5 steps to successful online training
Here at adaptiVLE, our online training proposition is straightforward - we work with training professionals to structure, simplify, enhance, deliver and scale their learning and development programmes.
We’ve been in the online training business for a long time and involved with Moodle since its inception. We’ve seen learning trends come and go and like to think we know what works and what doesn’t. We’re almost 20 years on from Moodle’s initial launch as an online learning platform for education but the way some people approach or think about e-learning hasn’t changed.
If you spend 20 minutes reading Wikipedia, you’ll probably come away having learnt something. Whether it’s factually correct is another matter but the point is that you gained new knowledge from nothing more high-tech than reading text.
You could watch a youtube video showing you how to fix your boiler and save yourself a £200 plumber’s invoice without having to read a single word.
You might find yourself immersed in a full hands-on virtual reality course with branching pathways and consequences and come away with nothing but nausea.
We learn in different ways, through different media and access learning across a range of platforms. It doesn’t all have to be stored on a stuffy LMS with an outdated interface.
Here we’ll look at five key points to consider for creating and delivering successful online training.
Step 1: Simplify
Online courses are often self-directed by the learner and people have short attention spans when learning in front of a screen - much shorter than when learning in a classroom environment. They may have distractions around them, their eyes may hurt and they know they aren’t being watched, so it’s easy for their concentration to drift. Therefore it’s essential that you engage them quickly and get your point across. Cut out all the waffle and make your learning as clear as possible.
You will no doubt want people to learn a number of different lessons but don’t try to get all of these outcomes across in a single session. Break down your course into manageable blocks, each with an assigned outcome and use these as the foundations for the structure of your whole course or training programme.
Step 2: Structure
The key to any successful online learning is structure. The most important aspects to this process are determining the overall subject and the learning outcomes of your whole course - what are you trying to teach people and what do you want them to take away from your training?
In step 1, you broke down your course into smaller chunks or modules. Now ensure that each of these modules has its own learning outcome which contributes to the whole course. Doing this for each module should build a full programme of coherent learning that fulfils all of the aims of your training. If not, go back and re-work them or create new modules to fill any gaps.
Step 3: Enhance
This is where you make your course stand out from the crowd. If there is genuinely no reason to enhance your text-based course and your audience is both fully engaged with it and absorbs all of your training outcomes, then do not feel that you have to add anything to it. However, we find that even simple illustrations and diagrams can go a long way to cementing an idea in a learner’s mind.
Building upon that, interactive pages, quizzes, sounds, video and animation all go a long away to capturing the attention of your learners and helping them to retain information.
Step 4: Deliver
Once you’ve created a well-structured course and added in a few bells and whistles, you need to host it somewhere for your audience to access.
If it’s video-based, then something as simple as YouTube or LinkedIn can be used to push it out there to your learners. The problem with this is that there’s no mechanism to track audience engagement or more crucially, progress. How are they using your course? Are they learning anything?
If these metrics are important to you, then an LMS (Learning Management System) or training platform is the way to go.
An LMS enrols users on your course and lets them access training and information in a secure environment at their own pace. Their progress, scores and movements on the platform are tracked, so you can get an accurate picture of how well an individual is doing. An LMS can contain multiple courses and deliver any type of training you can imagine, from pages of text to interactive worlds and live streaming.
Step 5: Scale
One of the most common problems with face-to-face training is that there is no efficient way to scale. Trainers can only be in one location at a time and learners have to be able to visit that location in order to learn. The recent pandemic has seen a mass-uptake of Zoom and Teams but whilst these allow your audience to be more remote, trainers are still restricted by time when it comes to delivering lessons in front of a webcam.
To truly scale your training, you want your audience to be able to learn from you even while you sleep, with 24/7 access to your course by more people in more locations. An LMS provides the environment for this, removing barriers such as administration, paperwork, geography and time.
At adaptiVLE, we not only take your training online but also help you adopt a smarter approach to the continuous improvement of your people. If you need help with your online training development, get in touch.