Ideas for Making a "Materials Knowledge" course more interesting?

I am creating e-Learning for a utilities client, and have run into a conundrum: I have a course that is all about materials knowledge (i.e., four types of valves and their uses, six types of pipes and when they're used, fifteen types of fittings and their descriptions). The e-learning component is part of a larger blended learning solution, and what I am developing is foundational knowledge for scenarios that will be used in the classroom and in on-the-job training.

When and where these materials are used are influenced by so many variables that we have made the business decision to keep this e-learning course to just basic materials knowledge. I'm trying to avoid a "knowledge dump," but am finding that a real challenge! Common wisdom (and my preference) dictates more scenario-based activities, but given the amount of content in this course, it would blow my seat time (about 30 mins).

One activity that was very successful is a Jeopardy-style game that asks learners to choose the correct material based on a simple definition, with additional content coming in feedback. But since I can't do six Jeopardy games, I'm looking for some other ideas.

Has anyone made successful and engaging material or product knowledge courses that avoid the "information dump" trap?



5 Replies
Joe Deegan

Hi Elizabeth,

How about throwing the learner into a scenario but giving them job aids or resources covering the basic material knowledge that they can use when they need help.  That way you avoid the knowledge dump but still give them access to the knowledge when they need it. 

You could setup a scenario where they are on the job and they need to choose the right types of valves and pipes.  If they don't know which pipe to use they can click on an icon or a tab where they can access a "job aid" with the basic material knowledge they need to complete the scenario.  Makes for a more realistic on the job training situation and the job aids or resources come in handy later for a refresher.

Cheryl Hoover

Thank you for the ideas. I was searching the forum looking for inspiration along the same lines. I worked on my first two informational courses recently, and I'm not at all pleased with the results. I have three more I need to get started on soon. They're on the very exciting topics of Introduction to Fuel Additives, Filtration, and Grease. : )

If anyone has any other ideas, I'm open to anything!

Cheryl Hoover

Thank you, Leslie! I've never looked at the other forums, so I appreciate the reminder. The time constraints when you're the only person creating courses with a requirement to push one every three weeks is crazy (and managing the LMS and knowledgebase). I'm grateful to work with a group of very understanding people.

Leslie McKerchie

Haha! Makes total sense Cheryl. Glad you find assistance here when you need it. This forum, for instance, is product specific to Storyline and is mostly used for product questions or issues. The Building Better Courses forums is an Articulate forum as well, but more design related vs product questions. Just thought I'd share. You are welcome in all of them :)