Today’s world is loaded with social media and high-tech, ever-changing technology, right? But did you realize that companies are seeing a direct effect on their employee training programs. Gone are the traditional classroom trainings where employees listen to a real live trainer and maybe follow along with a handbook.

These days, digital learning (e-Learning) is the most popular way to train employees because it combines all the intriguing and engaging aspects that make social media sites like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterest so popular. 

To get the most out of your e-Learning courses, take notes from what these social media sites provide. When you incorporate social media type features into your e-Learning course you get an effective course where engagement and retention soars. Let’s look at three critical things that have worked for the hottest social media sites and you should do when building your e-Learning course. 

  1. KEEP IT SHORT. Do you know why Facebook is such a hit? It’s their short, direct messages. And they have a statistics to prove it. Facebook’s study found that posts with only 100-250 characters were 60% more likely to be shared, liked or commented on. These shorter posts received more engagement. It is the engaging that is critical to raises retention levels in the viewer! Studies show that we only remember about half of a message immediately after we hear it and after 8 hours only about 35% (Adler & Towne, 1993). This is why your best chance at having effectively trained employees is to keep your e-Learning courses short and to the point.  So here are just a few tips to remember when developing short courses: 
    1. Avoid adding information that is irrelevant. If it isn’t necessary keep it out!
    2. Try breaking up complex information into several courses and make these short messages memorable. Use a combination of videos, text and interactive features to really make the information stick.
  2. KEEP IT VISUAL. The reason Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube and all the other social media networks are so popular is because of the enormous amount of visual content.  Check out these stats: 100 million people actively watch videos on Youtube every week, pictures and videos on Pinterest have more traffic then posts from Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and StumbleUpon combined. As for Facebook, videos are shared 12x more than any text and link combined. So why are videos more popular? A few reasons- they are bright and colorful, they tell a story and they don’t require a lot of effort from the viewer. But besides the great features of videos- they do more than what any text can do. Having visual content increases recall and retention in viewers by 65%. This is the kind of retention you want in your employees, right? Therefore, it is critical that your e-Learning courses be visually appealing.  Just be sure to have a variety of visual content and don’t forget to keep them short! 
  3. Keep it Engaging. The best teachers know that students learn about 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear but 70% and 80% of what they discuss and experience (William Glasser). So the goal in your e-Learning courses should be to engage your employee- help them grasp the information and then do something with it immediately afterwards. There active engagement helps them experience what they have just learned. Some of the best ways to have engaging courses is with interactive games, tests and surveys. 

You want your e-Learning courses to be as impactful and as effective as possible. Remembering to keep those courses short, visual and engaging will produce a well-trained employee.