How To Switch From Instructor-Led To Online Training
Instructor-led training can be costly, especially when you factor in travel expenses, printed materials, and site rental fees. Not to mention the payroll hours for lengthy face-to-face training sessions. For this reason, many organizations are now making the switch from instructor-led to online training. Corporate eLearning initiatives reduce training expenses without sacrificing the desired results. Here are 7 top tips to ease your organization into online training.
1. Start With Short, Spaced Bursts Of Online Training
In some cases, it's wise to start with a blended learning strategy that gradually introduces learning technologies. For example, combine online training tutorials or simulations paired with instructor-led discussions. Over time you can phase out the face-to-face sessions and replace them with online activities, such as online discussions or webinars. This gives your organization time to fine-tune its online training strategy while still providing the benefits of online training. In addition, certain corporate learners may be new to online training. As such, they'll appreciate the fact that you are gradually easing them into the process, instead of throwing them into the thick of things and leaving them to their own devices.
2. Focus On Practical Application
One of the primary advantages of online training is being able to provide real-world experience. Employees have the opportunity to apply the information and build practical skill sets. For example, they complete a virtual simulation in order to improve their task proficiency. As such, your online training initiatives should be centered on pragmatic application of knowledge and relevant skills. It's not about how much your employees know, but how they can use the information in the workplace. That's the secret to improving your online training ROI and on-the-job productivity.
3. Gather Your Top L&D Talent
Making the switch to online training is a group effort. You need to have your L&D team on board in order to achieve the desired results. This includes Subject Matter Experts, Instructional Designers, and IT experts. Schedule a meeting early on to get everyone on board and gather their valuable input. This is the time to identify your learning objectives and clarify expectations. Every member of your eLearning team needs to know what's involved and the roles they play. Additionally, determine which resources they need for the job and start developing a timeline. You might consider a Project Management online platform that allows you to assign tasks and create a group calendar. This helps streamline the online collaboration process and serves as a virtual hub for your entire team.
4. Find The Right eLearning Authoring Tools For The Job
Online training requires effective eLearning authoring tools and LMS platforms. It may be wise to kick things off with rapid eLearning authoring software that features a rich online asset library. These platforms usually have built-in assets, such as eLearning templates and interactions. As a result, you have the ability to create top notch online training content, even if your eLearning team has no prior experience. Most eLearning authoring tools offer free trials and demos that allow you to try before you buy. You can also look online for ratings, reviews, and recommendations. Check out eLearning forums and social media groups to get tips and advice from other eLearning professionals. For example, to get their input on which tool is worth the investment based on your online training requirements.
5. Gather Feedback From Employees
Employees are going to access the online training course on a regular basis. Thus, they should be able to offer their input. They can also provide feedback regarding past training initiatives they have attended. For example, the instructor-led courses you've offered in recent months. All of this insight gives you the opportunity to improve your training program before moving forward. You're now able to identify the weaknesses of your face-to-face training, and then avoid those same mistakes in your online training. Surveys and interviews are ideal feedback methods, as well as focus groups and on-the-job observations. You can even host a live webinar to interact with your employees directly and get their honest opinions. Ultimately, your employees should be involved in every step of the design and development process.
6. Provide Online Support Resources
One of the most common online training mistakes is failure to provide continual support. There are two primary types of support to consider: The first is tech assistance. For example, an employee may be unable to login to the LMS, or they are unsure about how to use the online training materials. The second is training reinforcement. These are the "moment of need" tools that employees require on an ongoing basis, such as microlearning online training tutorials or task-based simulations. Support resources make online training more accessible, convenient, and effective. As such, they should be mobile-friendly and bite-sized for quick consumption. You might consider a microlearning online training repository that features easily digestible online tutorials, presentations, and visual elements, such as charts and infographics.
7. Create Clear Guidelines For Your eLearning Developers
Every effective online training program starts with effective guidelines and design standards. These elements provide your L&D team with a road map to follow. Begin with the learning objectives and desired outcomes, then structure everything around these core components. All of your online training activities should support the goals and reinforce the key takeaways. This is yet another reason why a Project Management online tool is indispensable for online training development. These platforms give your team a virtual headquarters where they can share ideas and stay up-to-date.
These 7 tips can help you create a successful online training strategy that supports and encourages remote employees, even if they are hesitant to make the switch from instructor-led sessions at first. The key is to provide everyone with the resources and personalized training they need to reach their professional potential.
Is your online training sinking in? Or are employees forgetting the key takeaways before they have a chance to apply them? Read the article How To Create Memorable Online Training Courses: 6 Tips For eLearning Professionals to check 6 tips create memorable online training courses.