Before you start you need to be quite sure you know what you are getting into.  Creating a course can generate a very good income; there are a number of things that must come together to make it a success.

  1. Decide What Your Course is About : Once you decide to create an online course, you need to answer  “what am I going to teach?”

Deciding what to teach is tricky because it needs to be something you’re knowledgeable about, but it should have the potential to attract a fairly large number of students.

Before you can pinpoint a course topic, you need to finalise your niche or broader subject and then boil it down to specific topics (see last week’s article - Create Your Own Online Course - 1 - Modlettes)

2. Validate Demand For Your Course : The easiest way to do this is to analyse the search volumes for related keywords.

Suppose you want to create a course about vegan cooking.  Your action should be to look at search volume for key words like vegan cooking, vegan cookbook, etc.

Next, analyse the results and you will notice the key word has a high search volume.  With several related keywords showing high search volumes you will realise there is an interest in learning the topic.

You shouldn’t just rely on market data to validate your idea.

You can start by analysing the discussions on popular Facebook groups or online communities.

3. Plan Your Online Course Creation : Now you’re getting to the grunt work.  Every part of course creation needs to be carefully planned.

Pretend you’re managing a project.  A lot of things are involved, which you need to breakdown into milestones and tasks.

It is essential to create and store all your material before you start your Modlette.  This means you can actually assemble the Modlette in less than an hour.  The great advantage of pre-recording is that you can edit your videos and audio clips to remove the mistakes and make sure you have a great piece of material before you upload it on to the Modlette.

Create a Detailed Course Outline

The outline defines the structure of your course.

When creating an outline, you should always start with the students’ objectives in mind.  Then think of the various milestones students need to take to achieve these results.  These can become Modlettes and your course may have any number of these.

Finally, you should keep some important design principles in mind while creating your outline:

To deliver your online course you can accumulate your ideas on sticky notes, or whiteboard before putting a firm outline in a tool like Google Sheets.  I prefer to put my ideas into a mindmap from which I work to a story board.

Next week you can read about creating your course content.

Definition of uncomplicated . . . Modlettes

Did you ever want to be a great CEO, or perhaps the marketing guru everybody looks up to?

Very few people want to be a trainer because for years there’s been a disparaging comment doing the rounds which goes:  “Those who can’t do, train”

Being an awesome trainer and creating great training is a truly satisfying adventure.

I have learned that creating successful training doesn’t haven’t to be frustrating.

Here are some truths about successful training:

Now go and sign-up for a 30-day free trial with Modlettes.

Christine is a classroom trainer working mainly with Customer Service people in her company.  When she first started, she used to stick slavishly to her notes and her timing and wondered why her pupils failed to perform well in the questionnaire at the conclusion of the course.  One day a pupil asked her a question and she used a story from her own experience and this prompted more questions from the rest of the class who suddenly showed renewed interest.  That night she started rewriting her material including stories from her days in the field.


The effect on the following workshops was awesome and the results at the end and in the field were greatly improved.  Somebody then told her she was using scenario-based training so she did some research to see how she could improve her performance, and found that it was equally successful for e-learning design.  Here are some thoughts on how it works:

So there you have it, the four C’s of scenario based learning:



What is Sales Assist?

A strategic process that equips all Customer contact team members with the information they need to have a valuable conversation with decision influencers at each stage of the Customer’s problem-solving life cycles to optimise sales return and Customer satisfaction.

 That might be somewhat of a mouthful but Sales Assist is all about equipping the sales team with the ammunition that will help them improve their productivity and achieve their sales targets.  This approach helps you align many functions within your organisation to the overall goals and ensure Customers are aware of the required value.

Our Sales Assist programme uses our online platform to support recruitment onboarding, training and just-in-time resources.  Using Modlettes means that instead of bringing reps in for expensive training or new product launches they can access all this from their mobile phones.

What are the benefits of a Sales Assist Approach?

The right Sales Assist programme (in contrast to just sales training) brings several benefits to your organisation.  Notable amongst these are:

Ability to scale talent:  There are great advantages in getting all team members equipped with the same stories and tools.  You need not depend only on a few high performing individuals.  Instead you can prepare your whole talent pool with a consistent message and approach.

Equip the sales team with the knowledge for better sales dialogues:  Using the right tools and technology, you can ensure that your sales team has the right data and insights they can apply to solve different Customer problems.  They also have access to insights on the buyers, their pain points, their preferences and what would help them.

