10 Questions You Need To Answer To Ensure Knowledge Transfer With eLearning

10 Questions You Need To Answer To Ensure Knowledge Transfer With eLearning
Summary: Are your learners failing to apply the acquired knowledge from online learning to their jobs? How do you ensure effective knowledge transfer? Answer these 10 questions before, during, and post eLearning development and ensure effective knowledge transfer.

10 Ways To Ensure Knowledge Transfer With eLearning

Is the effective transfer of knowledge posing some major roadblocks in your eLearning program? As a training manager concerned about achieving your organization’s goals through training, you would want your learners to apply the acquired knowledge and enhance productivity. However, fret not if your online courses are failing to ensure transfer of knowledge as we’ve got you covered!

Here are 10 questions that will help you ensure effective knowledge transfer in an online training program starting from before, during as well as post eLearning development. Finding answers to these questions will allow you to justify the invested training budget, time, and efforts involved in training employees.

Before The Online Training

1. Did You Give Training Needs Identification A Miss?

Here are the repercussions of giving TNI a miss:

  • You will not be able to evaluate the skills and knowledge your learners require to excel in their workplace as well as the learning gaps in their existing knowledge base.
  • Your online training will fail to provide the relevant learning your learners need to perform their jobs efficiently.

Consequently, your organization will not meet its overall objectives and goals. Needless to say, TNA helps you in identifying the exact training and development needs so that your eLearning courses address those gaps and enable learners to apply it to enhance their on-the-job performance.

Gone are the days when Training Needs Identification was the core of the appraisal process in which an employee had to attend training programs identified by the manager. Organizations are now concentrating on getting the Training Needs Identification right by investing in testing learners periodically and offering them training programs based on their performance.

Through the TNA, you will be able to identify the training goals and learning objectives at the outset of actual course development. Determining the desired outcomes will help you select the right content for your eLearning courses.

2. Is Your Online Training Aligned With Business Goals?

According to a report by Brandon Hall Group, organizations that align their learning strategies with their business goals are 40% more likely to witness an increase in business metrics than those who don’t. How do you benefit?

  • Aligning training with the business objectives helps in ensuring your organization achieves its targets and enhances returns, by increasing available capacities and skills.
  • Online courses designed and developed toward a business goal motivate and help employees in better understanding how they are personally contributing toward its achievement.
  • Prioritize business goals and ensure the learning and performance solutions transform to real-life application.

3. Do You Have A Plan For Just-In-Time Learning And Delivery Formats?

To ensure your online training program has an optimal impact on learners, it is imperative to plan for providing learning resources just when they need it. For instance, a sales rep might need to brush up the current features of a product before meeting a client.

Having an online learning resource such as a microlearning video or an infographic allows them to learn, and subsequently apply that knowledge right away, enhancing impact. Here are some points to consider while planning for Just-In-Time support:

  • Recognize content varieties for different learner groups based on their current skills and future needs.
  • Choose the appropriate method of learning delivery for the target group of learners.
  • Enable responsive learning to provide anytime, anywhere learning access.

During The Online Training Program

4. Is The ‘What’s In It For Me’ Stated Clearly?

Every adult learner wants to know, “What’s in it for me” in the online training program. Adults are motivated to take the training only when they see an immediate relevance to their learning/performance gaps. Hence, it is necessary that your eLearning course provides a credible and satisfactory answer to this question. Your online courses should have clearly defined and relevant learning objectives at the outset. You can also have ice-breaker questions and "Do You Know” slides to give learners a glimpse of what the course is about. This will help you in clarifying goals and removing any ambiguity.

5. Is New Information Linked With Old Information?

We can comprehend, learn, and retain new information better when we can associate it with our existing knowledge. This points out two important aspects to help learners link old and new information:

  • Recall
    Effective recall covers the prerequisite knowledge required for the right association. Ensure that your recall activities are interesting enough to hold learner attention. For instance, you can use quizzes, online discussion forums, and videos.
  • Relate
    Relate entails tying new knowledge to the old. To put it simply, your eLearning course should be able to bridge the gap between what your learners already know to what they are learning. Using metaphors or analogies are effective methods to denote similarities and differences amongst two objects.

6. Is The Course Content Organized Properly?

New information should be organized in a way that helps match existing knowledge, makes it easier to comprehend and learn, cuts mental time in processing information, minimizes ambiguity, and focuses on the “must-know” information for an effective on-the-job application. How do you ensure this?

  • Content chunking
    Present the content in a way that is easy to comprehend information. For instance, use animations, tables, graphs, etc., instead of large chunks of text which can overwhelm the learner.
  • Relevant illustrations
    Ensure that your eLearning courses include well-designed illustrations, graphics, and images to assist learners’ organization and assimilation of the newly acquired knowledge.

7. Do Your Instructional Strategies Exhibit Relevance?

The transfer of knowledge will become effortless and voluntary when your learners are aware of the relevance and appropriateness of the online training program in the workplace. Adult learners will be motivated to undergo the training and apply the acquired information to resolve issues hindering effective productivity.

Here’s how you can ensure the Instructional Design strategies in eLearning courses are appropriate:

  • Incorporate real-life scenarios in the eLearning course that emulate the problems faced by your learners on a day-to-basis at the workplace.
  • Using videos in online training is another way to demonstrate the real-life implications of learning. For instance, how-to videos can be used to show how to fix a machine; demonstration videos can show learners the features of the latest product.
  • Case studies in online courses can be used to add legitimacy to the learning content.

8. How Is The New Knowledge Strengthened In Memory?

It is important to strengthen the newly acquired knowledge so that learners remember and apply it in workplace situations as well as in the future. Here’s how you can strengthen new knowledge:

  • Practice
    Involve learners by allowing them to practice their newly acquired knowledge in the eLearning course. For instance, simulations in online training provide scope for practicing and learning from one’s mistakes, in a risk-free setting.
  • Summary
    Present the learning content again in the form of a summary at the end of the eLearning, to reinforce new knowledge.
  • Assessments
    Have learners use their new knowledge, this time to prove themselves. Include effective formative assessments after every learning point and summative assessments at the end of the learning module to test whether the knowledge is strengthened in learners’ memory.
  • Feedback
    Let learners be aware of how well they have utilized the newly-acquired knowledge. Provide feedback in the online course with proper reasons even when answering correctly and reinforce learning.

Post Online Training

9. How Can You Supplement Online Training?

Since time immemorial, human beings have been learning socially from each other. This can be emulated by incorporating social learning in your online training program. How?

  • In social learning, learners are encouraged to connect with others and share their learning experiences, creating a circle of shared learning.
  • Social learning ensures learners are in a continuum of utilizing knowledge and passing it on further. The social aspect of learning enhances motivation and facilitates a smooth transfer of knowledge to the workplace.
  • You can execute social learning in eLearning through the use of discussion groups or user-generated content such as videos.

10. Have You Planned For Refresher Courses?

Often, post online training, your learners struggle to retain the information for long or recall it when they need it the most. This poses a challenge for the practical application of knowledge. How do you combat loss of information post training?

  • Provide refresher courses to improve retention and recall, which can be accessed through mobile devices.
  • Ensure refresher courses are short, crisp, and provide a coherent summary of the important learning concepts.
  • You can make use of interactive videos, quizzes, games, and job-aids for refresher training.

Knowledge transfer is seldom an effortless process and demands careful planning, organization, and collaboration. Hence, answer these 10 questions to ensure a complete eLearning experience, that’ll help your employees transfer learning to their everyday jobs, improving efficiencies.