5 Tips To Bring Dull eLearning Subjects To Life

5 Tips To Bring Dull eLearning Subjects To Life
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Summary: When it comes to some topics, you can’t help but stifle a yawn. Transforming a manual that doubles as a doorstop into an engaging experience is no mean feat! But it’s critical if you need your audience to adhere to new policies or procedures. Try these tips to bring your eLearning topics to life.

5 Ways To Bring Dull eLearning Subjects To Life

Imagine if a new mandatory compliance training module started a ripple of chatter around your organization and got people sharing their own experiences. How would it make you look if you could get a xx% completion rate? If you apply a little creativity, this is possible with even the dullest topics.

1. Make The Topic Relevant To The Audience

Make sure you understand your audience – what are their motivations and needs? Keep them in mind as you develop your concept.

If your audience is broad, think about how you could use branching to create personalized pathways for different segments. This could be based on anything from their job role to the level of prior knowledge. This doesn’t have to mean hours of more work; it could be that you simply refer to roles or allow some people to skip past sections they already know about.

2. Boil The Content Down To The Absolute Essentials

Faced with a 50-page procedure document, the easiest thing to do would be to break it down into shorter chunks with some knowledge checks built in... sounds dull, right? Get a grasp of what your audience really needs to know, get ruthless, and cut everything else.

3. Draw Out The Human Side Of The Learning

While many topics may seem pretty dry on the face of it, there’s usually something relatable you can draw out that’s going to be much more engaging. Think about what impact the topic has on the audience and their peers.

Compare these two examples:

In this course, you’ll learn about the new UK legislation on shared parental leave. Our company has a responsibility to comply with this legislation, so it’s important that you make this a priority.


Last year, 696,271 babies were born in the UK, but only 9,000 parents took shared parental leave, missing out on those precious early months. Thanks to Shared Parental Leave legislation, these numbers are set to increase. Be part of the change by equipping yourself with the knowledge to inform your team of their options.

Hopefully, you’ll agree that the second example is much more compelling. It’s not just a boring piece of legislation - it impacts you, your friends, and your colleagues.

4. Harness The Power Of Stories

Work out how you can bring some feeling and emotion into the topic by using storytelling techniques. This will help your learners connect with the positive outcomes of success vs. the potential consequences. For example, you could share the story of someone who has seen great results from a new procedure or shows the impact of an injury that could have been prevented by following health and safety guidelines.

5. Identify Where Your Learners Hit Snooze

It might be that you’ve done a great job of hooking learners in with the human side of a pretty dull topic... but then, they lose interest when you get into more detail. Use the data dashboards within your authoring tool, if it has them, to analyze how your learners are interacting with the content, and to identify drops in engagement. Combine this with qualitative feedback for a nice, rounded picture of how your content is performing.

Take a look at the top 10 eLearning analytics to track.

Ideally, you’ll pick up any blockers and issues early on when you are testing your content so you can launch with confidence... but be sure to keep an eye on the data as you roll out so you can make any necessary iterations.

Need some inspiration? Check out 10 awesome eLearning examples to inspire your next project.