eLearning with text masses for legal professionals

We are discussing elearning concepts for legal professionals. The advantage is that highest credibility of all media has text. If you give them our text most of them are happy. Manuscripts often have 50-80 pages of text.  The second problem is that the authors are highly specialized. Editing the texts of the authors may create a lot of work and coordination because very often an exact wording has to be used. Otherwise the content would be an other.

We will try to move the courses to a more modern look and feel. Here are some ideas we want to discuss with you:

  1. Very carefull edition of texts. Make sentences shorter, make lists in sentences more visible.
  2. Add graphics with structure of the contexts.
  3. Create case studies for introduction to chapters to make the problem more visible. 
  4. Create a more visible structure of a chapter and put the text in a popup window
  5. Add audio with the same content to the page
  6. Create an intro video for each course

Who has worked with this target group or similar groups that really like text based content. What do you suggest? Are there any examples available?


2 Replies
Ray Cole

Hi Ralf,

If I understand your situation correctly, it sounds like you already have print documents with the authoritative, exact legal language that accurately describes your content. Sure, the sentences could maybe benefit from some tightening and editing, or pictures and examples, but the core content is sound.

Your points 1-4 sound to me more like something I would try to apply to these documents, and not to an e-learning course about them.

What I'm suggesting is that for heavy text material, you already have this content in its best form: a text document.

E-learning works best when it is not about content, but rather when it focuses on what learners must do with that content. What decisions does this content inform? What situations will learners face in the real world in which knowing this content will be crucial to their success?

I would use e-learning to put the learner in a series of scenarios in which they must make decisions and choose actions that are consistent with the legal rules described in the print documents. You can even suggest that they have the print documents printed out and in front of them as they work through the exercises in the e-learning course. When your course provides feedback about how the learners performed on the various challenges, you can reference the print documents (e.g., "You chose XYZ, but by the precedent set in Someone v. Someone Else, this situation actually calls for ABC, as discussed in Chapter n of Document Name.")

Basically, I would say: don't use the e-learning course to re-present the content of the documents; do use the e-learning course to make the learner put that content into practice.

Think of the e-learning course as a set of practice opportunities, rather than a sequence of content-oriented "chapters" in an electronic book.

At least, those are my first thoughts, based on what limited information I have.

Cheers, and good luck with the project!