For years, the move to online training has been a developing trend for most companies with a growing workforce. While advancements in technology and changing landscapes have made digital training common, establishing a useful online program can be challenging.
In Novatek's experience, poorly designed online courses can limit learners from interacting or asking questions effectively. In addition, courses don't maintain engagement when content is stagnant, and sometimes the required training is not meaningful to the audience.
Course implementation can present problems as well. There is always a risk of technical issues with online training, such as poor internet connections and course accessibility. However, despite the challenges, a well-designed online training model can have a very positive impact for companies. Online training programs can create efficiency as well as provide ongoing learning opportunities. Other benefits include:
- Cost savings on travel
- Consistent delivery of training the same way each time
- Allows tracking of progress and improved learning
- Opportunity and flexibility to go back and review the information as often as they want
- Richer learning experiences, available through a variety of content delivery methods
Make sure your move to online training is designed to succeed. Use the following best practices in your program:
8 Best Practices for Creating a Successful Online Training Model
- Employ sound instructional design principles – Create specific and meaningful learning objectives that relate to the desired outcome of the course. Make sure the objectives are actionable based on a specific set of criteria. Conduct regular audience analysis and task analysis.
- Provide a detailed explanation for course completion – Make sure learners know why they are taking the course and what they can expect to get from it (WIIFM). Whether you're training end users or employees, the benefit and desired outcome of the course should be clearly communicated.
- Serve different learning styles with content formats – Use a blended learning format to best serve all learning styles. Successful training courses offer a variety of platforms, including eLearning with graphical elements, video, narration, instructor or leader interaction, demos and associated simulations for practice. Adding a follow-up webinar, class, or 1:1 session helps support the formal course work.
- Use consistent terminology – Design training documentation with language that is simple and relevant. Consistent and straightforward content allows for better and faster comprehension among various learning types.
- Include demos and practice exercises – Integrate hands-on learning opportunities in training courses. Trainees will benefit from putting the learned material to use, and instructors can better assess the learning by asking appropriate review questions.
- Incorporate graphical elements – Keep learners interested and engaged with visual examples. Appropriate use of video and audio narration can also make training courses more versatile. However, an important consideration with audio features is the cost of updating the material. Depending on the number of changes, the frequency at which they need to be made and possible language translation needs, narration costs can become excessive and may not be the best training method for certain programs.
- Provide opportunities to repeat course sections – Allow learners to go back to a section of the training if they do not answer a question correctly so that they can review and learn. This reduces the risk of mistakes later on while they are live on the job.
- Establish a progress timeline – Help learners know where they are in the course so they can better plan how to manage the completion of the course. The measurement can be time, percent complete, or other forms of monitoring training progress.
For more on making your training program usable for global audiences…