Designing an eLearning course without knowing your targeted corporate learning audience is akin to throwing a Diwali party for everyone you know. You may not have enough food, you may prepare dishes that your visitors will not eat, and you may lack sufficient silverware to serve everyone.

Similarly, building an eLearning course without first determining the target audience might be terrible. What if you develop a scenario- and exercise-based course, but your students prefer on-demand learning? What if you add a ton of audio-only to discover that your audience is learning in a factory with no access to headphones?

Before you begin building your course, you must answer these 15 questions about your eLearning audience to prevent making these mistakes.

15 Questions to Ask Your Corporate Learning Audience Before Designing an eLearning Course
corporate learning audience
Where does the audience stand in terms of ability?

It’s critical to know how much background knowledge your eLearning audience has on the subject. This information allows you to move directly into the topic they need to know, skipping over the stuff they already know. Instead, go over essential phrases you’ll be utilizing later and provide an optional fast refresher for these concepts, which can be avoided by folks who already know this information.

You can consider asking these questions. What new skills and information should your course instill and develop in your corporate learning audience? You can only handle this once you understand their current level of knowledge and skill. What kinds of skills does the team lack that this course will help fill? What do they know already? Do they want to start from scratch or brush up on their skills? What do they have no idea about? What is their background on this subject? Is it possible that practical experience is lacking in organized theory?

Is the eLearning format a good fit for the audience?

If your eLearning audience doesn’t know how to browse or utilize the tools in your course, you’ll need to give them a quick lesson at the start to guarantee they get the most out of it and are confident enough to use its many capabilities. Disappointed students will be preoccupied with cursing your course rather than why they came in the first place — i.e., to understand the topic.

How long will the audience need to complete the course?

Find out how much time the course will take. If your material is longer than the time allotted to the corporate learning audience, they will be pushed to race through it to meet their deadlines. Work with your client to identify the most critical elements that need to be covered so that you may fine-tune the content.

One approach to ensure your corporate learning audience is only getting small, consumable amounts of learning at a time is to use a strategy like chunking, aka micro-learning. This is beneficial since it makes it easy to stop and start the training without losing one’s place — especially if the training is resumed over a limited time each day.

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What kind of setting will they be learning in?

Noise and distractions from the outside world can significantly impact your performance. Make sure the material is appropriate for the context in which your audience is studying. If the environment is noisy, utilize less audio. To divide down information into smaller chunks, employ chunking once more. Learners will be able to shut out distractions and focus on shorter, more compact chunks of material as a result.

Many instructional designers do not consider this question, but if you discover that this course will be delivered in-house, will the corporate learning audience be given their room to complete the course? Will they be able to complete the course from their desk? You should ask these questions if the course includes audio. Most companies have headsets, but it’s always a good idea to ask.

Or is learning restricted to the workplace, with the student unable to take the materials home? The length and duration of the training must then be discussed with your corporate learning audience. Will it make a difference whether the course is 15 minutes or 45 minutes long?

Imagine a group of factory workers required to take a course on food allergens. They must spend the majority of their time on the production floor. A 15-minute training may be more suited for them than a 45-minute course, which may be too long and not cover the key elements they need to know about the real-world work they are doing now.

When it comes to using technology, how comfortable is your corporate learning audience?

All those interactive lessons (and lesson activities, such as social-based) may be wasted unless you know your corporate learning audience’s expertise and practical experience with technology. Inquire about the following:

Are they computer savvy? To what extent do they rely on mobile, social, web, etc.? What method will they use to access the course? Will they use office equipment like computer labs, training rooms, etc., or bring their device? This determines the budget for your course’s level of mobility and device responsiveness. What is their level of social media activity? How well do they comprehend its application? This information will allow you to raise or decrease your reliance on social events.

What are some of the most typical challenges they experience while learning?

If you discover that trainees have difficulty with a particular thematic area of the curriculum, come up with some unique ways to teach it that are distinct from the usual approach. Breaking down the material into more simple bits or portraying it from a different perspective [for example, the customer’s perspective rather than the provider’s] can help. Use your imagination and get feedback from your corporate learning audience — after all, they are the ones who know the most!

Do they have access to the tools they’ll need for the course?

Your corporate learning audience requires the correct tools to make an eLearning course effective. For example, if your blended learning course includes a hard copy workbook, make sure pens are available. Your homework can be meaningless if you don’t have the necessary tools.

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How will your corporate learning audience pose queries?

Is there a means for users to troubleshoot problems and a point person to ask inquiries within your course? To avoid your audience becoming lost in the shuffle, make sure both are addressed. Their inquiries are an essential element of the learning process.

