Once you have decided what content you will be delivering and prepared that content, it isn't simply a matter of copying text or PowerPoint slides over to the online setting.
First, you need to think about how you will divide it up. Even if your training event is only a couple of hours long, you will not want to simply deliver everything you have to say in one piece. Research, including participant feedback, has shown that online learning happens best when information is presented in smaller, concise pieces rather than in one large piece. Interspersing the content with activities and opportunities for interaction is also important to allow participants to work with the content.
How will you divide your content into manageable sections? Can you identify sub-sections and specific content areas? If you are using text to deliver the content, will you put all of that text in one document or break it up into various modules? Or will you use some text in your content and then enhance this text by linking to external websites, podcasts, online documents or other resources?
When deciding which approach to use, you need to think of some logistical details that you may have never had to consider for traditional face-to-face training. For example, if someone has to read pages and pages of text online, they have to keep scrolling down the page to read everything and this can become tiresome; this is called scroll fatigue. To keep scroll fatigue to a minimum, break up the text into smaller sections that can be presented in more a more readable way on the computer screen. You can do this by using multiple pages on a website if your training will be housed on a website, or you can break up text on to different screens within your online classroom.
With some online learning technologies, your information might be presented using PowerPoint slides or another presentation format. In that case, you will want to keep the amount of text on each screen to a minimum for visual appeal, just as you would with a face-to-face presentation.
Another text-based detail to think about is the font and overall look of the text you are presenting. A large amount of text on the screen, even if no scrolling is required, can be difficult to read, especially if the font is unclear or too small. When choosing fonts, a good rule of thumb is that sans serif fonts (like Verdana which is used here, Garamond or Trebuchet) are easier to read onscreen than serif fonts (like Book Antiqua or Times New Roman). Experiment with different looks and be sure to incorporate enough white space. Add graphics for interest but don't over-use them and avoid giving your content a cluttered look.
Yet another detail to consider is printing. In all likelihood, your participants will want to print out some or all of the text information you provide them. If possible, you might want to email documents in Word or PowerPoint formats ahead of time so that they can print it out prior to your online event. If you are presenting your training via a website, be sure that it is set up as printer-friendly which means that text will print out cleanly.
It is safe to say that the vast majority of computer users today have colour monitors, so make use of colour. It is a very effective tool for highlighting text or drawing attention to something. It adds visual interest and breaks up the text as well. However, do remember that some colours do not print well and many participants will be using black-and-white printers so take that into consideration for material that is likely to be printed.