Preparation for an online training course begins long before it’s made available to your employees. It might also go through multiple revisions over a period of weeks or months to ensure that the course has been perfectly designed to get the highest return on investment.
When an online training course hasn’t been thought out or planned properly, it can rapidly crumble and become a complete failure, costing the organization a great deal of time and money. So how do you avoid an undesirable outcome?
What should corporate trainers, HR managers, and those helping behind-the-scenes do to develop online courses and help ensure overall success?
Here are four questions you should ask yourself before creating an online training course.
1. What Are You Trying to Achieve?
Every training course will have its own set of objectives, so it’s important to clearly identify and list the goals you’re hoping to achieve. Engaging in the activity will go a long way to ensure that the learning content and design are properly geared towards helping you achieve your objectives.
Your objectives can be identified by engaging management to identify performance gaps. You can even conduct an enterprise-wide skills analysis to help develop a robust strategy for your online training course.
While listing your goals is important, it won’t be enough to ensure success. So, once you have your goals written down, you must figure out if they’re both attainable and measurable. This isn’t a difficult task if you take advantage of available performance tracking and analytical tools.
2. What Do Employees Need to Know?
The short attention spans of the digital age demand that you keep all the information concise and easily accessible. You will need to analyze what information is important and what can be omitted to ensure that course material is communicated effectively.
As the average attention span is as low as eight seconds, this can prove to be a significant challenge. When you choose what information you’re going to add, make sure that it’s applicable and closely tied to the goals of your online training course.
The information that’s needed can also be directly related to the skills required by your company. So, it can also help if you conduct a skills assessment before deciding on what will be included and what will not be included in the course.
3. How Will You Ensure Participation?
To ensure enhanced employee participation across departments, trainers need to have a clear understanding of what motivates them. By clearly understanding what motivates them, you can improve your chances of effectively meeting your training objectives.
To motivate and encourage participation, you can first look at the corporate culture. Do staff members already have an intrinsic motivation for self-improvement? If not, you can try a rewards-based approach or gamification to better your chances of extensive participation.
4. How Will You Support Those Who Struggle?
No matter how much you plan and strategize while developing your online training course, some of your participants will struggle. It’s a good idea to come up with a plan to support these individuals right from the start.
First, you must determine if you have the necessary resources and tools to support those who are having a hard time completing a module or lesson. If it’s not already available in-house, you should develop a support system to help participants who will engage in all future learning activities. This can come in the form of FAQs, one-on-one mentoring, internal forums, video tutorials, and chatrooms. Another great tool to have is active, social learning such as in T2K Echo. This allows the instructors and trainers to give personal attention to their learners, right when they really need help. Keep track and respond to every question with ease or check-in with learners that fall behind.
The success of online training courses will heavily depend on the time and effort you expend during the planning stages. As a result, these questions listed above shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Tech writer and digital marketer with a passion for all things tech. Follow Andrew @DrewZola.