Training Read Time: 23 minutes

How to create training materials: 9 best practices to speed it up

Image of Ellie Swain
Ellie Swain
Published: Feb 19, 2024
Updated: May 03, 2024

 

How to create training materials: 9 best practices to speed it up

Did you know that companies offering comprehensive employee training programs have 218% higher income per employee than companies without formalised training?

The creation of effective, well-designed training materials is key to organisational success. And the ability of L&D teams to quickly produce high-quality content is more than a necessity - it's an art. Whether it involves onboarding new employees or developing skills, the challenge lies in balancing quick turnaround with maintaining quality. Thankfully, the emergence of AI is revolutionising this process. In this guide we’re here to explore how you can streamline preparing training materials, particularly with technology, ensuring efficiency without compromising on quality. Let’s learn how to create training materials efficiently and smartly.

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Understanding the basics of how to create training materials

At the heart of any successful training program are the learning materials themselves. These training materials, whether in digital or print format, form the foundation of learning paths and programs. Each piece of content is crafted with a specific learning goal in mind to create a comprehensive training experience. 

Organisations develop training materials to serve various purposes, including: 

  • Onboarding new employees
  • Rolling out new products or systems
  • Customer education
  • Continuous professional skills development
  • Compliance training
  • Technical skills development

Strong training materials clearly communicate their intended message and meet the learning objectives set forth. When creating training materials, remember they should be engaging, easy to understand, and relevant to the learner’s needs. 

For example, a well-designed training manual or online course imparts knowledge and enhances employee performance, process execution, or task management. When organisations develop effective training materials, the results are often profound. They can increase organisational productivity, reduce errors, and boost employee performance, satisfaction, and confidence.

Traditionally, creating learning material was a meticulous process. It typically starts with identifying the training objectives and understanding the audience's needs. Then, experts and instructional designers collaborated to develop informative and engaging content. Usually, this process would lead to thick, printed training manuals or content for long presentations.

Common training material examples today, like online courses or training videos, on the other hand, use modern features to make training more convenient and practical. For example, today's great training materials often incorporate gamified learning, mobile-based formats, and microlearning elements.

The best training materials are engaging, accessible, and user-friendly. They should be structured to allow learners to easily grasp concepts and apply them in real-world scenarios. 

 

Best practices of how to create training materials   

Next, let’s learn how to develop training materials using some key practices, such as reviewing existing content and selecting the best learning formats.

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1. Clearly define learning objectives

The cornerstone of effective training materials lies in clearly defined, measurable learning objectives. These objectives act as a guiding light, ensuring the content achieves its intended educational outcomes while remaining focused and relevant. 

Before diving into the employee training creation process, ask yourself: 

  1. Who is your audience? 
  2. What business goal does this training material support? 
  3. Which skills gap needs bridging? 
  4. What exactly should learners be able to do after the training? 

Answering these questions provides a solid foundation for creating training material, aligning the content with specific needs and goals. By setting these clear objectives upfront, you streamline the creation process, eliminating unnecessary content and maintaining a sharp focus on what's truly important.

 

2. Understand your audience

A deep understanding of your audience is essential to craft solid training materials. Recognising their specific knowledge gaps, learning styles, and preferences allows you to tailor the content to suit their needs. For example, imagine you’re developing training materials for healthcare professionals with varied levels of expertise. For beginners, your materials might include clear, interactive elements and visual aids. Intermediate learners could benefit from learning about more complex topics. Advanced users might be challenged with real-life scenario applications. 

This audience-centric approach ensures that each group receives training materials that resonate with their experience level and learning style. For example, visual aids like training videos aid beginners in grasping basic functionalities. Meanwhile, advanced interactive exercises for seasoned professionals keep the training as engaging and relevant as possible. 

 

3. Review existing training material

Reviewing existing content can help you learn how to make training materials fresh. Before starting new content creation, look at what existing training materials you already have, if any. Reviewing and inventorying existing training material can uncover opportunities for reuse, repurpose, or renovation, saving time and resources. This process also helps identify any skills gaps in training that need addressing. 

