6 Hurdles That Hinder Online Training Knowledge Transfer

6 Hurdles That Hinder Online Training Knowledge Transfer
Summary: Online training is not only more convenient and cost-effective, it also helps employees absorb and retain information. However, there are still obstacles that organizations must consider. In this article, I'll discuss 6 hurdles that hinder online training knowledge transfer and tips to overcome them.

6 Common Hurdles That Hinder Online Training Knowledge Transfer And How To Avoid Them

Today’s population has unparalleled access to information and skill-building resources. Unfortunately, that’s not always helpful. There are active office employees who are too busy with work and family to hone their talents. This prevents them from getting better opportunities. Likewise, the delivery format of the online training content itself may not align with corporate learners’ needs. Virtual classrooms have long been offered as a solution to expensive and inconvenient ILT courses. Still, they present a different set of problems. Let’s look at 6 hindrances to effective online training knowledge transfer.

1. Ineffective Design

As we get older, the font size on our phones and computers gets progressively larger. It’s not a default setting. We just have a harder time reading tiny print off glaring screens. In the same way, an online training presentation can make it easier or harder to study. The online training content has to be laid out in a clear, simple, attractive manner. Too much clutter overloads the corporate learners’ senses and makes it hard to concentrate. Large chunks of unbroken text can compromise concentration levels. Poor color choice can overwhelm the senses, making corporate learners unwilling to even open their online training material. Confusing navigation systems make it impossible to find what you need.

2. Geographical Barriers

The whole point of online training is that you can study anywhere. This is fine for self-directed modules, but there are times when it becomes a challenge. Corporate learners may need to consult their online instructor or work on a group task. Online assessments might have to be synchronized, as well as live sessions and webinars. The physical distance can lead to all sorts of time zone nightmares. It can also be a little frustrating for employees. If they’re used to traditional modes of training, it can annoy them that they can’t just ‘walk into the trainer's office’. One of the best ways to overcome this hurdle is to use Project Management tools and other online collaboration platforms to bring everyone together and accommodate everyone’s schedule. For example, employees are able to log in to the social media group to ask a question or upload resource links. It’s also wise to record online training events so they’re available for future viewing. Every member of your global team gets the chance to broaden their online training experience and even transfer knowledge amongst themselves.

3. Stress Or Other Emotional Barriers

Your corporate learners already have enough on their plate, especially those who are dealing with tight deadlines and other stressors. In fact, these emotional barriers can prevent online training knowledge transfer so that employees are unable to assimilate the information. For this reason, it’s essential to create a supportive corporate eLearning culture that acknowledges and respects individual struggles. As an example, give employees the flexibility they need to complete online training activities once they’ve dealt with a stressful situation. Or schedule frequent live events where they can chat with co-workers and share their experiences. Even the design of the online training content can ease their anxieties. For instance, include calming color schemes and motivational images.

4. Accessibility

Each corporate learner should have their own log-in and ID. That said, security protocols can sometimes apply overkill. Requiring corporate learners to use a different code or multiple passwords every time they study, will put them off. Changing access digits too frequently can get in the way of online training, too. Allow corporate learners to use their own mobile devices, whether it’s a smartphone or tablet. You can do this by placing your online training content in the cloud. Design an online training course that displays equally well, regardless of screen size, OS, or device manufacturer. Another accessibility issue to consider is the nature of the online training content itself. Every member of your team should be able to get the information they need in a format that’s easy for them to digest. For example, corporate learners with special needs may require closed captions or audio narrations to facilitate online training knowledge transfer.

5. Support Systems (Or Lack Thereof)

Peer pressure affects adults too, though the result is different from kids. How many times have you watched a movie or read a book based on what your friends thought? Online training can fall under this influence, as well. If your colleagues welcome training, you’re more likely to sign up. Some companies claim they support advanced learning. But their culture and lack of ongoing support send a different message. Installing a Learning Management System, and then assigning excess work to corporate learners, tells them what you really think of their online training. This can build up psychological barriers to learning. Give them the support training resources they need, to make the most of online training opportunities. For example, launch a microlearning online training library where they can find helpful online training tutorials, demos, and FAQs. This allows them to bridge gaps on their own and improve comprehension. Thereby, facilitating more effective online training knowledge transfer.

6. External Distractions

Crowded and noisy online training environments, and demanding customers/co-workers are just the tip of the distraction iceberg. The key is to keep your corporate learners focused on the online training task so that they get the essentials. Develop online training content that grabs their attention and emphasizes the real-world applications. You should also offer moment-of-need online training resources that deliver the information in bite-sized doses. That way, they can fully concentrate on the online training activity, reflect on the ideas or concepts, and then apply them immediately, instead of having to sit through a half-hour online training course and contend with a myriad of distractions that diminish their experience.

Online training is thought to overcome every possible barrier to professional career advancement. After all, if you’re too busy to train, you can complete an online training course at your own pace. However, there are still factors that interfere with the success of knowledge acquisition. If the online training course is poorly designed, it’s hard to follow and absorb. Physical distance introduces issues with time zones and collaboration. Online training tools in themselves can be a barrier, if they’re not carefully selected. Lack of access to online instructors and Learning Management Systems will slow learning, as will the attitude of those around you. Also, the volume of information should be just right. Not too much, and not too little.

Do adults learn in the same way as their younger counterparts? Or do they need their own special approach to absorb the information? Do you know what your adult learners need to achieve their goals and tackle everyday challenges? Download our free eBook Designing eLearning Courses For Adult Learners: The Complete Guide to find out about adult learner characteristics, the obstacles they need to overcome, ways to engage and motivate busy adult learners, and some amazing adult learning facts and stats you need to know as an eLearning pro.