8 Tips To Create Flexible Online Training Courses
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How To Create Flexible Online Training Courses

Online training is already more versatile and customizable than face-to-face training. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's always more flexible for your staff. They face a variety of roadblocks that stand between them and their professional growth, such as busy schedules, personal obligations and lack of motivation. Fortunately, you can make online training more convenient and custom-tailored to their needs. This increases employee engagement, retention, and satisfaction rates. Here are 8 ways to create more flexible online training courses.

1. Integrate A Practical Microlearning Online Training Library

Bite-sized online training libraries make online training quick and convenient. Employees have access to targeted online training tutorials, activities, video demos, and other online training resources during their moment of need. Each online training activity focuses on a specific topic or task. Thus, your staff is able to concentrate on individual skill and performance gaps. The secret is to include a good variety of online training tools that appeal to diverse learning preferences. For example, serious games for tactile learners who need a more hands-on approach or podcasts for audio learners who want to expand their knowledge base on the go.

2. Create Multiplatform-Friendly Online Training Content With A Responsive Design Tool

Modern learners are mobile. They use their smartphones and tablets to get most of their information. As such, flexible online training relies on responsive design. Responsive design tools enable you to create a master layout of the online training course that features breakpoints. Employees automatically receive the optimal version based on their device of choice. They can get the information they need from anywhere in the world at any time. It's also wise to use an HTML-based tool, as many devices are unable to run Flash applications.

3. Develop An Asynchronous eLearning Course Catalog

eLearning course catalogs often feature self-paced learning resources that employees can access whenever the need arises or when it's time to build their skills and knowledge base to prepare for that big promotion. They have the opportunity to pick-and-choose the online training courses that cater to their specific talents or areas for improvement. Another option is to provide employees with custom eLearning course catalogs based on their past performance. For example, an individual received low marks during the communication skills module. In response, you can offer them a list of coursework that's custom-tailored to their needs, such as online training modules that focus on active listening or interpersonal skills.

4. Offer Social Media Support Resources

Social media give employees an outlet to share their thoughts and ideas. However, they can also get the support they need to make the most of their online training. Start a social media group or page where employees can ask questions and post links. Encourage them to visit your social media group to engage in lively discussions. The secret is to build a thriving online learning community that provides round-the-clock support. Employees have the chance to interact with peers and talk about issues that truly matter to them, such as compliance issues or tasks that are difficult to master. Corporate eLearning blogs are also valuable social learning tools, as employees can comment on posts to offer their own insights or even start their own corporate eLearning blog that explores their area of expertise.

5. Provide Personalized Online Training Paths

Ask employees to take a pre-assessment before they begin the online training. Use the results to create a personalized online training path that centers on their strengths, weaknesses, and job responsibilities. For example, a customer service employee needs to work on their active listening skills and company policy knowledge. Thus, their personalized online training path might consist of online training simulations that build related skill sets, as well as online training tutorials or presentations that explore various aspects of company policy. At the same time, a member of your sales team embarks on a path that centers on negotiation skills and product knowledge.

6. Allow Employees To Pick-And-Choose Their Online Training Activities

One of the most direct ways to create a more flexible online training program is to free up the navigation controls. Instead of following a linear format, allow employees to choose their own online training activities and modules. Develop a clickable eLearning course map whereby they can access each online training activity when they're ready. You might consider a deadline by which all of the online training activities must be completed. For example, the employees have to wrap up the entire eLearning course map by the end of the quarter. This provides them with the extra motivation they need to overcome distractions and achieve the desired outcome.

7. Empower Employees With Self-Assessments

Employees usually dread eLearning assessments. Some may even feel like it causes unnecessary stress or pressure. However, self-assessments can be empowering, especially if employees are in control of the situation. Provide employees with a self-assessment database that features a broad range of categories or learning objectives. They have the chance to choose when they take the exams and how they follow-up after the fact. For example, the employees use microlearning online training resources to bridge gaps that the online assessment reveals.

8. Create Personalized Online Training Contracts

Online training contracts hold employees accountable for their own professional development. But they also give them the chance to choose the online training schedule and activities that align with their needs. Thus, they're a great way to empower remote workers while adding more flexibility to online training. Invite your staff to write their own online training contracts or team up with a manager to devise a plan of action. They can also collaborate with mentors and peers to customize a personalized online training program. Each online training contract should feature milestones, resource recommendations, and overall learning objectives.

Flexible online training courses give employees the freedom they need to build skills and knowledge whenever it's most convenient. They can go at their own pace, instead of trying to keep up with their co-workers. As a result, your staff is able to maintain their motivation and achieve the desired outcomes.

Are you looking for some fresh "moment of need" online training ideas? Read the article 9 Top Just-In-Time Online Training Activities For Your Sales Staff to discover the 9 top just-in-time online training activities ideally suited for your sales staff.

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