Reduce the time needed to close sales:  As your sales team have the required research and better resources to present in a ready-made format, they spend more time making the best presentation to not waste buyer’s time.  A well-prepared sales rep will have more meaningful conversations with prospects and quote the right references, which will help secure deals in lesser time.

Continue meaningful conversations with Customers and retain the connect to generate business in the future:  Providing resources to your sales team that provide useful and relevant information for Customers enables them to have ongoing, meaningful conversations.  This means they could be first cab off the rank when the next requirement pops up.

Sales reps, because of the nature of their profession are very independent and generally welcome the opportunity to learn on their own, so mobile learning makes this easy for them.  No-one knows what you don’t know!

Link to and download “Making Your Reps More Successful"

When I was in the corporate world, some time ago now, when it came to induction no one wanted to know.  It was time consuming and something we thrust online managers with a memo . . . “A new recruit will be visiting your department at . . . please make her welcome and explain what you do.”

Now with the help of technology we have the opportunity to do induction or on-boarding a lot better.  Using mobile, on-line it is possible to help the new inductees gain a faster understanding of the following key aspects:

From the organisation perspective, well-designed employee Onboarding Programmes ensure that new employees face a shorter learning curve to gain the required perspective, knowledge and skills that will help them contribute in a lesser time.  It also ensures better productivity and helps the new employees settle down faster.

So how can we do it better?

Opting for an on-line employee Onboarding programme that uses the benefit of mobile learning is a great way to correct many of the shortcomings of traditional programmes.

Mobile learning is a great way to train new employees in a shorter time, with a consistent message that can create the desired impact.

Modlettes (  From an organisational perspective, on-line employee onboarding helps your organisation in the following ways:

  1. It can easily be adapted to address the needs of today’s multi-generational workforce
  2. It can be easily personalised based on the role/business unit
  3. It can be easily localised
  4. The programme can be easily rolled out to a geographically dispersed workforce.
  5. It helps your organisation provide a consistent message
  6. As products or services change it can be easily updated
  7. It can be scheduled in advance and can be tracked if the implementation is happening, as planned.
  8. It is a cheaper option when compared to the facilitated model
  9. It can easily track and assess learner performance, and this data can be used to provide further support.


From a Learners’ Perspective

Of those coming into the workforce today nearly all of them have mobile devices and spend two hours a day looking at them so what better conduit for learning would you have?

Get the eBook “Onboarding new staff with Modlettes” in the resources section of the website


My wife and I are foodies and only cook real favourites more than once.  The rest of the time we experiment and over the years have built up quite a portfolio of recipes with comments about the end result.

The other day I noticed we had a bag of peaches in the freezer left over from a jam making session.  I was wondering what inspiration dish I could make with them.  So, I went to Google.  There were plenty of search results with titles like, “how to make peach pie” so I picked one and clicked.

And then I remembered why I’ve started to hate looking up recipes on-line.  I find myself presented with the history of peaches, how the ancient Magyars used to cook them, and how the author first discovered prunus persica (or yellow peaches).  I was provided with pros and cons of 15 varieties of peaches and why freestone peaches were preferable for poaching as opposed to clingstone.  After several minutes of reading, and lots of scrolling I found a simple recipe for a spiced peach dish with directions for assembly that I started out looking for.

Get real . . . I don’t need all this information to cook a simple dish.

However, this experience reminded me of the mistakes that first time learning designers make.  Online learners have very little tolerance for what they perceive to be “nice to know” information.  If they don’t understand the relevance of the information being presented, it’s very easy for them to tune out.  Or, if you force them through the information, they can start to resent your whole presentation.

The author of the Google piece probably thought she was adding value by providing all of this background information, showing her expertise and giving me a reason to use her as my cooking expert.  All she did do, was make me frustrated that I’d invested several minutes before I got what I was looking for.

So, when you’re designing your next Modlettes lesson make sure you think about how to connect with your learners.  Is this information they really need to know or even want to know?  If not, make it available as a non-compulsory piece of content that people can access if they want to.  If they really do need to know this information, make sure it is presented in such a way that they want to know it.

This way, learners won’t resent the time spent in your session and could easily look forward to the next one.



Corporates and SME’s that priortise training and development experience growth in employee engagement,   Customer acquisition, market strengths, talent attraction, Customer satisfaction and more.  Good training policies can reduce and prevent:

Lack of training and poor communication emerge in many surveys as the cause of migration away from companies.  And, the opportunity to learn is fast becoming a major reason why young people take jobs.  The majority of surveyed learning leaders say that the skills required today are continuously evolving.  So, if you want to grow your market in your business today you must study future trends in training and development.  As you will see, mobile learning is the future.