This may be a simulation integrated right within the course. Otherwise, perhaps there is a companion discussion thread where users can offer their thoughts. Because eLearning is self-paced, it does not have to be devoid of peer interaction.

What is the average age of your corporate learning audience?

Knowing your course’s demographic will allow you to include more relevant examples and references in the course. Your excellent ‘Photograph’ reference might not work with an ‘Iron Maiden’ obsessed audience. For instance, anyone born after 1980 falls into the Gen-Y category. Generation Y is known for being tech-smart, but they also have a short patience span. Allow them to take command—scenarios are excellent for this. Games will keep people’s attention; make sure they’re helpful.

How did they get their education and what is their cultural background? 

It enables you to select a language for your course that is neither too simple nor too technical for your target corporate learning audience. It will also help you avoid employing metaphors and analogies that are culturally incomprehensible or undesirable.

What are their current responsibilities? 

This question determines how the information is conveyed. If your audience has a highly dynamic and fast-paced work-life (e.g., C-suite executives), or if they are juggling numerous jobs (e.g., working moms), then your course modules must be brief.

Most businesses spend a large amount of money on employing external instructional designers who work on a project-by-project basis, leaving behind learning materials that need to be updated and implemented regularly. Consider educating someone in basic andragogy and instruction design for a more responsive learning program within your company. This person will be able to produce effective learning materials for your company that are flexible and timely.

What is the rationale for this activity? You’ll build learning materials that are flexible and adaptable to the culture of your firm. The better you understand your target audience, the better your learning materials will be.

Do they work in offices or undertake they do manual labor in the open air?

Answer to this question determines the degree of mobility provided by your course content. It is different from the mobility of accessing the course. Outdoor workers, for example, will benefit from a course with less reading and more audio, video, and visual information like info graphs, etc.

What are their preferred methods of learning?

You should poll users to see how they prefer to learn: visually, audibly, or by reading. Considering their tastes increases the likelihood that they will remember the content. Typically, you’ll want to mix styles to maximize your success, but if you have a captive audience and the material allows for it, skewing to a specific style might be beneficial.

End-user training is not as straightforward as it appears. Some contents are static and are only available in an asynchronous format. The majority of these items are reusable and may be found on the internet. Conduct some Google searching, ask for permission to use the information (if it is copyrighted), and always mention your sources.

Consider designing highly interactive, storyline-based learning materials to teach people how to use corporate products. In this circumstance, real-life scenarios that allow learners to relate, empathize, and change their perspectives are preferred. End-user training can be simple or complex, depending on the user’s abilities. In learning environments, appealing 3-D visuals provide motivation and prolonged attention. Such features are challenging to develop and implement, but they boost company sales and customer satisfaction.

What do your employees expect from the course?

What do senior executives and operations executives want to gain from this training? Make sure their needs are at the forefront of your design process. Meeting senior management standards will provide you with greater money and resource flexibility to design more robust training programs.

Make sure the course learning objectives include the organization’s learning needs. Measure expectations using performance questionnaires distributed to operations management once the course is completed. Iterative design is a method of creating instructions. Determine what needs to be improved in future versions of your training materials.

What hasn’t worked in the past for this audience?

“Past performance is the best predictor of future performance,” as they say. This fact is true for both your learners and you, the designer. Make sure you discover the usual stumbling blocks that have arisen in the past when training for this subject and use a different approach. The ideal strategy to create a course that is very effective for your users is to learn from your previous experiences.

What is the most effective training method available?

Storylines are one of the most effective ways to keep learners engaged at the operational level of your company. Creating real-life characters with whom the learner may identify strengthens the learner’s connection to the topic. End-users like the idea of adding a layer of involvement through dialogue and personalizing the experience by asking the learner to input their name and directing them to it. A game-like layout further enhances the course’s thrilling ambiance.

Consider segmenting the course into several tiers. A progress bar can be displayed in your LMS to show the learner’s progress. The learner receives points for completing a level. They get extra points by participating in events, taking quizzes, and accumulating a particular number of points. Requesting that the student write a lengthy reflections statement demonstrating their attitude shift and skill progress as a result of the course will give the learner the most outstanding marks, as well as recognition and other benefits. Any constructive feedback will also aid in the improvement of the course.


You’ll notice a significant boost in learner satisfaction and information retention if you answer these questions. Taking the time to solve these pre-development issues will result in a truly useful course to those who will use it.

Ad: PlayAblo’s Enterprise-Grade Micro-Learning platform is built for millennial learners. Micro-Learning, along with assessments and gamification features, ensures learning outcome measurement along with sustained engagement.
Find out more and request a custom demo!

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