7 Steps To Create Meaningful Online Training Experiences

7 Steps To Create Meaningful Online Training Experiences
Summary: Does your corporate eLearning course offer real value? Can your employees connect with the online training content? In this article, I'll share the 7 steps involved in creating meaningful online training experiences.

How To Create Meaningful Online Training Courses

Effective online training experiences help employees bridge gaps and build targeted skills. Employees must be able to assign meaning in order to benefit from the online training, as well as form a personal connection with the online training content. If it's not relevant, it's not memorable. This translates into decreased corporate eLearning ROI. Here is a 7-step guide to create memorable, emotionally-centered and meaningful online training courses.

1. Learn About Your Corporate Learners

Meaning is all a matter of perspective. One corporate learner may find the online training experience meaningful, while another feels it misses the mark. As such, you need to research your audience to explore their backgrounds, personal interests, and experience levels. Learn as much as you can about their goals, ambitions, and expectations so that you can provide meaningful online training content. It's also important to periodically re-evaluate your audience to ensure that your online training course is still relevant.

2. Choose Relatable Images And Graphics

Employees are more likely to remember content that's visually compelling. This is due to the fact that images, graphics, and charts improve knowledge retention. However, visual aids also create an emotional connection. For instance, a photo of a smiling business professional is the perfect visual representation of success or on-the-job satisfaction. This resonates with employees on a personal level, which makes the online training experience more meaningful.

3. Create Goal-Centered Online Training Activities

Online training activities must focus on personal areas for improvement. Otherwise, employees are unable to find meaning and are less likely to participate. Every online training activity should concentrate on a specific learning goal, objective, or desired behavior. For example, to improve task performance or work-related skills, employees are able to work on one training area at a time in order to fine-tune their talents.

4. Assess Corporate Learners To Identify Gaps

eLearning assessments reveal strengths and areas for improvement so that you can create personalized online training resources. Here are some useful assessment techniques to consider for your online training course:

a. Online Training Simulations & Branching Scenarios

These real-world online training activities test an employee's ability to apply their knowledge in the workplace. Online training simulations and branching scenarios are also a great alternative to on-site observations. You have the ability to see the employee's skills in action and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses. Thus, you can provide meaningful online training experiences that meet their specific needs.

b. Self-Evaluations

Allow employees to assess their own knowledge, experience, and skill development with self-evaluations. For instance, invite them to participate in an online discussion or group collaboration project. Then re-evaluate their cognitions with a fresh perspective. You can even ask thought-provoking questions, or post interesting blog prompts to spark self-analysis. With greater self-awareness, employees are able to provide more honest feedback, thereby helping you to create more meaningful online training courses.

c. Quantitative Exams

Multiple choice and true/false exams fall into the category of quantitative assessments. They test how much an employee knows so that you can custom-tailor the online training content. For example, develop more effective compliance online training courses based on their pre-existing knowledge.

5. Incorporate Personalized Course Maps And Online Training Paths

Give employees the ability to chart their own online training course to personalize the online training experience. Clickable course maps allow them to choose online training activities that align with their goals and gaps, while personalized online training paths offer employees the opportunity to customize their own development plan. Both approaches improve the value of your online training program and the benefits it provides to your remote workers.

6. Provide Microlearning Online Training Resources

Microlearning online training resources offer "just-in-time" support. Employees can quickly access the information they need to be more productive. As such, they enhance the benefits of your online training program. In fact, employees can seek out online training resources that are meaningful to them and their personal goals. They can hone their skills and talents whenever it's most convenient instead of keeping up with their co-workers. Here are few microlearning online training resources that you may want to add to your online repository:

a. Task Demos

These bite-size demonstrations feature every step of a work-related process. Employees can observe favorable performance behaviors, then mimic them on the job. You can also take the same approach for product knowledge online training demos. In this case, the videos explore the features and best uses for your new product line.

b. Infographics

Infographics feature text and visual aids to improve understanding. These online training tools are ideal for highlighting stats, task steps, or compliance issues. For example, the importance of following safety protocols in the workplace.

c. Serious Games

Fun and engaging serious games are versatile. They can cover anything from essential skills to task-based performance. The key is to include a memorable storyline, characters, and relatable challenges. Another great way to add more meaning is to incorporate game mechanics, like badges, points, and leaderboards.

7. Gather eLearning Feedback From Your Corporate Learners

How can you determine if the online training course is resonating with your employees? Why not ask them outright. One of the best ways to create more meaningful online training experiences is to gather feedback from your staff. Give them the opportunity to voice their opinions, questions, and ideas so that you can continually improve your online training. Polls are great for gathering quick feedback but you may want to use surveys and focus groups for more comprehensive analysis. You can also host live webinars to get their input and ask follow-up questions.

Meaningful online training experiences increase employee engagement and motivation. They get the information and skill-building resources they need to do their job effectively. Thus, they are more likely to remain with the company and continually improve their performance. This benefits every aspect of your organization, including customer service, sales, and employee satisfaction.

Do you want to enrich your corporate eLearning course with more online training activities? Read the article 10 Online Training Activities To Include In EVERY Corporate eLearning Course to discover the top 10 online training activities that every corporate eLearning course should have.