Look out for outdated content, any inaccuracies, or issues that may have surfaced in past training that you can easily update in good time.

To thoroughly assess the effectiveness of existing training materials, gather feedback on their performance. 

Ask questions like:

  • How is training currently conducted?
  • What employee training materials are already in place on this topic?
  • Are these training resources up-to-date and error-free?
  • Were previous training efforts with this material successful?
  • What could be improved?

This evaluation will inform you about the type and quality of existing training resources and provide insights into whether they’re engaging and informative enough. By scrutinising your existing materials, you can build upon them to create more compelling content in a shorter time frame. 

 

4. Design a plan

Designing a cohesive training plan is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. This plan acts as a roadmap, giving you a bird’s-eye view of all training activities and how each piece contributes to the overall learning experience. 

If you want to know how to design training materials, a well-devised timeline is key to an effective plan. It helps in scheduling when each piece of training will be delivered, how long development will take, and which materials need creation. Prioritise resources based on factors like training costs, time required, and quality level. 

And before you dive into creating training content, pause to develop a detailed outline. This helps in organising training materials efficiently, streamlining the entire process. 

A comprehensive outline is crucial as it simplifies the content creation process and organises information to serve learners best. 

For example, a sales process training online course might be structured as: 

  1. Introduction
  2. Sales prospecting
  3. Making the first call
  4. Tips for closing deals over the phone
  5. Handing customers to the implementation team
  6. FAQs
  7. Further resources

Creating an outline ensures that information is presented logically, making it easier for employees to locate specific information when needed. And remember, the way you segment information in your training materials should align with what will be most useful for your employees. The goal is to create a plan that's both comprehensive and accessible.

 

5. Choose the right format

Selecting the most suitable format for your content is a critical step in the training material development process. It's about what you want to cover and how best to convey this information to your audience. 

Here are some examples of training materials:

  • Online courses
  • Knowledge base articles
  • Video tutorials
  • PDF guides
  • Printed guidebooks
  • Pamphlets

The key is matching the format with the content's nature and the audience's context. Consider where your audience will be accessing the training. 

Ask questions like:

  • What tools and resources will employees have at their disposal? 
  • What won't staff have access to? 
  • How much time can employees dedicate to training? 

Answers to these questions can help determine whether formats like training videos, interactive exercises, or assessment strategies like quizzes are suitable. 

Different topics lend themselves to various formats. Complex processes that need visual demonstration are often best served by training videos. Simpler sequences or concepts may be effectively communicated through text and imagery.

The beauty of modern training materials, especially those delivered online, is the flexibility to combine various formats. This approach allows for a richer, more engrossing, media-supported learning experience. 

 

6. Create engaging employee training

Creating training materials that are engaging can significantly enhance learner retention and understanding. 

If you want to know how to make training materials more interesting, here are some tips for infusing your manuals and courses with elements that capture and hold your audience's attention: 

  1. Utilise storytelling: People are naturally drawn to stories. When creating training materials, try incorporating storytelling into your content to make complex concepts more relatable and memorable. Use real-world scenarios, anecdotes, or case studies to illustrate key points. This approach makes the content more exciting and helps learners see the practical application of what they're learning. 
  2. Include visuals: The power of visual aids can’t be overstated when you develop training materials. Research suggests that about 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Plus, visuals can improve learning by up to 400%. High-quality images, infographics, videos, and diagrams can break up text-heavy content and aid in information retention. When selecting visuals, ensure they’re relevant and add real value to the content. The inclusion of multimedia is especially beneficial in illustrating complex processes.
  3. Incorporate gamified learning elements: If you’re wondering how to create interactive training programs, gamified learning elements such as quizzes, storylines, or simulations engage learners actively, rather than passively absorbing information. These components make learning more interesting, providing immediate feedback and helping to measure and reinforce knowledge retention.

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7. Simplify and structure content

Crafting and structuring training materials that are easy to consume and retain requires a strategic approach to content organisation and simplification. 

