How to keep the audience engaged during online training

Training & Learning


Organizations have had to learn to do without most of the day-to-day physical interactions that used to characterize business life. Business travel has fallen off a cliff and may never be the same. The pandemic may have long-term, or even permanent, effects on the way we work. More and more organizations are moving their training partly or entirely online, leading to a boom in eLearning courses.

Many have seen a giant leap in different learning options available online. Many learners also welcome the opportunity to learn when and where it best suits them. Probably the biggest issue in remote learning now is engagement. Without students being physically present in the classroom, it’s harder to keep them focused and motivated. The same techniques that work in the classroom don’t always work at a distance.



People generally have less patience in online environments; they want to get to the point fast and tend to skim large chunks of text. This requires careful scoping of the material towards set learning objectives and creating content that is tailored for the medium. In digital environments, videos, animations, infographics, and interactions are all important ways of conveying ideas and concepts to learners in ways that are more interesting and entertaining than simply reading a text. Studies have shown that using video to convey your message can lead to increased engagement and improved retention among your learners particularly when learning skills they need to apply in practice.

The educational psychologist Robert Gagne outlined nine events of instruction that need to occur in order for effective learning to take place. The first three of these are gaining the learner’s attention, informing them of the objectives, and stimulating recall of prior learning such as facts, theories, concepts, principles, or procedures. These three initial events take the learner into a place where they can effectively start learning.


Which one works better? The text or the animated gif?


According to studies by MIT neuroscientists, the human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds.




We at Acolad often recommend starting an eLearning course with a video. The beginning is where you first need to catch attention and connect with the user's interests and needs. When drafting the content, consider what is in it for the learner: Why should they pay attention? How does this fit into what they already know? What will they gain from putting in the time and energy to learn? The first impressions made here set the context and angle for the reception of the whole course.

In a video, you can use anything from custom icons and characters to animated storytelling to make sure the right things really stick out and come to life. No other medium has the direct immediacy that video has, and by combining that with an element of surprise or immediate recognition and connection to issues in their everyday work, you can really wake your learners up! A combination of onscreen visuals and a voiceover is also great for informing the learner of the objectives or for reminding them about what they learned previously or may have observed on the job.

But how can you create effective video content when you have no experience in that field? The good news is that videos do not always require hiring a full-on film crew; modern technology offers many accessible productions. At the same time, the difficulty may indeed be more on the side of choosing from the plethora of options the one that best serves your purpose.
Here is our shortlist of types of video to consider:

  • Film your spokesperson or have them make a selfie video to give a personal touch to your message. The level of production depends on how polished you want the look and feel to be.
  • Film your employees, customers, or products in action – real images are effective, though be prepared to update frequently to avoid your video looking aged.
  • Screen capture videos can be an effective means of instruction if edited into a concise whole.
  • 2D animation can overcome many caveats of live videos safely with the right level of abstraction for illustration concepts and relationships as well as telling stories.
  • 3D animation really livens up your story or product features, also works combined with live video.
  • Text overlay video lets you highlight specific key points and works even without sound.
  • Interactive or immersive video lets your audience practice effectively for real-life situations and decision-making in context.


But how can you create effective video content when you have no experience in that field? That’s where we come in.

The Learning Services experts at Acolad Nordics have vast experience in education, both face to face and online. We know teaching – we’ve been doing it for decades. And we’re experts at creating customized, engaging, and professional eLearning content for companies and organizations in just about every field.

Talk to us, and we can help you convert your learning content into videos that will inform and entertain your learners. We will help you get your message across in a way that will keep your learners coming back for more. We can create custom animations, characters, and scenes to breathe life into your learning content.

Contact Acolad Nordics today to take your learning courses to the next level with professional, tailored video content.


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