Several organizations are ready to hop on the e-learning bandwagon, thanks to the many benefits it offers. But when it comes to creating e-learning courses, it is surprising that certain misconceptions exist. This article will dispel some of these myths and fill you in on the actual conversion process.

Myth #1: E-Learning Is Just Adding Audio to PowerPoint Slides.

One common misconception about the process is that all it involves is adding audio to the PPT and delivering it as an e-learning course. The fact is, though, that an e-learning course involves much more than audio. For starters, you need to modify the content to make it simple, understandable and engaging in the absence of an instructor. This involves using the right instructional strategy to make it a robust e-learning course.

One of the primary requirements of an e-learning course is that it is highly interactive, which is not likely if all you do is add an audio script to the content. E-learning should engage the learner using interactive activities. These activities should fit the context, audio needs and delivery platform of the course. Fortunately, you can create activities from your existing resources by converting slides, handouts, case studies, worksheets and quizzes. For instance, you can turn case studies into “What would you do?” scenarios that will make learners think instead of just reading text.

Myth #2: PowerPoint Conversion Simply Involves Publishing It.

Another common misconception around PowerPoint conversion is that it just involves publishing a PowerPoint slide deck using an authoring tool. The fact is that authoring tools play a much bigger role in the conversion process. With the help of rapid authoring tools, the conversion process becomes more than just transferring the content online.

Authoring tools play an important role in helping you do away with the PowerPoint look and feel that will persist if you do a straightforward conversion. Authoring tools help make the course exciting. You can use them to add interactive learning elements such clickable items, slideshows and dialers. This interactivity is usually missing in PowerPoint presentations, because they are designed for a classroom environment. Authoring tools also help transform assessments into a stress-free activity by allowing for a wide variety of engaging assessment types (i.e., drag and drop, matching, or scenarios) and customized feedback.

Myth #3: Conversion Involves Transforming the Slideshow Into Online Resources.

Some believe that the conversion process just involves transforming the PPT presentation into a web resource, such as a PDF, and then uploading it onto the company intranet or the internet. Instead, you should add graphics, animations and visuals to classroom PowerPoint decks to make them more engaging. Images, visually appealing text and other instructional elements make the course attractive to learners.

For instance, one IT firm wanted to create an e-learning course on a talent management tool from classroom training resources that included PowerPoint slides. The content-heavy resources were presented in the e-learning course in the form of high-level interactive activities and animations with audio. The course also used simulations to help learners understand how to use the tool.

Myth #4: Uploading PowerPoint Slides Onto a LMS Makes It an E-Learning Course.

Another misconception is that conversion simply involves uploading a slide deck onto a LMS. However, this approach will not serve the purpose of e-learning. When converting slideshows into an e-learning course, you will need to develop them into an LMS-compatible format (i.e., SCORM, Tin Can API or AICC) using an authoring tool.

This conversion will enable you to upload the course to your LMS;  add quizzes, surveys and tests after units; and save activities. The conversion process also involves adding navigation elements to the course, which will help transform the course from a boring, page-turning activity to one that is non-linear, exciting and engaging. With the help of authoring tools, you can create a non-linear presentation that includes sections and sub-sections, making it easy for learners to navigate through the course and giving them the ability to skip over what they know and easily find what they do not know.

Conversion of PowerPoint presentations into e-learning courses will also require creating assessments. The slides presented in classroom sessions will only have oral assessments to check the learners’ understanding. An online course has to include assessments to evaluate learners on the learning outcomes.

Converting in-person training content to e-learning courses must be carefully planned. The next time you need to convert your classroom training into e-learning, don’t go by your assumptions. Make an informed decision.

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