If you want to know how to prepare training material, consider the following best practices: 

  1. Segment content into manageable chunks: Break down complex processes or tasks into individual sections to develop effective training materials. This segmentation helps in avoiding information overload and makes the content more digestible. 
  2. Organise content logically: Organise your training materials by topic or task to make the learning process efficient and straightforward. This way, learners can skip to the sections they need, especially if they’re already familiar with certain parts of the content. 
  3. Embrace microlearning: When crafting effective training materials, try to keep your content concise and focused with microlearning formats. Microlearning is highly effective as it allows learners to quickly absorb and apply information. Learners love microlearning too, with approximately 82% of students involved in a study expressing high satisfaction in completing microlearning courses. Divide the content into micro-chapters for more extensive topics, each concentrating on a single concept or point. This structure enables learners to easily navigate the material, focusing on the areas they need most. 
  4. Balance creativity with clarity: While keeping content engaging with elements like anecdotes or humour (where suitable) is important, focus primarily on clarity and brevity. When delivering training materials, the goal is to provide key information in a format that’s easy for learners to understand, leading to the desired learning outcome.
  5. Use an eLearning platform for consistency: Using a learning management system (LMS) like Lingio can streamline the creation process. They can help maintain formatting, image sizing, and overall design consistency. Plus, a learning management system often allows you to efficiently add and arrange text, images, and other elements for a professional look and feel.

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By simplifying and structuring your training content thoughtfully, you create an environment where learners can efficiently absorb and utilise the information, making your training program effective and impactful.

 

8. Use collaborative tools to create training material 

Platforms like Lingio and other eLearning authoring tools transform how training content is created, shared, and improved upon. 

Let's explore why integrating these tools into your process is a wise move:

  1. Facilitates digital content creation: Authoring tools are pivotal for creating digital training materials and converting them into eLearning formats like online courses, video lectures, and gamified exercises. If you want to know how to make interactive training material, these tools simplify the process of crafting engaging content, making it more accessible and user-friendly. 
  2. Enhances collaboration and feedback: Collaborative platforms allow multiple contributors to work together seamlessly. With features like Lingio’s coaching portal, managers can mentor, track, and follow up with employees.
  3. Improves engagement and interactivity: A powerful learning management system enables instructors to develop dynamic online courses, quizzes, and assessments, which can significantly enhance the learning experience. 
  4. Saves time and resources: Using these technologies can reduce the time and effort required to create course materials. This efficiency allows you to focus more on achieving the desired learning outcomes and less on the logistical aspects of content creation. 

Incorporating collaborative tools when developing and building training materials is a strategic move towards efficiency, engagement, and effectiveness. These tools make the development process smoother while ensuring that the end product is high quality, engaging, and tailored to the needs of the learners.

 

9. Iterative design and feedback

Embracing an iterative design approach and incorporating feedback are important when developing training materials. This process may involve pilot testing, reviewing, and refining content. 

  1. Pilot test: Conducting pilot tests with a small group of participants is a good idea. This step allows you to assess the effectiveness of the content, ensuring that it meets the training objectives and it's clear, concise, and interesting. Pilot testing helps identify and resolve issues before the training program is fully launched, saving time and resources. 
  2. Engage stakeholders in the review process: Involving stakeholders in the review process is a good idea for ensuring the quality of your training materials. They can provide a fresh perspective, evaluate design elements, and pinpoint training gaps or areas needing revision. This collaborative approach ensures that the final product is well-rounded and meets the expectations of all parties involved. 
  3. Gather feedback: Seek feedback from a varied group of testers across different departments or areas of expertise. This diversity brings in a wide range of perspectives, offering insights you might not have considered. Testing the content with diverse groups of people highlights issues like unclear language or information overload. 

By following an iterative design process and valuing feedback, you can build training materials that are informative and resonate with the needs and preferences of your audience. This approach leads to training material that’s continuously refined and optimised for maximum impact and effectiveness.

