Creating vs. Adapting Course Content

Using Examples

The use of examples in learning materials establishes relevance for learners, promotes experiential learning and fosters a more meaningful learning experience. Instructors tend to spend more time "telling" than "showing" and sometimes the "showing" can make all the difference.

Examples in online learning can take the form of descriptions of situations or concepts or places, photos of what you are teaching, a video of a process or a task. Video examples are ideal to show how to use machinery for example or how to replace parts in an engine.

Examples icon


If I am teaching accounting, for example, and I need to explain what an invoice is, I will wrap my explanation around showing a photo of an invoice and describing its components:

Example of an invoice

(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

If I wanted to teach how to use a hammer, using a video such as the one below would probably be most effective and relevant for the learner: