9 Notable Characteristics Of Learner-Centered Online Training
LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com

Learner-Centered Online Training: 9 Points To Focus On

As the name suggests, learner-centered online training is all about catering to the needs, goals, and expectations of your employees. Every online training activity is geared toward individual growth and bridging relevant gaps. This is in stark contrast to traditional online training, wherein the instructor takes center stage. But how do you create personalized online training that puts employees in charge? These are the 9 quintessential characteristics of learner-centered online training.

1. Allows For Self-Guided Exploration

Employees have the opportunity to explore online training topics on their own and pursue their interests rather than trying to keep up with their co-workers or participate in one-size-fits-all online training activities. They are also able to focus on skills that cater to their job duties and personal areas for improvement. An added benefit of self-guided exploration is the ability to learn from mistakes. Employees are more likely to challenge their assumptions and evaluate their performance when they are in control.

2. Facilitates Real-World Application

Learner-centered online training places a strong emphasis on practical application. Employees must be given the chance to use what they’ve learned in a real-world context. That may be in the form of simulations, branching scenarios, or even skill-based serious games. Encourage them to build experiential knowledge on their own terms and identify strengths and weaknesses. Real-world examples, case studies, and anecdotes are also valuable experience-building online training activities. Tie all the online training into practical uses and invite corporate learners to reflect on how they might apply it in their professional lives.

3. Encourages Personal Reflection

Some of the most profound insights are found through personal reflection. For example, employees perform a task and then analyze their performance and skills. They may discover that they’ve been missing a step, or that there is a pre-existing skill gap they’ve overlooked. Learner-centered online training encourages personal reflection and gives employees ample opportunity to analyze their progress.

4. Incorporates Group Collaboration

One of the most common misconceptions about learner-centered online training is that it’s a solo endeavor. That corporate learners are required to study asynchronously so as to focus on personal areas for improvement more effectively. However, group collaboration and peer-based feedback are crucial elements of learner-centered online training. Encourage employees to work together to solve common challenges and create online training materials in a group setting, as well as engage in social media discussions that facilitate knowledge sharing.

5. Empowers Corporate Learners To Take Charge Of L&D

A core principle of learner-centered online training is empowerment. Employees must feel like they are in control of their own development. This also includes being able to choose online training activities and resources that are relevant to their needs, as well as their personal learning preferences. For example, throughout the course of the work day, a member of your sales staff discovers that they lack the necessary product knowledge. They’re unable to recommend items to consumers because they are unaware of the features and benefits, and how they relate to customer pain points. Thus, they can access the learner-centered online training system to study the newest product line and seize every sales opportunity.

6. Holds Corporate Learners Accountable

Every member of your staff is held accountable for their training performance and progress. They are in charge of their own L&D, which also means that they are responsible for their professional growth. You might consider online training contracts so that employees can chart their course and monitor their progress based on key criteria, such as organizational objectives combined with personal goals that will enhance workplace proficiency. Provide them with a list of recommended online training resources and set realistic milestones to enhance motivation. Last, have protocols in place so that employees know there are repercussions if they don’t actively participate.

7. Caters To Individual Needs

The litmus test of learner-centered online training is whether it addresses the individual needs of your employees. Of course, one of the primary objectives of online training is to achieve the desired outcomes and further the success of your company. However, you must also cater to the goals and gaps of your team on an individual level. Bear in mind that personalized online training resources help to retain your top talent and reduce employee attrition rates. It may be an investment, but consider how much you’ll save on new hire training.

8. Offers The Right Amount Of Challenge

The key to successful learner-centered online training is identifying the ideal amount of challenge. Employees should be able to test themselves and move beyond their comfort zone. But not so much that they feel frustrated or stressed. This is yet another reason why it’s so crucial to research your audience. Learn as much as possible about their experience levels, current knowledge base, and background. This allows you to provide enough challenge to keep them engaged without making them feel defeated.

9. Welcomes Employee Feedback

The best way to ensure that you’re on the right track and giving employees what they need is to gather eLearning feedback. In fact, it’s wise to cultivate a collaborative learning culture that welcomes their input and respects employees’ opinions. Start a social media group where they can offer their insights and express concerns in a more private forum. You might also consider a weekly or monthly webinar that centers on direct eLearning feedback. Ask questions regarding the online training materials and their overall experience within the organization. Then use your findings to provide even more learner-centered online training content that’s custom-tailored to their needs.

Learner-centered online training empowers employees and allows them to pursue their own paths to professional development instead of having to keep pace with their peers and fit their needs into the L&D mold. Use this article as a guide to create meaningful and memorable learner-centered online training courses that meet the criteria.

Is a learner-centered strategy worth the resources? Read the article Top 5 Benefits Of Learner-Centered Online Training to discover the many benefits that a learner-centered approach can bring to your online training courses.

eBook Release: Thinkific
Thinkific
Thinkific’s powerful platform makes it easy to share your knowledge, grow your audience, and scale the business you already love. Whether you’re educating 10 students or 10 million, you’ve got the easiest technology and best support in the business.
Close