 

10. Make it accessible and inclusive

Create interactive, effective training material that’s accessible and inclusive for powerful learning for all. It's a good idea to aim for clarity by writing at a 7th to 8th-grade reading level, using language that’s easy to understand while incorporating necessary jargon where appropriate. Remember, the goal is to inform and facilitate learning, not to showcase complex vocabulary. 

It's also important to acknowledge and cater to the diverse needs of your learners. Teams may be spread across different time zones, possess varying skill sets, and have different roles. Offering flexible, self-paced, mobile-based training material allows each learner to engage with the material in a way that suits their schedule and learning style. This approach cultivates a more inclusive learning environment and boosts learner engagement and motivation. By making your training materials accessible and adaptable to a wide range of learners, you maximise the effectiveness and impact of your training program.

 

11. Update and maintain regularly

Developing training materials isn’t just a one-time event but an ongoing journey of refinement and improvement. Regular updates are crucial to ensure the content remains relevant, accurate, and effective. Even minor improvements can make a significant difference. 

Take time to review your materials periodically. Could a sentence be clarified? Is there a more recent screenshot that could be more illustrative? Is there a fresh resource that could be linked? 

Such updates enhance the quality of your training manual templates and material and streamline your future content development process. Getting into the habit of continuous improvement ensures that your training materials evolve with your audience’s needs and the ever-changing industry standards.

 

Integrating AI into your material creation process

Incorporating AI tools like Lingio into your training material creation workflow can significantly enhance the learning experience. 

Here's a step-by-step guide to doing so: 

  1. Create custom, gamified courses: Use a training platform, such as Lingio’s AI Course Creation software to create structured learning paths and courses tailored to individual or group needs. Learn how to make a course using AI here.
  2. Track progress: AI tools allow you to track learners' progress, providing a clear and measurable learning journey. 
  3. Analyse data: Utilise the detailed reports and analytics provided by AI tools to monitor learner engagement, assessment results, and training course completion rates. A challenge here is ensuring the AI tool’s insights are accurately interpreted and applied. To overcome this, regularly review the AI-generated data and cross-reference it with direct learner feedback. 
  4. Make updates: Use the insights gained from AI analysis to continuously improve your training materials. Make sure to update content based on both the AI’s suggestions and learner feedback.

Integrating AI into your material creation process allows you to create personalised, effective, and interactive training materials. The key is to regularly assess and refine your approach based on AI's rich data and insights.

 

Speeding up the process with AI: Introducing Lingio

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When it comes to employee training and development, efficiency and customisation are key. Enter Lingio, our innovative AI-powered tool that revolutionises the creation of training materials. The AI Course Creator enables the quick development of customised, mobile-based training courses. Let’s learn more about some of the benefits.

  1. Rapid course creation and customisation: With Lingio, creating tailored training materials is as simple as uploading a current training document or using a keyword related to your topic. Whether it’s for industry-specific needs like 'cleaning materials' or general topics like ‘lemonade’', Lingio’s AI quickly generates relevant, gamified content. 
  2. Mobile-based accessibility: Lingio’s courses are easily accessible on mobile devices, making learning convenient and flexible. 
  3. Multilingual support: Lingio offers in-app translations to over 100 languages, breaking down language barriers in diverse workforces. 
  4. A scalable course delivery method: Share Lingio’s courses on a large scale efficiently with the press of a button. 
  5. Enhanced learning outcomes: Up to 12X higher course completion results compared to competitors thanks to Lingio’s gamified and interactive format. 
  6. Coaching portal: A coaching and tracking portal is available for tracking results and learner progress. 
  7. Ready-to-use courses: Access a collection of premium, ready-to-go courses on topics like workplace wellbeing and cybersecurity. 

 

Lingio's collaboration with Nobina, the Nordic region’s largest public transport operator, to train 7,000 bus drivers showcases how the platform can dramatically accelerate and enhance the training material creation process. By transforming Nobina's employee handbook into interactive, gamified courses, Lingio made the training more engaging and significantly sped up employee learning. This digital approach allowed for customised, mobile-based training accessible anywhere, making it highly convenient for Nobina’s widespread workforce. 

