3 Surefire Tips Τo Get Asynchronous Learning Right
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How Τo Get Asynchronous Learning Right This Time

When an organization decides to implement online training, one of the decisions that training managers need to take is choose between synchronous and asynchronous learning. Asynchronous learning gives learners the flexibility to learn at their own pace, provides training in their moment-of-need, reinforces training, and allows them to review training content whenever necessary. Before you go ahead with designing asynchronous learning to achieve your training needs, you need to plan your approach. Read on to get some tips to plan your approach for asynchronous learning.

1. Don’t Skip Needs Assessment

Needs assessment is an important step that lays the foundation for designing asynchronous learning. However, with shrinking budgets, less time, and limited resources, a training needs analysis is often ignored. Here are some reasons organizations skip needs analysis:

  • Training managers are often under pressure to complete training programs under tight deadlines.
  • Sometimes functional managers feel that they know what their team needs, and are not convinced that a needs assessment will provide any additional information.

Skipping needs assessment is much like trying to build a house without a blueprint. The needs analysis will help you define the need for training and how an asynchronous learning course can help. The needs assessment will help you identify the reason for training, the current skills of learners and their skill gaps, and what’s missing from the current training program. An effective needs assessment can help you design sticky learning that is tied to organizational performance, employee engagement, and improved skills.

2. Determine Your Technical Resources

Know the resources and limitations of your network. For example, if you are looking at asynchronous training that can be accessed by learners through mobile devices, check whether the LMS in your organization supports mobile learning.

Bring Your Own Device or BYOD is another technological trend in the corporate and education sector. You need to be clear on the device specifications that will support the asynchronous learning program. You also need to determine the security measures in place, before you let learners connect to the network. Supporting multiple devices in BYOD means that your asynchronous learning program has to run on multiple operating systems. In other words, eLearning courses and microlearning nuggets need to run seamlessly on BlackBerry, Apple, Windows, and Android devices.

As courses developed in Flash do not run on Apple and some Android devices, opt for a responsive authoring tool to develop asynchronous learning courses. If you are not sure about the right authoring tool, talk to your eLearning partner to help you make the right choice.

3. Avoid Dumping Information

Do not dump too much of information in an asynchronous course just because the Subject Matter  Experts in your organization give you more information than needed. As training managers, if you can cull out the information that will be useful to learners to achieve their learning objectives, it would help the Instructional Designer to work on the course.

Let’s consider an example where asynchronous learning is used for compliance training. A retail company is worried about data breaches caused by employee negligence in handling customer information. The business unit manager wants to roll out an eLearning course that instructs employees on the history and legal consequences of data breaches.

As a training manager you need to be clear about the following:

  • What’s the goal of this course?
  • What should employees be able to do at the end of this course?

Once this is done, you will realize that although the information on the history of data breaches is interesting, it is unnecessary. Select only the content that’s applicable to the course. If the content doesn’t meet the objective of the training program, it doesn’t need to be included in the course. You can include it as a resource link that provides "nice to know" information.

You can also compile real-life scenarios and case studies that will aid Instructional Designers in making the asynchronous learning program interesting. Learners in this digital age neither have the time nor the inclination to go through loads of content, so keep your asynchronous learning programs simple, short, and effective.

Keep these tips in mind when planning your asynchronous learning. If you get this right, you can move ahead to designing and developing your asynchronous learning program.

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