Technology allows online students to access educational materials anywhere, anytime. On the other hand, online training resources can become an obstacle in the learning process in case there are problems of continuous connectivity. And it is at this juncture that the downloadable contents become valuable resources. But how to use them at the best?
1. Specify which tools are required for offline access
Clarify by which tools online students can access downloaded training resources (apps, viewers, or video players) and, as a result, provide links to relevant tools that shall be installed in advance on the device. For example, the hyperlink to the Adobe site may be useful so that students can download the PDF reader. Also, be sure to provide specific tools for different platforms: Android and Apple users may need to download two different versions of the app.
2. Offer guides on the covered topics
Downloadable guides and ebooks that explore a specific topic or activity allow online students to get all the information they need and use the resource in the future. Another downloadable resource to consider is the infographic: it provides online students with a quick but complete overview of the topic.
3. Provide a PDF version of online training materials
For example, a summary of the key points of the training modules or a text version of the branching scenario that presents a diagram in place of the clickable decision paths.
4. Offer a downloadable online content library
A centralized content library gives students access to all online training materials in one place. This allows them to quickly find the training resources they need and download them for later use. If the library is divided into categories and offers a short description for each element, the fruition experience will be optimal.
5. Choose an LMS with the possibility of offline access
Many learning management systems (LMS) allow students to synchronize backups with the system, even at a later time, when they are connected. The system also compiles offline data and integrates it into reports.
6. Offer vademecums, infographics and checklists
With offline asynchronous learning, students can even keep printable versions available in case of an emergency. If, in the middle of a job, they suddenly forget how to complete the last phase of the process, a checklist, an infographic or a vademecum could be vital. By conducting an analysis of training needs in your company you can determine which downloadable resources to develop.
7. Provide clear instructions for downloading content
Make all students aware of the fact that they can download online training resources and view them offline and give them clear instructions on how to access downloaded eLearning content and view it on their devices. Describe each resource so that students know what to expect (including file size and format). How to inform them better? An online tutorial could be useful for this purpose.
8. Add links to further details
Online students may need to deepen the content of the downloadable eLearning module: through a link you can include references to online training activities and modules related to the topic.
9. Create printable resources
Students may prefer to print content instead of viewing it on a mobile device. Therefore, it is good practice to develop training materials that use characters large enough to be read (but not too big to waste useless paper), with short texts that do not provide too many images and colors.
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