By implementing Lingio into your training material development process, you significantly reduce the time and effort required to create powerful training materials. Its AI-driven capabilities ensure that your training can be created within a few clicks but is also tailored, engaging, and impactful.

 

Ensuring quality and engagement

Today, the creation of training modules and materials is increasingly expedited, so maintaining high quality and engagement is paramount. AI plays a significant role in enhancing these aspects, offering tools for personalised learning experiences and content optimisation. However, implementing the human touch is always important. 

If you want to know how to create good training materials, here's how to keep your content top-notch and engaging: 

 

  1. Design training materials with intent: When you create online training material, every part should have a purpose. Avoid cluttering with irrelevant information and focus on what adds value to the learner's experience. 
  2. Use jargon carefully: If jargon is necessary, ensure it's clearly defined. Consistency in terminology helps in building a common language and understanding among learners.
  3. Proofread vigorously: Small errors can significantly impact the perceived quality of your training materials. Thoroughly proofread to avoid typos or grammatical mistakes that could distract or confuse learners. 

By blending these strategies with the analytical power of AI, you can create internal and external training materials that are deeply engaging, ensuring a rewarding learning experience for all participants.

 

Create interactive training materials with Lingio

Creating effective training materials is a dynamic process that blends traditional best practices with the transformative potential of AI. By following content creation methods, such as clearly defining learning objectives, understanding your audience, and continually reviewing and updating content, you can ensure that your training materials are gripping while also meeting the evolving needs of learners.

Incorporating AI eLearning platforms like Lingio streamlines the training material content creation process, enabling customised, engaging, and impactful learning experiences. Try Lingio for free here and experience customised AI training courses for your business today.

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FAQs

1. How do you write effective training materials?

If you’re wondering how to create effective training materials, start by defining clear, measurable learning objectives and understanding your audience's needs. Focus on creating concise, engaging content that’s organised logically and includes a mix of formats like text, visuals, and gamified elements. Regular updates and incorporating feedback are also key in the writing process.

 

2. What are some training material examples?

Training materials come in various forms, each tailored to different learning styles and objectives. Some common training material examples include interactive e-learning training courses, engaging video tutorials, comprehensive manuals and guides, practical case studies, and hands-on workshops. Additionally, infographics and quick-reference cheat sheets provide visually appealing, concise information for quick learning.

 

3. What are the best types of training materials for instructor led learning?

The best materials for instructor led training include comprehensive slide presentations, detailed handouts, and interactive workbooks. These resources support the instructor's teachings and provide learners with valuable reference material. Additionally, incorporating real-life case studies and hands-on activities enhances engagement and practical understanding.

 

Sources:

  1. Robinson, Ryan. (2019) 3 ways leaders in the workplace can create more time for deep learning. Forbes.
  2. Kosmyna, N., Lindgren, J. T., & Lécuyer, A. (2018). Attending to Visual Stimuli versus Performing Visual Imagery as a Control Strategy for EEG-based Brain-Computer Interfaces. Scientific reports, 8(1), 13222. 
  3. Henebery, B. (2022). Using visuals improves learning by up to 400% – study. The Educator.
  4. Romanenko, Yulia & Solodovnikova, Ekaterina & Maksimenko, Nadezhda. (2023). Microlearning as a new method of teaching soft skills to university students. Frontiers in Education.

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Image of Ellie Swain
Ellie Swain
Ellie is a full-time writer from London and has been working with Lingio since the end of 2022. She loves contributing to a company that makes learning and development easier and more accessible for people. In her spare time, she loves travelling, watching live music, and trying new restaurants.

Table of contents

How to create training materials: 9 best practices to speed it up

Understanding the basics of how to create training materials

Best practices of how to create training materials

Integrating AI into your material creation process

Speeding up the process with AI: Introducing Lingio

Ensuring quality and engagement

Create interactive training materials with Lingio

FAQs

Sources

Start creating training materials today!

 

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