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The future of e-learning is personalized. It’s not just about what employees learn, but what makes it relevant to each of them as individuals. According to a 2019 study by Axonify, 89% of employees surveyed said that personalized and relevant material makes workplace training more effective.

Totara is a customizable learning management system that enables you to tailor training programs to your employees’ unique needs. You can assign dashboards, tasks, and course content to users based on their requirements and interests. This allows your employees to embark on highly individualized learning journeys with greater ownership over their personal development.

1. Interview your employees 

You can’t tailor learning to students without knowing what it is they want or need to learn. The difference between prescribed learning and personalized learning is your employee’s agency. Instead of telling employees which skills they should develop, figure out which skills would be most beneficial to their job performance and roles—and then offer corresponding learning opportunities.

Start by interviewing managers to identify potential skill gaps and areas of improvement within their teams. Align these pain points with appropriate training courses. For example; employees who struggle with consistently hitting sales goals could benefit from training on sales strategies and customer service.

However, what you think employees need to learn might not be what they actually need. Talk to employees directly to find the root cause of their problems. You can use this insight to inform which courses you develop and offer. Perhaps the reason your sales reps are underperforming is that they lack industry knowledge, which impacts the quality of their pitches. In this case, it would be beneficial to offer training that boosts their understanding of the industry so they head into sales meetings more confident and better informed. 

Not everyone has the same personal development goals. Pinpoint several key learning objectives and develop separate courses that target each one. This will enable your employees to choose the course best suited for their needs and pursue a personalized learning journey. 

2. Create a script and storyboard

Now that you know what you need to teach in your video, write a script and storyboard. Your script and storyboard help immensely in planning your video out before you actually make it. 

Your script should be easy to understand and delivered in a conversational manner. Aim to make it short and sweet, avoiding overly complicated sentences or wordy language. Your goal should be to educate the learner on whatever they need to know in a fun, engaging way. Think along the lines of a friendly conversation with your neighbor instead of a lecture from a college professor.

You need to understand how long your video will be before setting your script’s length. According to Wistia, viewer engagement drops significantly after the 2-minute mark on videos. However, the second sweet spot is from 6 to 12 minutes. It’s best to condense microlearning into sub-2-minute videos and keep longer videos under 12 minutes. The average person speaks at a pace of around 125 to 150 words per minute, so multiply your target video length by 150 to get an idea of how long your script should be. 

Your storyboard assigns visual components to go with your script, shot by shot. Like a comic book, each square on your storyboard should show or describe what the viewer sees. Start with our free storyboard template or create your own—draw boxes on a piece of paper, with space to add notes below each box. Sketch a basic idea of what image should accompany each line of your script, with the corresponding dialogue underneath. Describe what actions the characters on screen will take along with any production notes, like camera angles or sound effects. 

In addition to helping you plan your video ahead of time, your storyboard and script also serve as a rough first draft that you can show to stakeholders for their approval and input. 

3. Make your video with Vyond

Now, the fun part—turning your storyboard into a full video.

Log in to your Vyond account. Click “Make a video” from the home dashboard. From there, you can click “Create New Character” from the toolbar on the left side of the screen. Within the character creation tool, tweak your character’s features and design however you see fit. One way to make your characters more relatable is to model them after leaders in your company.


Recreate your storyboard quickly with one of the thousands of scenes in our library, then add props to create depth and realism in your scenes. Animate your video by assigning actions, emotions, and expressions to characters as they act out scenes from your storyboard. You can also upload photos or screenshots to add context where necessary. 

Next, record your voiceover. You don’t have to buy a fancy microphone, but the better your audio quality, the easier it will be for learners to understand you. Follow our best practices for recording audio, including using consistent mic placement and recording in a space with as little echo and external noise as possible. For some, this could be an office, a closet, or even their garage. You can either record your voiceover directly in Vyond Studio or record in a tool like Audacity and upload the file to Vyond later. 

Finally, put everything together in Vyond Studio and make sure that your characters lip sync correctly with your voiceover. Add scene transitions and effects to make your video more visually interesting. When everything is to your satisfaction, export your video with the download button in the top right corner of Vyond Studio.

4. Upload your video to Totara

In Totara, you can create personalized learning paths by assigning learning material to competencies. These competencies can be assigned automatically through programs intended for either the whole organization or specific positions. Alternatively, managers can assign programs manually to individual employees. Learners can also develop customized learning plans by setting learning objectives and choosing which competencies to study accordingly.

There are several options for uploading a video to Totara via the course management tool. 

  1. Embed the video directly into the text of a course
  • Start by accessing the text editor in the field where you want to add the video. 
  • Then upload the video directly by clicking the “embedded media” icon (which looks like a picture) and choosing the video.
  1. Add the video as a course file
  • Visit your course homepage. Click “Turn editing on” in the upper right-hand corner. 
  • Click “Add an activity or resource” in the location where you want to add the video.
  • Scroll down and choose “File.”
  • Give your file a name and select the video to upload.
  • Set whether it should be displayed as an embedded video, opened in a new window, or downloaded directly.

 5. Design an eye-catching thumbnail

Your video’s thumbnail serves a few purposes: catching your viewer’s attention, giving them an idea of what’s in your video, and telling them why they should watch it. To that end, it’s important to design a thumbnail that accomplishes those things. 

Use contrasting, complementary colors to draw attention. Your company’s brand colors work well if you want to keep your training materials consistent with your corporate branding. Otherwise, you can use a color palette generator to explore possible combinations. 

You can design a video thumbnail for free in Canva either from scratch or from a template. Another strategy for thumbnail design is to start with a screenshot from your video and then add graphics and text to it that tell the viewer what the video is about.

6. Analyze what could improve

Learning isn’t a one-way trip; it’s continuous. Similarly, you need to analyze how effective your employee training program actually is to improve it for future learners. 

Totara provides reports that offer insight into how efficient your courses are. These reports are based on how well learners score on performance activities and how many students actually complete the coursework.

You can run custom reports to dig deeper into a specific metric or segment of employees. If employees consistently score low for a certain course, that’s a sign that you should revisit the course materials—you might update the script and storyboard to be easier to understand or break up the video into several chunks for shorter bursts of learning.

You should also seek out feedback from learners who’ve taken these courses. Are they achieving the learning objectives you’ve identified based on their needs? Do they find the courses interesting? Are the courses useful and relevant? The answers to these questions should all be “yes.” If not, you’ll have a better idea of what you can do to improve the course content. 


Use Vyond With Totara for Personalized Training

Our platform enables you to visualize concepts and animate videos in a way that engages and informs your workers more effectively than boring walls of text. Pair our videos with Totara to create tailored training courses for your employees at scale. 

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