- Objectives: Make them clear and measurable.
Yes, eLearning programs are meant to educate employees and help them upgrade their skills. However, a number of online training courses fail because they do not clearly define the objective of the course. It is thus, essential to sketch out the learning goals and then determine how these goals will be met. Identifying what competency you want your employees have once the program is over is a good place to start. Connect with department heads, managers, leaders, and other stakeholders to identify the training needs and then plan the scope, goals, and objectives of the eLearning program for maximum impact.
- Identify the level of interactivity.
Gone are the day of lengthy, static, text-heavy content. If an eLearning program has to be effective, then it has to be engaging. With so many advancements in eLearning technology, building in interactivity by leveraging multimedia elements is often the starting point to developing an engaging program. Multimedia elements such as audio, video, and graphics etc. help in reducing the cognitive load of the learner significantly and can be great when there is a big chunk of content that needs to be absorbed. However, it’s easy to get carried away and cram in too many multimedia elements into one program. Exercise restraint and use multimedia to highlight the important elements in the program. Remember, less is more.
- Keep it simple: Defining language and length.
For online training courses to be successful, they have to keep the disseminated information brief, to the point and easily understandable. This is certainly not the forum where you display your extensive vocabulary! In an eLearning program, use simple language, break up the modules into short, bite-sized chunks, and make it accessible anytime anywhere. Making an eLearning module mobile optimized immediately makes it more attractive for consumption as the employees can access it whenever they want. You also need to ensure that the navigation system is simple and that each module starts with clearly defined learning objectives and goals. If you are creating online training courses for a global audience considering localization can contribute immensely to the success of the program. If you want to train your employees in the United States and China at the same time, then looking at localized eLearning that goes beyond the basic text translation and takes into consideration things like cultural sensitivities, industry specific terminology, preferred tools, and technologies of the region etc. immediately increases the effectiveness of the eLearning program.
- Determine the approach.
Determining your approach to the eLearning plan is going to determine how your employees feel about the course as well. Development training and serious subjects are often perceived as “preachy” or “overwhelming” topics as these are sober reads. Thus taking the right approach is essential to facilitate learning. Developing online training courses that use storytelling, animations, graphics etc. to build in interactivity help the learners forge a connection with the course and help them relate to it. This facilitates better learning. Additionally, enabling self-paced learning is another approach that can accommodate different kinds of learners and ensure that learning objectives are fulfilled and that the learners do not feel overwhelmed at any point. Enabling social sharing is another approach that can be taken to foster collaboration amongst the learners and keep the course interesting.
- Outline the evaluation and feedback.
Great online training courses will have a great evaluation and feedback mechanism. So ensure that you have an evaluation and feedback mechanism ingrained in the core of your learning program. Solicit immediate feedback by asking employees to complete surveys etc. to identify which areas of the learning module needs tweaking and make your program updated, engaging and effective. Finally have a well-designed and structured assessment plan in place in place to evaluate the outcome of the learning plan.
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