One of the biggest challenges for learning programs is to keep the training relevant to learners. If you can’t keep people engaged, they won’t absorb the material, and it will be a waste of time for you as well as them. In this article, we’ll share some tips to make sure your training remains relevant.
How Ineffective Training Wastes TimeWhen you create a learning program, you want to make sure it’s relevant, engaging, and actionable. There are several ways that your training may fall short and waste time.
Objectives Are Not ClearMake sure you consult with all relevant departments and teams so that you’re clear about the goals for the training. If there isn’t proper communication beforehand, the training may leave out crucial elements or include unnecessary material. If goals are too broad, the training may not address important points. For example, a broad goal may be to teach users how to use a certain software application. However, the software may have hundreds of features, some relevant to your purposes and others not. It’s necessary to focus on the specific features that learners will be using.
User Experience is FlawedThe way learning material is delivered has a big impact on the results. If learners have a hard time accessing or interacting with the content, they won’t be engaged and may waste time trying to figure out how the system works. It’s important to thoroughly test all aspects of user experience and make improvements as needed. This may include issues such as:
- Difficulty logging into the system.
- Confusing navigation. Users may not be able to figure out where to go next or menus aren’t accurately labeled.
- Glitches such as features not loading properly or crashing.
- Poor quality audio or visuals.
Information OverloadLearners can get overwhelmed if there’s too much to absorb in a short amount of time. This can be a challenge for technical topics or when there are long lists of terms and principles to remember. When creating training modules, avoid overwhelming people’s attention spans. Zoom fatigue is also a real phenomenon! Make sure you’re taking breaks, using interactive tools, and chunking up information.
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Lack of Media TypesPeople have different learning styles, which is why you should include course material in diverse formats, such as:
- Text: PDF files and other written material
- Images: Including infographics and illustrations
- Videos: Studies indicate that most learners prefer video to other types of media. According to Forrester Research, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read documents.
- Live presentations, such as webinars
Insufficient TrackingIt’s essential to track the results of learning programs, so you can measure what is and isn’t working. Listening to user feedback is also important for assessing user experience and engagement. It’s helpful to have users fill out a survey after training to give their immediate reactions.
How to Make Learning RelevantThe following are some key points to keep in mind when designing a learning program.
Use MicrolearningMicrolearning is the practice of breaking complex topics into smaller, more manageable chunks. This is a way to improve engagement and prevent information overload. It’s also a convenient way to share material to users on different devices and who may be in different locations. For example, it’s simple for someone to access a short video on their phone from any location.
Gamification Improves EngagementTurning learning into a game helps to keep users interested in the course material. A game can turn a dry or technical subject into a fun challenge. For example, if learners need to remember many regulations for compliance training, turning it into a game with scoring adds an element of fun to the subject. This approach is especially popular for millennials, who often grew up playing video games. At the same time, it’s important to ensure that games are effective at imparting relevant information and don’t become a distraction.
Use an LMS With the Features You NeedUsing a learning management system that has user-friendly features can make a big difference in the results of your training. It’s still up to you to include the right material, of course. However, make sure your LMS features include:
- Quality user experience
- The ability to upload material in multiple formats such as text, images, and video
- Tracking capabilities
- Gamification features
Use Pre-Testing AssessmentsIt’s unproductive to teach people material that they already know. Similarly, if the learning content is too advanced for the learner, it will go over their heads. A simple way to avoid either of these problems is to create a pre-testing assessment that gauges what people know about a topic. For example, if someone is learning a new language, there’s a wide spectrum of abilities, from knowing a few words to fluency. The following is a pre-assessment created to test students’ knowledge of German. Language Learning - Basic German This type of assessment is useful for measuring competency in any area. Based on the results, learners can be matched with the appropriate level of instruction.
Incorporate Interactive LearningOne way to make learning more relevant is to actively involve people in the training. Using interactive techniques is a powerful complement to reading, listening, and watching. Live role-playing is effective and engaging for certain types of training such as customer service, sales training, and compliance training. However, it’s not always practical for learners and staff to interact in person. This has been especially the case during the 2020 pandemic. Another possibility, which is often cheaper and more flexible than live role-playing, is interactive video, where people can interact from any location. Both live and video role-playing is effective for working on soft skills and issues where sensitivity is needed, such as harassment and diversity training.
Keep Your Training RelevantTraining is costly and time-consuming. If the material isn’t relevant and engaging, it turns into a waste of time and resources for everyone involved. You need to constantly review your process to make sure it’s meeting your needs and in line with your latest goals. Make sure all concerned teams and stakeholders provide input for the training, while baking in a plat to get regular feedback from learners With the above tips in mind, you’re on your way to keeping your learning relevant!
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