What Makes Effective Online Training?

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Guy Connell
Home page of Lanarkshire HIV and Hepatitis website

This Spring sees the launch of our latest online training and awareness raising website, which is all around the subject of HIV and Hepatitis. Working together with NHS Lanarkshire and the Blood Bourne Virus Network, we have created a comprehensive website covering everything you need to know about HIV and Hepatitis, including an online ‘Risk Assessment’ questionnaire and a ‘Test your knowledge’ area that provides training. The website targets a wide and varied audience – the population of Lanarkshire as well as health professionals looking to get up-to-date information and training. The goal of this initiative is to educate, reduce stigma, provide support and services and ultimately reduce the rate of infection in Lanarkshire.

We’re no strangers to challenging subjects, having also recently completed awareness and training websites covering Alcohol Related Brain Damage and Self Harm. Our online training work has evolved since initially working with the Scottish Association of Mental Health back in 2007, where we created an online training website revealing the myths and facts of mental health. Since then we have worked with NHS Glasgow and NHS Tayside to adapt the framework for their own requirements. We believe the uptake and adoption of our framework and methodology is a reflection of how successful these sites have been.

So what is the key to creating an online training website that really delivers?
Certainly, you need a motivated and talented team to pull all the strands together but there are some simple and effective rules which we always try to apply.

Work with a subject matter expert
It may seem obvious, but working with an expert in the subject is crucial. Our role here is to review and structure the knowledge and course objectives into something that makes sense to someone to new to the subject. So if we don’t get it, how can we expect someone else too.

Messaging
We consider what needs to be communicated and to whom, the tone of voice and the visual language. This process is initiated with one of our tried and trusted brand workshops.

Design
Taking the findings from our brand workshop we then bring the content to life. It’s important for an engaging experience to remember that learning is not always just about reading. Creating fun and interactive graphic elements makes things more visual and so more memorable.

Avoid overwhelming the learner
We create digestible sections and steps which are generally colour coded. This makes each section concise and adds to the feeling of progress. Further methods are also employed like using different styles of learning from true/false questions, multiple choice, through to real life case studies which allows the learner to put the subject into an understandable context.

Video content
The use of video can be can be an excellent way to communicate difficult or complicated areas. It provides a break from reading, adds to the level of engagement and understanding of the subject.

Make it responsive
With the increase in people viewing sites on mobile devices it’s crucial that our training sites work on the go. It makes for more flexibility so busy people can learn whenever and wherever it suits them. 

Make it rewarding.
Having the end in sight and working towards a certificate, or contributing to a persons Continued Professional Development can be all the motivation someone needs.

So in summary, keep it concise, clear and visually stimulating.

What our clients say

“At all times Elastic Creative have responded to the, sometimes contradictory,  needs expressed by key stakeholder groups providing solutions and creativity throughout. We would have no hesitation in working with the Elastic Creative team on future projects should the opportunity arise and would highly recommend them to other organisations”

Trish Tougher
NHS Lanarkshire BBV Networks Manager

“Elastic Creative are an amazing team who have helped train people in suicide prevention and awareness training for self harm”.

Tweet by Greg Burgess
Scottish Association of Mental Health

Below are a few preview pages from the new Lanarkshire HIV and Hepatitis site – coming soon!

Training and Information page of Lanarkshire HIV and Hepatitis website

mobile phone displays of pages on Lanarkshire HIV and Hepatitis website

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