6 Tips To Create Memorable Online Training Courses
You are spending a significant amount of money, as well as countless hours, to carefully develop your online training courses. Thus, it is important for you that employees will take the most out of it. But how can you ensure that they will remember everything they learn? Confucius has been offering us the answer since the fourth century B.C: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”. In order to use these wise thoughts in empowering your online training strategy, read this article for 6 top tips that will help you create memorable online training courses and offer employees an immersive online training experience that they will not forget any time soon!
- Know your audience.
The first thing you need to do in order to create a memorable online training course is know who your audience is; meaning know their knowledge, skills and expertise levels. After all, if you don’t have a clear idea of what they already know, what skills they currently possess and what they need to advance, it will be difficult to develop an online training course/event that will offer them real value. You don’t want to waste time and money designing an online training strategy by making assumptions and probably by misjudging where employees are in their professional learning. In order to understand how to present the subject matter so that it will help expand your audience’s professional knowledge base, you need to carefully assess your audience. Evaluating employees’ skills and expertise is the crucial first step you need to take in order to develop an effective, engaging, and unforgettable online training experience.
- Grab employees’ attention.
As a first step to grab employees attention, consider creating an eye-caching online training course title and introduction. Next, consider using humor as an attention grabber. You don’t need to overuse it, of course, after all we are talking about a serious corporate environment, but using small doses of humor is proven to be an invaluable tool for boosting memory, since for some reason, our brains prefer to remember unusual pieces of information. In addition, even if employees are enthusiastic about the online training experience and are willing to fully commit to it, which is not often the case, they may fail to stay focused and absorb the most important details of your online training course. It may be challenging for them to immediately identify and remember the critical ideas of each section. Therefore, you need to provide them with a clear framework that directs their attention to key concepts and propositions. To help them easily recognize and then memorize these key concepts, be sure that you repeat them multiple times throughout your online training and that you highlight them properly by using bold fonts, different colors or by placing them in boxes. This way you will offer employees the opportunity to focus on what is really important from the very beginning.
- Create a powerful online training course structure.
After you have ensured that employees’ attention is yours, think about what it is that you most want them to learn. Have realistic expectations of your online training course and do not suffocate them with content; it is impossible to absorb too much information in a limited period of time, anyway. So, design a “brain friendly” course structure in which large volumes of information are divided into key sections. The more “step by step” is the nature of your approach, the easier it will be for employees to create an effective memorable pattern. Repeat key information in order to be successfully absorbed and try different ways to present it every time. Switch text with images and video with audio. In this manner, employees will have a variety of ways to accommodate their individual learning needs. Finally, consider to create “cause and effect” cases as often as possible throughout your online training course. When employees can logically link or associate two different pieces of information, they are able to process and retain them more effectively. In other words, the more clearly and logically structured your online training course is, the easier it will be for employees to remember it.
- Address employees’ emotions.
As we already know, emotions amplify memory. In fact, it has been proven that without the emotional element, it is difficult for long term memory to be effectively formatted. Thus, if you are interested in creating an online training course that produces long term memory formation, you need to design it in a way that your content elicits emotional responses in employees. If the information you want employees to absorb fails to elicit emotional responses in them, they will not perceive it as meaningful and they will therefore be more likely to kick the information right out from their long term memory banks. In other words, if you want to facilitate your audience’s memory, you need to follow an emotionally-driven approach. A great way to create content that offers employees emotional value is storytelling and scenarios, which have a tremendous value in enhancing memory by helping your audience focus on your online training content and remember it for a long time.
- Make your online training course interactive and convenient.
In order to offer employees an unforgettable online training experience, your content should be pointed out in the most interesting way possible. stimulate your audience’s interest and engagement levels by adding games, multimedia, and other interactive elements into your online training design. Forget info screens and focus on creating a series of activities that entertain employees and allow them to practice useful operating procedures. The more engaging your online training process is, the easier it will be for your audience to remember what they are learning. Furthermore, always make sure that your online training course is really easy to access and participate in. You need to keep in mind that employees are in fact busy adult learners and they may find difficult to fit their online training into their schedules. Consider the implementing mobile learning, so that your audience can access your online training course anywhere, anytime.
- Show employees the real world benefits of their online training.
This last tip is of utmost importance: to create a memorable online training experience, you need to put the information you want employees to absorb in the real world. Information becomes solidified in our long term memories only if we are given the opportunity to reflect on it. Allow employees to see themselves in scenarios that offer real world benefits and give them the chance to take action and make choices. Speaking of choices, also consider allowing your employees to make mistakes. A mistake-driven learning approach significantly enhances memory, as it allows your audience to fail in a risk-free environment and then remember the consequences when dealing with the actual problem in real life; this way, it will be more likely for them to succeed. Application of knowledge by integrating real world simulations in your online training course takes full advantage of Confucius’ wise words discussed above. If you encourage employees to use the information they are receiving in a real world framework, and thus see how their specific skills can be applied to real world problems, they will surely not forget what they have learned. Finally, consider integrating social learning techniques into your online training course and encourage employees’ participation in online discussions. This will not only offer them the opportunity to prolong their memory by discussing and further exploring the key concepts of the subject matter for days or even weeks, but also it will offer you a valuable feedback on your online training deliverable’s effectiveness.
Now that you know all the ways to create a memorable online training course, you may be interested in learning some more online training motivational triggers. Read the article 6 Tips To Motivate Your Employees in Online Training and discover all the tips and techniques you can use to fully engage and motivate employees in their online training, regardless of the subject matter.