7 Tips To Create Purpose Driven Online Training Courses

7 Tips To Create Purpose Driven Online Training Courses
Summary: What is the primary purpose of your corporate eLearning program? If you ask many employees, they will probably tell you that it's to pass their annual evaluation or keep up with their coworkers. But online training SHOULD be all about learning and expanding professional knowledge. In this article, I'll share 7 tips for creating purpose driven online training courses for your organization.

How To Create Purpose Driven Online Training Courses

The goal for EVERY online training course is to improve employee performance and build the essential skills. Unfortunately, many corporate eLearning programs miss the mark by concentrating on online assessment scores, unlocking badges, and other extraneous milestones. The simple truth is that these are all means to an end which translates to measurable results that help your organization succeed. The purpose of your online training is to equip employees with the tools, resources, and information they need to be more productive in the workplace. Here are 7 tips for creating purpose driven online training courses that focus on what is really important.

  1. Explain expectations and applications at the beginning.
    In order for corporate learners to fulfill the purpose of the online training program you have to be clear about what that purpose is. What will they be expected to do? How can they apply the knowledge and skills in the real world? What is the desired outcome of the online training experience? These are all questions that must be addressed before they begin the online training course. Essentially, they must have a goal that they can focus on, as well as a reason to pursue the goal. If you don't clarify all of these aspects from day one, corporate learners will most likely lack the motivation to engage in the online training process.
  2. Develop branching scenarios that focus on performance gaps.
    At its core, purpose driven online training is about concentrating on need-to-know information and practical knowledge. In corporate eLearning environments, this translates to performance and skill gaps. Branching scenarios can not only help to identify these gaps, but fill them with real world experience and insight. Employees have the opportunity to pinpoint areas for improvement, as well as strengths that can help them be more productive in the workplace. For example, corporate learners who participate in a task-based scenario can figure out what they're doing wrong and how they can remedy the problem by developing new skills.
  3. Encourage employees to create personalized online training paths.
    One of the main sources of motivation for your employees is achieving their true potential. They want to be at the top of their game and they need skills and knowledge to get there. If they know that your online training program is going to bring them one step closer, they are going to seize every opportunity to participate. Personalized online training paths allow them to pick-and-choose the online training activities that work best for them, set customized goals, and measure their own proficiency along the way. The most effective purpose driven online training strategies are flexible, versatile, and learner-centric. Invite your employees to take diagnostic assessments before they start the online training program so that they can see where they are and where they need to be. Then ask them to create a path, complete with milestones and sub-goals.
  4. Integrate self-guided online training activities.
    There are certain employees who will just do the bare minimum to complete their online training. Then there are others who will go that extra mile to upskill and explore related topics and tasks. Both of these groups can benefit from self-guided online training activities, as it allows them to go at their own pace and get the personalized online training they require. Gaining control over the process is one of the most powerful ways to increase motivation, as employees know that success rests solely on their shoulders. Likewise, employees who are excelling won't become bored or frustrated, thanks to the fact that they can expand their knowledge base outside of the online training environment.
  5. Design online training simulations and serious games that put knowledge into practice.
    Online training simulations and serious games are engaging and entertaining. More importantly, they give employees the chance to apply what they've learned in a fun and interactive way. Instead of simply reading about the possible outcomes, they can explore how each of their behaviors and choices leads to real world repercussions. These online training activities offer them crucial experience that they can use on-the-job and allow them to practice every aspect of a task or process.
  6. Create interactive recaps to reinforce information.
    Reviewing information by simply reading about it can help to improve knowledge retention. However, interacting with it directly is a much more effective approach. Instead of creating recaps and summaries of the key takeaways, put a new spin on the topic. Encourage them to apply it in a wide range of situations. For example, use an infographic, a branching scenario, or a real world case study to cover the same information, but from a different angle. This helps to reinforce the knowledge so that they move it to their long-term memory.
  7. Include online assessments that require active recall.
    Traditional online assessments, such as multiple choice and true/false exams, are passive. Active online assessments, on the other hand, allow you to truly test their knowledge and proficiency. Instead of a written exam, invite them to participate in a task-based scenario or simulation. Ask them to create a blog that centers on a specific topic. The key is to make them actively recall the information and put it into their own words.

When your employees complete their online training, they probably won't remember every graph, chart, or text block. That's just how the memory works. However, they should be able to do their job to the best of their ability. That is the hallmark of a truly effective purpose driven online training strategy.

Setting perfomance goals is another key component of a successful online training program. Read the article Why and How To Use Performance Goals in eLearning to discover tips for adding value into your eLearning deliverables.