3 Best Practices To Convert A 3-Day Instructor-Led Training To Self-Paced Learning
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How To Convert Instructor-Led Training To Self-Paced Learning

The need to train a large and dispersed workforce and the compulsion to keep training budgets low without compromising on training quality has resulted in many organizations opting to convert their Instructor-Led Training courses to self-paced learning programs.

As training managers, if you haven’t already joined the eLearning bandwagon, there is every chance that you are considering making the switch from Instructor-Led Training (ILT) to self-paced learning.

Let’s say you have a 3-day classroom training program that you need it to be converted to an online training program; is it as simple as moving your PowerPoint presentations and videos to a Learning Management System (LMS) and letting learners go through it at their own pace? Certainly not! There’s more to it than just moving content. Here are a few best practices to follow for a successful ILT to self-paced learning conversion:

1. Determine What Works And What Does Not

Perform a holistic assessment of the ILT program and list which part of the training can be converted to a self-paced program and what cannot. For example, if your 3-day Instructor-Led Training program requires a lot of interaction between the trainer and the participants, it may not be possible to convert the entire training program to a self-paced one. You might be better off by opting for a blended learning program instead.

Many of our clients in the pharma industry use a blended approach to training. For example, sales reps in a pharmaceutical company need to be trained on their products and the effect of each drug on the human body, and the possible side effects so that they are better equipped to handle customer queries.

So, a 3-day Instructor-Led Training workshop on pharma product training can be cut short to a 1-day Instructor-Led Training program, followed by a self-paced online training program. If the existing classroom training program covers the basics of the anatomy and physiology of the human body, and this is a prerequisite for the training program, this topic can easily be covered through an eLearning course.

So, before you move ahead with an ILT to self-paced learning program conversion, analyze what part of the training program can go online and what needs to be retained in the ILT format.

2. Cut Out Extra Content

The Subject Matter Expert (SME) involved in your training program wants a 100-slide PowerPoint presentation converted "as is" to a self-paced learning program; this is usually not possible. What is a clear slide for an ILT program may be confusing in an online training program?

Spend some time segregating content into "must know" and "nice to know" information. The must know information can be explained in the eLearning course while the good to know information can be presented as additional resources in the course.

Not everything a facilitator in the ILT program says can be captured in the eLearning course, but be sure not to miss out on information that is really necessary for participants. In order to do this:

  • Sit through the class, take lots of notes, and get opinions from participants in the classroom.
  • Have a slide-by-slide walkthrough with the SME/facilitator, and have them share the key points as well as frequently asked questions.

3. Pay Attention To Content Presentation

Consider the prior knowledge of your audience. While in an ILT it seems fine to devote some time to basic information, making learners complete a module that has the information they already know, is a futile effort in self-paced learning. Instead, you could try presenting this content as a pre-assessment. This helps build learner excitement in the course.

Look for the conversational components of the ILT. Anecdotes can be presented as animations and war-stories can be conveyed through video clips. Lengthy content in the ILT needs to be shortened as you risk losing learners’ attention in a self-paced learning program. Work with the SME to arrive at the best way to present content.

Also, pay attention to the rapid authoring tool that can be used for quick conversions. For example, Articulate Storyline with its easy-to-use PowerPoint interface is one of the best tools for the conversion of ILT to self-paced learning programs.

Lastly, do not hesitate to seek an eLearning expert’s opinion as sometimes an ILT might need to be entirely redesigned before it is converted to a self-paced training program, to make it instructionally sound.

These are a few of the essential best practices for the effective conversion of your Instructor-Led Training program to a self-paced learning program. Use them and ensure your ILT material serves learners optimally, even in its online avatar.

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