4 Key Components For Developing Online Training Standards

4 Key Components For Developing Online Training Standards
Summary: Are you looking for a way to make your online training program more uniform and ensure that every department adheres to the same guidelines? Developing a set of online training standards may be the best approach, and this article will highlight 4 key components that you should consider.

How To Develop Online Training Standards: 4 Key Components

Online training standards help organizations to create a cohesive online training program that focuses on what employees need to know and how their progress will be evaluated. Online training standards heavily rely on factors such as the stage of employment, the job position, or departmental needs. This article features 4 core elements that effective online training standards should possess. Every organization should develop their own unique online training standards that are custom tailored to their needs, goals, and objectives. However, there are 4 core components that you may want to include in your set of online training standards:

1. Online Training Content

In the corporate eLearning sector, online training content may include any tasks, skills, or processes that your online training program must cover. This section may need to be updated on a regular basis to reflect new online training topics, such as a new product line or a modified work procedure. Be sure to include any and all online training categories that are essential for your company, and divide them into subcategories, list, or charts to keep everything organized.

2. Professional Growth

Once you've determined the basic outline of your online training program, you must then determine how your employees' progress, and how their newly acquired skills will be evaluated. In most cases, online training standards will chart the gradual progression of an employee and track their online training path. For example, they must be able to successfully complete the online customer service module before they move onto the online sales scenario or return process simulation. This section of your online training standards should explain the sequencing of the online training program and all of the skills, knowledge, and tasks that employees must master at each stage. Ideally, all training progressions should cover the following topics:

  • Training needs
    What an employee needs to know based on their level of employment, position, department, and job responsibilities. Be as specific as possible about the knowledge and skills that each employee group must acquire in order to meet the company-wide training needs and standards.
  • Pre-existing knowledge
    Specifies what knowledge an employee needs to know before participating in an online training module or activity, including online training prerequisites. For example, if they must complete a certification or compliance online training program in advance, this should be mentioned in the "progression" section of the standards.
  • Evaluation methods
    How your employee's performance and progress will be tracked and evaluated, such as on-the-job observations, online assessments, and manager evaluations. This should also specify how often they will be evaluated and what resources will be available for those who are unable to meet the standards.

3. Performance Goals

Outlines all of the performance goals that employees must achieve, depending on their level of experience, position, and job duties. For example, a member of your IT department will have different goals and objectives than a customer service staff member. The goals should highlight exactly what employees must be able to accomplish once they've completed the online training, such as being able to complete a sales transaction or discuss the benefits and features of a specific product. Both employees and facilitators can use these goals to track progress and create personalized online training paths.

  • Training Tip
    Always ensure that your performance goals are measurable, and be clear about how they are going to be measured over the course of time. For example, for an online training sales module you might dictate that sales should increase by 5% by the end of next quarter. If you develop goals and objectives that are not quantifiable, it is difficult to gauge the effectiveness of your online training standards. Thus, it will make it even more challenging to determine the effectiveness of your overall online training strategy.

4. Online Training Parameters

Outlines online training timelines, how the online training will be conveyed, and the tools that are available. This section may also specify which multimedia resources should be used, as well as specific Instructional Design models and theories that must be applied. The issue of whether online training standards should include explicit instructions for online training activities, assessments, and materials is debatable. However, if you want to ensure that your online training programs feature specific content, then you should include this in your set of standards. Make certain that you don't narrow down the list of approved activities too much as you still want to offer your online trainers and facilitators some degree of online training flexibility. Here are a just few of the online training activities that you may want to consider:

  • Interactive scenarios
  • "Moment of need" online training tutorials
  • Task-based simulations
  • Multimedia presentations and slideshows
  • eLearning games that center on a job-related skill
  • Product online training demos

It's important to bear in mind that online training standards are intended to be used as a roadmap for your online training program. Instructional Designers can use them to create more meaningful online training experiences that align with business goals, while online trainers are able to rely on them in order to develop a sound online training strategy. In short, they are in place to provide a solid structure for your corporate eLearning program.

Online training standards help to ensure that every employee is on the same page and understands the importance of active participation. Without a well-written set of standards, organizations run the risk of creating a chaotic, disorganized, and disjointed online training strategy that misses the target. So, take the time to research, plan, gather feedback, and then put it down on paper to ensure consistency across the board.

To make your online training standards truly effective, all of your employees must be motivated and engaged in the process. Read the article 6 Tips To Add Intrinsic Motivators In Online Training to learn some additional tips that can help you add intrinsic motivators to your online training program.