Candice Brown November 27, 2023

How to Use Custom Content to Address the Diverse Needs of Learners

Employee Training

Your organisation has diverse employees.

Contract workers. Part-time workers. Full-time workers. Degree holders. Non-degree holders. People with visual or hearing impairments. People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The list is endless.

Diverse employees have diverse training needs. If these needs aren’t met, employees won’t be motivated to learn and are less likely to complete courses. Your employee training program goals will bite the dust.

Custom content is a viable solution.

As Content Operations Manager at One on One, I work with a team of instructional design professionals to create custom content for our clients. This experience, coupled with the knowledge I gained through 10+ years of teaching and my MS in Educational/Instructional Technology, provides me with a firm foundation for the tips I’m sharing with you.

This article highlights tactics my team and I have used to make e-learning accessible to diverse learners in organisations. Let’s start by looking at the levels of custom content One on One offers and how we meet the needs of learners at each level.

Custom Content Levels  

The custom content we offer is grouped into three tiers, as shown in the image below.

Custom content levels at One on One

We have clients from multiple industries and a common experience they share is that they have employees who aren’t book smart people. They aren’t going to sit down and read. Consuming large volumes of content at once is a big no-no.

Here’s how we meet this need at each content tier.

Tier One: This tier is more text-heavy, but it includes graphics, images, and simple animations. We don’t use more than 15 words per passage and include breaks where learners can engage with images and simple interactive elements.

Tier Two: Employees access more interactive elements at this tier, such as drag & drop activities. They also engage with audio and video content that includes Caribbean voice-over talent. So it’s easier for them to relate to the content because the person delivering it sounds like them.

Tier Three: Our clients in this tier get all the bells and whistles. We include interactive scenario-based activities that improve recall and promote on-the-job learning. Content at this level is more audio-visual than text-based so that learners have more opportunities to engage with the material and retain information.

Similar to tier two, we use Caribbean voice-over talent to create the audio-visual material. We include closed captions so that learners can have the words appear on the screen while the voice-over talent is speaking. Clients in this tier can also get custom content made in our Content Studio.

There have been instances though where we’ve adjusted things slightly to meet the specific needs of clients. For instance, we created AI voice-overs from a tier one client. Although these voice-overs weren’t done by Caribbean people, they helped make the content more accessible for people with visual impairments.

How Does Our Custom Content Creation Process Work? 

There are five steps in our custom content creation process.

  1. Content Audit: Some clients ask us to use their existing content to create courses. Others ask us to start from scratch. For those who want us to use their existing manuals, handouts, and other documents, we assess what they already have and figure out what can be used to create a course.
  2. Curriculum Map: We don’t move on to this step until the client approves the audit. Next, we develop a curriculum map of topics and resources that need to be highlighted in the course.
  3. Content Creation: Curriculum map approval leads us to content creation based on the purchased tier.
  4. Feedback: Clients have multiple opportunities to provide feedback. We adjust the courses based on this feedback.
  5. Final Upload: We help clients upload the content on our LMS or on the LMS of their choice.

Tips for Making Custom Content Work for Diverse Learners 

  • Include closed captions on all your videos. Closed captions make it easier to watch videos with sound off, follow along with the presenter, and increase accessibility for the hearing impaired.

  • Transform your courses into games. Most of the courses we create have gamification elements. There are challenges and activities that motivate learners and encourage healthy competition.

  • Add augmented reality. This is a feature we’re currently heavily researching and hoping to include in our custom courses soon. Augmented reality allows learners to participate in online learning activities within the rooms they’re in. Think of it like Chemistry students being able to perform experiments at home without having all the materials directly in front of them. It’s all done in the virtual realm.

  • Make your content relevant. Our team applies the constructivist approach to learning. In constructivism, learners construct knowledge instead of passively taking in information. Get your employees involved in learning by creating individual learning pathways, using culturally relevant material, and including content that’s important for their roles.

  • Reward employees. There’s an old saying, “Reward sweetens labour.” Incentivising the learning experience makes it more likely that your team will actually want to complete training. Give them certificates. Give prizes based on points. Have an awards ceremony. There’s so much you can do to reward staff for achieving learning outcomes.

Trust One on One to Meet Your Custom Content Needs 

One on One’s content development team is here to help you make employee training fun. Collectively, our team has over 10 years of experience in teaching and learning. We make online learning as practical and engaging as possible so that your employees enjoy learning.

Book a demo to learn more about how our team can help.