Why mobile learning’s decade will be the 2020’s

Individual Training:  The days for one-size-fits-all training are well over.  Employees are now asking for training to suit their specific needs because long generalised courses do not meet their expectations.

Today’s learners are focusing on their own experiences, technical fluency and work place for improvement instead of competing with their peers in a classroom.  A successful training programme should therefore be individualised and presented on an appropriate platform that offers a wide range of training for your employees to choose from.

Self-Paced Learning:  As well as personalised training employees must be able to learn at their own pace and when they have the time and inclination.  Studies show that employees who engage in self-paced learning tend to retain and recall information more than those who don’t.  Mobile learning is ideal for self-paced learning.

Microlearning:A major challenge in busy companies who want to develop their talent is getting employees to make time to switch into learning mode.  Most don’t have the luxury of sitting down to complete a one-hour course on-line.  Microlearning will remain a successful aspect of workplace learning.  All employees get the information required to address an existing problem and improve their skills at “time of need”.

Supporting Data:  Analysing data is a part of the training world today.  Therefore, you need a learning platform that supplies adequate data to track employee’s performance with the learning provided.  Many of today’s LMS were created with complex data collection systems that became unwieldy.  When choosing a learning platform look for one that provides only what’s necessary.


Today’s companies must adapt their learning and development strategies to satisfy current workforce expectations.  Conventional learning can only go so far in meeting these expectations.  By aligning the new landscape of mobile learning with business objectives, even small companies will be able to sustain good business growth.

Note: uses only the following:

User statistics:  learning Modlettes assigned by learner, completed Modlettes, Modlettes in progress, favourite Modlettes, which step of the Modlette the user was stuck on.  Our research showed that these were what most channel owners wanted.


Technology has brought rapid change to most industries. If not technology, then regulation, consolidation and new paradigms. Marketing in this changing environment is a challenge. How can you stabilise your company as a market leader when your Customers and prospects are being constantly bombarded with new information? One approach that works for many of our channel owners is to offer education to their Customers.  Education can be more than technical skills for using your products; you can become a source of skills for business and professional success.  You can use education as a valuable tool to strengthen your company's reputation, attract new Customers, and build loyalty. Teach them how to sell your product.

What makes education different from other types of marketing communication?  Education involves careful explanation, from basic principals to more advanced concepts.  The most effective education includes tools that help the learner apply knowledge and new skills such as case studies, interactive exercises, worksheets, checklists, as well as review questions and quizzes to check knowledge gain.  Modlettes provides the ideal vehicle for delivering all these features (

Address Customer Needs

If you don’t educate your Customers, somebody else will.  When you provide information to the market place, you control the message.  Customers often need skills to help them effectively integrate your products into their business processes.  How can they address the ever-changing market or new standards and regulations?  Do they understand the new technologies that are continually being offered?  You already know their business challenges, so you are in a strong position to become a trusted source of education.

Think beyond training to use your product.  Help managers coach their people to adapt to change.  How can managers reinforce what their people are learning from your training?  What should they be measuring to see how your products or services are being implemented?

Some companies limit their education to existing Customers as an added value to the basic offering.  Others make their education available to prospects and the public, usually at no cost, in return for an email address or other contact information.  This kind of education both increases your credibility and provides leads.

Consider these questions.

Customers today are looking for solutions, not stand-alone products and services.  Their question is, “How can you solve my business problem?”  The real value comes not only from the product itself but the services and skills that support it.  Good education offerings are a great way to show your Customers that you care about helping them be successful.  When you offer engaging, focused online learning opportunities, you create awareness and build Customer loyalty.

Example:  “Make My Modlette Amazing”.


The approach to training that we took in the past worked well.  It was possible to take our time to produce training programmes that met the long term goals of the business; however, today’s pace of business means that it is no longer feasible.


The Need for Speed

This increased pace of change means that products are produced faster.  In 2008 the design to production time for a new model car was about 60 months.  By 2013, that had dropped to 24-26 months.  Similarly, it took decades for the telephone to reach 50% of US households, but just 5 years to achieve the same penetration with mobile phones.

This new, faster world, has a direct impact on the work of L&D practitioners.  This need for speed is one characteristic of modern learning.  Often the organisation needs ‘good enough’ learning content to meet an urgent need, rather than an award winning course.

These choices are part of the disruption of the old world of training, and its replacement with a new wider role for L&D.  In this new role, L&D’s work is less predictable and the function has to make more and more complex decisions.  The greatest of these is where and how to source materials for learning and performance support.  The options for these decisions has changed a lot over recent times.


