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Formats for Learning

In our previous article, we mentioned how learning and comms become blurred in uncertain times and how vital it is to get messaging out clearly and at pace. Learning and comms must always have a purpose, but this is even more crucial at a time of crisis. For a lot of organisations, this will mean they will have to change and adapt the way messages are formatted and delivered.

Recently, we’ve seen how other industries have used the technology we have available to us to adapt their offering. From Personal Trainers using webinar functionality to train people in their homes to sit-in restaurants using tech to offer delivery only services. For the learning space, we have a raft of tools to create quick, easy, impactful content.

But firstly, before any content is created, the purpose and objectives of the content must be identified. Then you need to think about the messaging, which needs to be kept clear and concise. People will be being bombarded with information from both internal and external sources, if your content has no purpose or clear objective, this will lead to confusion and any additional messaging you send out may be ignored.

Content format also plays a big part. Lengthy documents, PowerPoint presentations or SCORM courses aren’t going to be quick to make or easy to consume. At a time where people need to be kept up to date at pace, one-pagers and short videos enable you to do this. There are some great, free, online tools which allow you to create content which looks good, but also isn’t time consuming.

One-Pagers & Infographics

One-pagers are great for short written messages or quick instructions and should be kept to one page (clue in the title). Examples of the types of one-pagers include update messages or small changes to process.

Infographics can also be used for short messages or quick instructions but use visual aids to reduce the amount of wording. Examples of infographics include statistics overviews or short instructions.

Canva is one of a number of tools which can be used to create one pagers and infographics. It provides a large range of templates which allow you to choose a style and add your text, these can then be downloaded in various formats, including PDF and PNG.

Short Videos

Short videos are good to for quick updates or messages. They can also be used to create a series of short videos on a topic, for example, an introduction, instruction and summary.

Videos can be created using most mobile devices and should be roughly 2 minutes long. When you’re recording your video, try and avoid background noises like busy roads or aircon. Splice (both Apple and Android) and iMovie (for Apple devices) are examples of free editing tools which are simple to use.


Animations are a different way to teach or get a message across to people. They allow you to create a story to explain a message. For example, if you have a change in legislation or process.

Powtoons and Vyond are chargeable online tools which can help with this. They’re really easy to use and there are online tutorials available.

User Generated

During times of change, people will start to adapt to the new processes and procedures being put in place. People will start to make content to help themselves and their teams, like quick user guides or screen recordings. This, user generated content, is ready made and can be shared to the wider audience.

The next article in this series focuses on the data behind the content and how this can be used the evolve your approach.

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