How To Improve Your Next Online Training Course: 7 Tips For eLearning Professionals
There are some mistakes that we always lookout for when creating corporate online training courses. However, there are also those that fly under the radar during the corporate eLearning design and development process. While they may not be as obvious, they can have a negative impact on our online training strategy. In this article, you’ll discover 7 ways to improve your next online training course that you may not have even considered. All of these tips center on simple and straightforward changes that you can make to your online training program in order to achieve your performance goals and objectives.
- Clarify expectations from day one.
We’ve all encountered an online training course at one time or another that’s had one fatal flaw: ambiguity. Maybe we weren’t quite sure what was expected of us or what goals we could achieve by completing the online training course. Whatever the case may be, we didn’t feel as though our direction was clear, which immediately created a disconnection between us and the subject matter. This is why it’s essential to be as clear as possible about the online training course expectations right from the start. Your corporate learners must be aware of what they are going to get out of the online training experience, as well as what they must do to receive the benefits. Let them know exactly how long the online training course will take to complete, as well as what online activities they can expect. This might be as simple as adding a detailed attention grabbing course description to the beginning of your online training course, or including a bullet point list of the key takeaways, goals, and requirements.
- Enlist the aid of a Subject Matter Expert.
Even if you know a great deal about the topic, it may be a good idea to have a Subject Matter Expert come on board just to make sure that all the important ideas and concepts are covered. A Subject Matter Expert can give you a clear indication of what must be included, how to best deliver the information, and any additional goals or objectives that you’ll want to add. They can even help you to make your online scenarios and simulations more effective, or ensure that your online assessments are successfully testing corproate learners' knowledge on the topic.
- Add flexibility to your online training course schedule.
It’s important to keep in mind that most corporate learners are on a tight schedule. They have work tasks to take care of, as well as a personal life to juggle. So, rather than making them rearrange other obligations, you can create a flexible online training schedule that gives them control of when they complete the online training course. If there are certain online tasks or assignments they must finish each week, simply provide them a list that they can complete at their earliest convenience. Record your webinars so that absent corporate learners can still view it at a later time. In other words, make it easy for your busy corporate learners to participate in the process.
- Include more online assessments.
Most online training courses feature an online assessment at the end of the online training experience, but you can make your online assessment strategy even more successful by including exams after each task or module. This not only tests corporate learners' progress and knowledge retention, but also offers your corporate audience a helpful recap of the information. This is especially true if you pair frequent online assessments with useful feedback, so that corporate learners can correct unfavorable behaviors. Take your online assessments to the next level by using online scenarios, simulations, and games to evaluate their level of understanding.
- Create a supplemental online training database.
An online training database is beneficial for EVERY member of your corporate audience. Those who are struggling can use the material to catch up with their colleagues, while those who are excelling can learn more about a topic that interests them. Your database can include anything from informative online articles and videos to online self-assessments and podcasts. The goal is to offer your corporate audience the additional tools and resources they need to master a skill or task, without having to wait for the next online training session.
- Offer corporate learners the support they need.
Corporate training support can come in one of two forms: direct support and “moment of need” support. Direct support pertains one-on-one chats, instant messaging, and emails that address a concern or answer a question that the leaner may have. For example, if a corporate learner needs help with a specific module they can reach out to the instructor to receive additional assistance. “Moment of need” support pertains to on-the-job resources that offer targeted information. For example, if a corporate learner needs to know how to process a return, they can simply access an online tutorial to view each step of the process. It is important to include both types of support in online training courses.
- Don’t go overboard when it comes to modifications.
You may be tempted to complete overhaul your existing online training course in order to make it more effective. However, there may be elements of the online training course that are already finely tuned. Thus, you should carry out a thorough analysis to determine what is working and what needs to be changed or added. Conduct focus groups, interviews, and surveys with both your corporate audience and your online facilitators to get their feedback, and to figure out how extensively you need to revise.
You don’t have to give your online training course a complete overhaul to make it a success. In most cases, it’s just a matter of assessing your current interactive corporate eLearning strategy to determine its weaknesses, and then making small changes to create a truly effective online training program. All of the tips in this article are overlooked improvements that require minor modifications here and there, but each can make a significant difference in the professional lives of your corporate learners.
Want to know more about the most common online training mistakes to avoid? Read the article Top 9 Online Corporate Training Mistakes You Should Avoid to discover the top training development pitfalls that every eLearning professional should steer clear of when creating corporate eLearning experiences.