Branding Your Training Platform
The place where your eLearning courses are located, your academy, is the entrance to each of your trainings, making it the most viewed area of your training environment. Each participant logs in to your academy to access their courses. Your academy serves as a frame that comprises of training content, participating employees, and the overall company training goal. Therefore, the first basic step in branding your training platform is to integrate your company’s logo in the academy page.
Colors In Your Academy
You can include your corporate colors in your academy (according to your company's style guide). You can also add color schemes to your courses. Create a fit between both the academy and course tonality, and make sure to keep the color scheme consistent. This is of particular importance when accessing the training platform from within your intranet, e.g. using the seamless single-sign-on process: participants will immediately recognize the platform appendant.
Custom Academy Pages
Adopt the look and feel of your digital presence and facilitate the familiarization process of your trainers and trainees with the eLearning platform. Create a custom main menu in your academy displaying pages, such as “About us”, “News”, and “Trainers”. These familiar items help users to navigate the platform. Provide helpful information, such as guidelines, a code of conduct or contact information on these pages.
The Academy Pages add a huge benefit to your company, as well as to your trainees:
- Strengthen your academy’s branding proposition.
- Provide relevant information about your academy directly within the training platform.
- Introduce your trainers to add a personal level to your training.
- Act as a news site where you can publish information about on-going trainings, new courses, learning tips, and more.
- Provide the option of a go-to knowledge base for your trainees.
- Embed introductory videos or other content for e.g. quick self-help purposes.
Most courses conclude with a certification. Participants can download certificates after passing with a certain score. Upload a well-designed certificate for your courses. If necessary, add a label of proof or other seals related to the trainings. This way your participants will hold a certificate that can be clearly associated with your company and their acquired skill in their hands.
Branding Your Courses
So you have successfully branded your academy. Now it is time to think about its learning content.
Unlike the academy layout which remains stable and recognizable, your courses are dynamic and subject to regular changes and updates. Experienced academy managers report that it is vital to introduce basic eLearning principles that every content creator sticks to. Start with the visual language of your courses ranging to the phrasing style. A useful tip for dealing with many eLearning authors: Set up a style guide and use templates to be used for course creation.
Setting Up Templates
There should be a template and guideline that every content creator sticks to. This way participants won’t be confronted with a variety of course styles, which they need to get used to again and again. Chaotic formats are an impediment to learning. Standardized and professionally created courses cast a positive light on your training department. This increases the support of eLearning throughout the company.
Templates are a great way to make sure you have an overall professional looking academy. You can create one template for the whole company, or various templates specifically designed to fit to the needs of the different departments in your company.
Individual course templates for every course: Creating course templates is a one-time job. Often you do not have only one type of course. There are courses that hold an exam at the end, courses that serve as a manual, or courses with the sole purpose of checking participants’ knowledge. Create one course for each necessary purpose to serve as a template. Content creators can a) duplicate and modify these courses and b) use it as a style guide. Tip: Also define and make every trainer use templates when converting PowerPoint presentations into a course.
Participants And Content Matter
Last but not least, you have to invite participants to your academy. This can be done by uploading an Excel file, for example. In the next step participants receive an email notification. This notification should visually fit to the academy’s look and feel. Let your Learning Management System do this part of the work for you: Choose a platform that incorporates features such as displaying your company’s logo and colors in the email. The only thing left for you to do, is to write a personal invitation message for your participant groups.
Branding your training platform is not difficult. Always keep the focus on the actual purpose: Transferring knowledge and qualifying your employees, customers, and partners. It is all about finding the right balance between didactics and design. Your online training platform will help you with that.