Moving Out Of The Stone Age: Best Ways To Keep Your Training Content Up-To-Date
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How To Keep Your Training Content Up-To-Date

Aw, snap! Your flash training has crashed…and will soon burn. For years you’ve heard that Flash is dying and when Adobe announced an official end-date of 2020 [1], they essentially announced the end of flash eLearning courses. Internet Explorer, SWF files…have you considered what technology or platform is next on the chopping block? These shifts in technology may seem like a headache, but delivery updates are actually a great opportunity for you to give your training a new lease on life. As you revisit and reshape your old courses, cultivating versatility now can benefit you in the future.

Is Your Training Content Up-To-Date?

The longer your training has been around, the more likely it is that your content might not be up-to-date. While the essential concepts could be the same, your business may have new goals, face new challenges, or have increased training needs. To ensure that your training is still effective for your learners, you might want to perform a new needs analysis to re-evaluate if your training is still aligned to your current business.

How Can You Leverage Your Existing Training?

Mapping out conversion should include evaluation of your existing content, and how it can be used. For instance, you may already have great motion or video assets that are still relevant to the course but need to be converted to other formats. Besides videos or art assets, there may be ways of training that you want to keep using. For example, maybe you have a really effective instructor lead training that gets results but would be best paired with an updated online learning tool or just-in-time tool.

How Is Your Content Best-Served?

Updating your course gives you the chance to add purpose and design to legacy courses. What once was a cutting-edge training may be landing poorly with your new hires and current employees alike. Focusing on your learner’s experience can improve retention and engagement.

Learners today are ready to use streamlined trainings that genuinely help them work better, easier, and with less effort. Mentors, audio-heavy courses, and unnecessary bells-and-whistles are all a thing of eLearning history. A more considerate approach, be it with the function of courses or length of courses, values your employee’s time and gives you the biggest bang for your buck.

Try exploring current trends, like microlearning, blended learning, VR/AR learning, and the rise of just-in-time tools to get ahead of the curve. By taking your training to where learning is headed, you might be able to extend the shelf-life of your update.

Microlearning and just-in-time tools aren’t just a solution for a younger workforce. All demographics of learners can utilize this type of training when it’s applied thoughtfully. By teaching one small objective at a time, learners can be satisfied with meeting that objective then return later to build on the knowledge they’ve gained. Learners can also readily digest information when they need it. When integrated into employees' daily lives, “microlearning allows employees to be both productive and increase their knowledge at the same time” [2].

Studies show that blended training results can be more successful than ILT or online learning alone [3]. A blended solution uses several different approaches (i.e., classroom, Performance Support Tools, and eLearning) to create a more effective live training experience.

More and more, businesses are adopting Augmented and Virtual Reality trainings [4]. There are many different industries [KP8] where these deeply immersive learning technologies may be worth the investment.

How Can Gamification And Interactive Technologies Be Effective?

Having talked about streamlining training, there are times when you may want to add an element of fun or create a narrative to immerse your learners. Gamification is one way to achieve your goals, and it’s so much more than creating a fun game to put into a course. It can also be a lot easier than you think.

Badges, point systems, and leaderboards are simple ways that gamification can improve the learner experience. Research shows that these features can improve motivation and learning performance [5]. By choosing the right goals during your needs analysis, you can effectively use these potentially powerful game elements.

Beyond the framework of learning progression, you can also include contextual elements. For example, a manufacturer that wants to update a course on safe food production processes could apply an immersive, fictional detective narrative. Learners would play the role of the detective to find dangerous bacteria, etc. This type of gamified narrative content has been shown to have more positive training satisfaction than the same non-gamified content (despite both meet fully identical learning objectives).

Immersive gamification elements, like an avatar, game pieces, and simulations, can be used to make a learner feel more involved in their training. Using these elements can enhance the psychological fidelity of the learning environment and affect a positive learning outcome.

Conclusion

By keeping your learner top-of-mind as you bring your old trainings out of the stone age, you can ensure their success (and achieve your business goals) for another couple of years.

References:

[1] Adobe Announces Flash Distribution and Updates to End

[2] Microlearning: Knowledge management applications and competency-based training in the workplace (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326317952_Microlearning_Knowledge_management_applications_and_competency-based_training_in_the_workplace)

[3] Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies (https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf)

[4] How Businesses Today Are Implementing Virtual And Augmented Reality

[5] Gamification of employee training and development: Gamification of employee training (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324433185_Gamification_of_employee_training_and_development_Gamification_of_employee_training)

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