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15 August 2023

How to simplify complex learning content for your learners

Rebecca Henson

Rebecca Henson

Implementation Consultant

Breaking down complex learning content to make courses more learner-friendly

If all learning was simple then it probably wouldn’t be needed. Sometimes we need to deliver complex learning topics to our learners. But even complicated or in-depth courses can be created in a way that makes it easier for people to engage with the topics.

The challenges of navigating through complex learning content

Just like books and other media, the sheer complexity of learning content can be off-putting or even overwhelming. You only need to think of how many times you’ve heard War and Peace as the punchline to a joke.

Complexity, length and passivity can kill engagement. That might be because interest wanes and fatigue sets in, or it could be that the learning we’re faced with is so daunting that we can’t face getting started in the first place.

How an LMS helps to simplify learning content

With a learning management system, you can present complex content in a less daunting way. To be clear, we’re not talking about dumbing down here. Your learners get the same course and the same knowledge — it’s just presented in a way that’s more appealing.

Here’s how to achieve that:

Think about the structure

Good architecture, engineering and design usually start with careful planning around structure and form. It’s the same for good courses. Give some thought as to how your course can be structured in a way that makes it seem less complex and more accessible.

Use multimedia content

Swerve the aforementioned War and Peace comparisons by sprinkling multimedia content throughout your course. Media-rich courses featuring a variety of video, audio and other interactive elements keep learners engaged and make courses feel fresher than long blocks of text or a series of PDF attachments would.

Break learning down into bitesize chunks

If you have a course that you know is lengthy and overwhelming, why not break it down into two or three shorter courses? Alternatively, you could find another way of breaking it down into smaller chunks. 

The Totara Engage learning experience platform places small, unassuming pieces of microlearning within a learner’s regular workflow so that they scarcely notice as they gradually make their way through complex learning topics.

Go digital

Instead of relying on paper-based or classroom learning — or uploading PDFs and Powerpoint presentations wholesale to your LMS — adapt your existing contact to become a fully interactive, highly engaging online course using the native tools of platforms like Moodle LMS and Totara Learn.

Set an assessment

Let your learners know at the outset that they’re going to be tested on what they’re learning. This is proven to increase engagement and will encourage learners to pay closer attention to topics that might not immediately appeal to them.

Repeat what works

When you’ve found a structure that works, use the Backup and Restore functionality of your LMS to quickly and easily replicate successful courses. This not only saves a lot of time and effort, it will also help learners to become more familiar with the format and make courses even less daunting.

Talk to us about simplifying your complex learning content

If you’re interested in presenting complex learning in a way that delivers the best results for your organisation, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.



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