MacGyver of Modern Learning: 8 Ingenious Ways to Re-purpose Online Training Content

Swiss army knife icon to represent MacGyver

You may not be able to combine a toothpick and a piece of chewing gum to whip up a metal detector, but you can convert existing online training materials into memorable online training activities for modern employees. All it takes is a bit of imagination and your current L&D repository. Straight from the pages of the MacGyver playbook, here are 8 ingenious ways to re-purpose online training content.

1. Webinars Become Microlearning Online Training Resources

Turn that lengthy webinar you hosted last year into a collection of microlearning online training resources. Use a video editing tool to break the recording into bite-sized online training activities or presentations. Ensure that every resource centers on a specific topic or task so that it’s easier to categorize. For example, the first five minutes of the webinar becomes an online training tutorial to help your sales team build their negotiation skills. Re-watch the recorded event and make timestamp notes. Match each section with current objectives or desired outcomes.

2. Customer Personas Become Emotionally Compelling Stories

An outdated online training resource features customer personas or profiles. They might appear in branching scenarios or charts intended for sales staff to identify consumers’ needs. However, you can turn them into emotionally-compelling stories that improve the value of your online training course. For instance, a persona serves as the basis for a real-world example that enhances COI compliance knowledge or an engaging story that highlights the importance of interpersonal skills on the sales floor.

3. Task Manuals Become Infographics

Take the raw data from task manuals and transform it into interactive infographics. A text-based walk-through becomes a visually engaging graphic that highlights every step. You can even include detailed diagrams or images to highlight various stages of the process. Infographics serve as a valuable “moment of need” reference that employees can use on the job to improve performance. However, you’re able to use them for product knowledge and compliance online training as well. Look for infographic templates to save time and avoid starting from the ground up.

4. Case Studies Become Branching Scenarios

Case studies help employees connect the subject matter to real-world applications, but they aren’t the most engaging online training tools for visual and kinesthetic learners. Fortunately, you can turn case studies into interactive branching scenarios with a bit of MacGyver-esque ingenuity. Use the case study as a guide to develop the eLearning storyboard, characters, and script. Then create a branching scenario that brings the case study to life. Incorporate realistic dialogue, sound effects, and image to make it more immersive. Your rapid eLearning authoring tool library may already have the bulk of what you require.

5. Product Spec Sheets Become Video Demos

Product spec sheets offer a general overview of the features and physical properties, such as which operating system the product uses or its dimensions. On the other hand, video demos showcase these specs in vivid detail, which makes it easier for employees to remember and craft the perfect sales pitch. You can opt for live actors or animations to display the product and how to operate it, as well as provide tips on proper maintenance. You can always pair the conventional spec sheet with your video production to cater to diverse learning preferences.

6. Compliance Modules Become Immersive Online Training Simulations

It’s a proven fact that the human mind retains more information by doing. Online training simulations allow employees to build experience and apply their knowledge in a practical context. Instead of merely reading about the compliance issue, they live it. For example, handling emergency situations, or dealing with workplace discrimination or harassment. Some rapid eLearning authoring tools have built-in templates that you can use to develop online training simulations, even if you don’t have prior experience.

7. PowerPoint Presentations Become Mobile-Friendly Tutorials

Convert that impressive collection of old PowerPoint presentations you have lying around into mobile-friendly online training tutorials. This requires a robust eLearning authoring tool and a responsive LMS that allows you to deploy easily accessible online training content. You may also have to add engaging elements to the mix. For example, clickable online training activities or supplemental resources that enrich the online training experience and improve understanding.

8. Audio Narrations Become Convenient Podcasts

Audio narrations featured in previous online training courses can be converted into on-the-go podcasts. For instance, the audio story or case study from last year’s compliance module that explains the significance of company policy. Once again, they’ll be a great addition to your microlearning online training library. Use an audio editing tool to add sound effects and remove background noise. You might even consider an ongoing podcast series if you have a good amount of audio in your database. Develop a posting schedule so that employees know when to expect the next episode.

Insider Secret to Modern Learning MacGyvers

Evaluate your existing online training assets with an open mind and a list of learning objectives at the ready. You need to look at every online training resource as a lateral thinker. Brainstorm ways to dissect, edit or add on to the online training content to support your current learning outcomes and goals. Modern employees are looking for interactivity, collaboration, and immersion. This means that you must revamp text-based resources by incorporating visuals, graphics, and activities. You should also research their preferences and backgrounds to find the best way to reuse your online training materials. Conduct eLearning assessments, online surveys, and analyze LMS metrics to determine what they need and how to address gaps through online training.
Re-purpose online training content to cut costs and reduce eLearning development time. Use these 8 tips to step into the shoes of an 80’s pop culture icon (minus the mullet), and breathe new life into your outdated online training assets. You may even find some hidden gems tucked away in your online training archives that don’t require much fine-tuning.
Searching for additional ways to put your old eLearning content to good use? Read the article 7 Tips & Tricks for Re-purposing eLearning Content to learn tips and tricsk for transforming  your existing eLearning content in order to make it fresh, engaging, and relevant to your current audience.

Christopher Pappas

Christopher Pappas is founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA, and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU. eLearning Blogger • EduTechpreneur • eLearning Analyst • Speaker • Social Media Addict TechSmith is thrilled to work with talented guest bloggers to bring valuable and interesting content to readers. Have a topic suggestion? Tweet us TechSmith

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