably, when learners come to your course, they are looking for helpful information. So that, as a creator, it’s appreciated to give the most supportive content as you can for them.


Delivering relevant information for learners

  • First and foremost, your content should be relevant to learners’ occupation and direction. In particular, most of them try to find a course which can improve and support their job. Hence, they won’t waste their time learning something that does not relate to what they are doing. 
  • Secondly, you should create content which fits your learners’ interest. For example, a doctor whose main job is surgery may likely look for medical care and patient training. Above all, they just want to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Therefore, it is easier for learners to find and learn something that fit with their aspiration and curiosity.
  • Thirdly, your content should cover audience problems. In detail, when learners come to your eLearning course, they are mostly seeking a solution for their issues. Thus, if learners found your course as good medicine to cure their disease, they are more likely to take it!


Here is an example of how content is relevant to the learners’ concern. This video is created with the initial purpose is to make medical care knowledge more easy to understand. From that, the doctor could show it to the patients for better training. In detail, the visual-audio content has supported a lot in explaining the symptoms of heart failure.


Read more:
» The application of animations in medical education


Tips to know if you are teaching the essentials?

Carefully answer the following questions:

    • Does your content provide useful information that helps solve learners’ problems?
    • Is your course provide knowledge/ experience learners need?
    • Does your content clearly and simply solve the learners’ problem/ misunderstanding?
    • Is your content as overwhelming as a mountain of information?
    • Are there any parts of content that you can cut off?
    • Can your learners apply what they’ve learned? Give them an idea of how they could do that.
    • Could you find anywhere else has the same content as your course?


2. Easy to access, understand and learn

When people come to the course, they have little or no idea about what you are going to teach. Practically, learners want to spend time studying what they didn’t know before. Thus, they expect to gain more knowledge after taking your course in the most comfortable and effective way.


Why your content should be easy to access and take away?

It’s understandable that learners want to avoid doing something challenging and hard. Because we all do. Surely, learners are all new to the knowledge and information of your lesson. Complicated directions will make them lose. So, it’s better to make an easy-to-digest content for them to follow.

Besides, in most situations, the first impression is very important. What will you do when opening a course with so many tricky math equations and complex explanations for the first time? Well, simple answer. Turn it off. Similarly, learners will feel the same as that if you pull up a difficult content. Then, wearing a coat named “easy” could be a good choice for creators.

Thus, with an “easy” coat, learners will be attempted to discover your course. They will want to get more insight without realizing how hard it is. It’s because once learners are engaged in your content, nothing could interrupt their learning.

Take a look:
» Guide to successful evaluation of online learning materials



3. Engaging

Engaging is one of the most important elements in eLearning content creation. To explain, this ingredient can add more powerful flavors into your disk. Specifically, engaging content will let your learners happily enjoy your course because it helps:


Capture learners’ attention

According to Wyzowl, the human attention span is 12 seconds, which is longer than goldfish only 3 seconds. Due to this short span, people rarely pay much attention to something unimportant and uninteresting. So, your content should be catchy enough to take learners’ attention and make them feel worth with their effort.


Decrease the difficulty and the boringness of the content

In some professional subjects, there are many complicated theories and examples. It’s extremely hard for the teacher to explain and make their students understand it clearly. It’s when ‘engagement’ comes to the rescue. With engaging content, learners will feel less stress when learning.

For example, UNSW Sydney (The University of New South Wales), one of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities, has come up with engaging content for their civil engineering program. With the support of visual aids, they explain various processes that occur in the formation of metamorphic rock. They transfer difficult theories in the book into some simple visualizations with explanations in animated videos. As a result, learners can easily get the idea and understand the content.


Motivate learners to learn

Undeniably, we all keep doing what we are interested in. So do learners. Once your learners found your course interesting, there could be a motive to boost them learn more. It’s when your course enhances learners’ attitude toward learning. Of course, you will be the happiest to see learners enthusiastically catch up with your course.

Recommended reading:
» Why online student motivation is important


4. Be realistic about the amount of one intake of information

Right from the first lesson you should prove to the student why they’re right when choosing to follow your course, and that it’d be best to remain so till the end of the course. In other words, try to “hook” your prospective students first. Then, list various stages, as well as a specific plan to develop one module for each stage, that should be taken to engage the student throughout the course constantly.


Informing the amount of information intake for learners

It’s better to tell learners how much information and what they will take after each lesson. HubSpot is one of the examples. In particular, they break a long lesson around two hours or more into multiple short videos. In addition, they also label and put description information in their lesson. And, the time is showing up in each video. For this reason, learners can see the amount of information they intake in each lesson.


Allowing learners to decide their learning paths

Creators should let learners actively pick what they want to learn, their priority and learn when they want to learn. It’s obvious that you can’t force learners to focus in long hours. Or else, you will make them exhausted and decrease the effectiveness of the lesson. Furthermore, your course should have more options for learners to pick depending on their preference. Instead of learning from beginning to the end, they can freely decide to learn a topic that they like.


The latest cheat sheet: The recipe for a skyrocket content course! 

Tips on eLearning course creation to develop courses that every learner wants to be engaged in!

elearning content creation: create skyrocket content

(To take your free infographic away, click here)



To sum up, content creation is one of the most important works in building an eLearning course. To make a success course, your content should include 4 criteria which are provided and listed above. After this article, we hope that you will be able to create and evaluate great eLearning content for your course.


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