The Seven Key Questions, Buy or Build

The initial approach to deciding whether to buy or build learning materials was largely on initial cost.  Today, however, the decision is more complex.  On the one hand, the web provides access to a wide range of good value materials.  On the other hand, producing “good for purpose” training materials is becoming increasingly popular given access to lower cost.  DIY training platforms ( .  When deciding to build or buy, use these questions as a guide:


1. Is the issue best solved with learning?

    If not, tackle the actual root causes of the issue.

2.  Is the content part of a high-profile, long-term programme?

    Commission the content externally.

3.  Is this a low-risk issue where production values are unimportant?

     Provide access to it from the internet.

4 Is this issue best tackled with quality content aligned to job roles?

    Use curated content sets.

5.  Can the issue be tackled with self-service, good enough’, just-in-time, content?

    Either imported or DIY on a good platform.

6.  Is the issue in a grey zone : a mixture of company-specific and generic information?

     Establish the component parts, and the total cost of ownership of each, then   create company specific content internally, and buy in the rest.


7.  Does the issue only involve content unique to the business?

    Create the content internally.

A client company manufactures farm machinery and add-ons to existing machines.  As soon as they have a new product ready to go to market, they create a Modlette using still photos and sometimes a video.  They create a Modlette using a team of three in a morning and the Modlette covering the advantages and benefits of the new model is sent out to their sales force and distributors that afternoon.  The Modlette contains a ten-question quiz comprising questions a prospect might ask.  Sales people are required to complete the quiz and their results relayed back to their supervisor as proof that they are competent to answer questions related to the product.  In the past, a brochure would have been printed, or an email sent to reps with no proof that it was ever read.  (According to Accenture: CSO Insights Survey, connecting the Dots on Sales Performance 90% of sales content is not used by sales people).

Technology has made creating content internally a much more viable and cost friendly option and is being used increasingly by fast moving businesses.  For a free trial go to to see how this can be done.


It is undeniable that mobile learning is the future.  As a generation of young people who have always had access to mobile phones come into the work force this medium is second nature to them.  Whether they are in the middle of a crowded office or on a production line, today they have the power to access knowledge when it is most convenient to them.  In this article I will put the spotlight on some of the key points we have learnt in establishing a successful mobile learning strategy.


  1.   Know who your learners are

Know as much as possible about who you are designing for.  Does your audience already use their mobile devices on a regular basis?  What information do they already have, and what do they need to learn from the mobile experience? You need to know what they expect from the mobile learning course, where will they be accessing it, and how much time can they devote to the learning experience.


  1.   Make your existing eLearning content mobile friendly

The content you have in your current eLearning course cannot be directly imported into your mobile learning course.  It can, however, be modified in order to seamlessly integrate into your mobile strategy.  It is important to keep the content as digestible as possible.  You need to be aware that your learners are going to be accessing the mobile learning course on the go, meaning they won’t have a lot of time to sit down and work their way through a thirty-minute module.  Use different media to present learning points.


  1.   Remember that your audience will be distracted

All learners are distracted to some degree.  Even those taking traditional courses may have their mind on other things while they are participating.  Even more so, your mobile learners are going to be accessing your mobile course, wherever, whenever.  As such they will be dealing with a lot of distractions while they are trying to absorb information.  This is why it is critical to create engaging, information-packed, and powerful content.  You have to grab their attention from the very beginning, and hold it by providing them with information that is important to them and their objectives.


  1.   Don’t rush your design

Your learners may only have a few minutes to access your learning event.  More often than not they will be rushed, therefore they need to get as much information as possible, as quickly as possible.  However, this does not mean the learning design and development process should be rushed as well.  This will affect the quality and the effectiveness of the mobile learning course.


  1.   Don’t force mobile learning on your audience

Unfortunately, not all your learners are going to be willing to try the mobile experience. Some will prefer to stick with the traditional eLearning experience and will be resistant to a new learning style.  It is important not to force it on your learners, or they simply won’t be motivated to learn.  Instead lead them to the mobile learning experience.  Encourage them to complete supplemental mobile learning courses that will expand their comprehension, so they can see, first hand, how a mobile learning course might benefit them.  If you find a majority of your learners aren’t using the mobile learning tools you’ve developed, then it may be time to do additional audience research, to get their feedback to find the reasons behind their resistance to mobile learning.


Mobile learning may not be for everyone but it cannot be overlooked as an important tool in the future.  Modlettes are designed for mobile learning.

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