The online training industry is ripe with suggested strategies for effective learning. The flexible nature of online training encourages training managers to understand their audiences and develop their online training programs accordingly. Regardless of your industry or the makeup of your audience, there are some fundamental principles that training managers should consider when designing an online training program. Below are the Ten Commandments of Online Corporate Training:
1) You are the trainer - a facilitator of effective learning.
Unlike traditional classroom training, online corporate training does not revolve around a single instructor and a stack of training binders. The role of the online corporate training manager is one of a facilitator as opposed to a lecturer and micro-manager. Understanding this unique role is the first step in creating a successful online training program.
2) Thou shall bring no irrelevant corporate training materials before your audience.
As a training manager, you should know your audience and make sure that content relates to organizational goals. Learners have a limited amount of time to take part in training activities and cannot afford to waste time focusing on content that is unrelated to training goals. In short, online training content should be useful, current, and pertinent to the learner’s industry.
3) Do not take your training goals and objectives in vain.
One similarity between online corporate training and development programs and traditional classroom training programs is the need to achieve important organizational goals. The importance of these goals should be kept in mind when designing an online training program. Here are some ways to remain focused on training goals:
- Tie corporate training materials to company objectives
- Reward participants as they master material that is required to meet industry compliance standards
- Make sure participants understand the specific benefits that they will receive from training
4) Remember your target date and keep participants posted on progress.
Online training enables members of an audience to learn at a pace that is comfortable to them. This feature enables slower learners to have more time to absorb material while allowing more experienced learners to instantaneously bypass introductory materials and skip directly to more advanced content. Despite the fact that participants can learn at their own pace, training managers should still set a completion date to ensure that material is learned in a timely fashion.
5) Honor thy audience members and their preferred mode of learning.
One of the key benefits of online corporate training programs is their flexibility. Before kicking off your training program, take a look at your audience and make adjustments that will facilitate training. Here are some examples below:
- If you are training millennials, beef up your incorporation of gamification and use of social media
- If you are training salespeople, emphasize the ability to train anytime from their device of choice
6) Thou shall use a multi-media approach.
Keeping learners engaged and interested in content is one of the biggest challenges facing training managers. Fortunately, online corporate training programs make it easy for trainers to keep learners engaged and interested in training material. You can use the following online learning tools to help keep learners focused:
- Product demonstration videos
- Online leaderboards showcasing attainment of training goals
- Online learning challenges and contests
7) Thou shall not build a wall of text.
Written content is a necessity with most online corporate training programs. However, as a training manager, you should take precautions to break up your written content into short, manageable sections. This strategy helps optimize retention and prevent information overload. Training managers can use the following tips to prepare content that is easy to digest:
- Use headers to summarize content segments
- Paragraphs should be no longer than three to four sentences in length
- Use bullet points to emphasize key points
- Include images to help illustrate complex material
8) Thou shall measure training progress and outcomes.
Online corporate training allows managers to easily track participants’ progress from any location. This information can be used to identify slow learners and participants who could benefit from extra help. Additionally, online training platforms make it easy for managers to gauge participant satisfaction with a program’s design. Some tips to measure training programs and outcomes include the following:
- Follow participant progress and completion of training segments to identify superstars and slow learners
- Use online quizzes and tests to measure retention of material
- Ask training participants what aspects of your online training program they liked best and least
9) Thou shall not forget to update your online corporate training program.
One of the many benefits of online corporate training content is the ease with which it can be updated. Training material rarely remains constant over time, especially for companies in industries with rapidly evolving technology. Below are some steps to ensure that your training materials remain updated:
- Schedule a comprehensive review of all training materials at least once per year
- Consider participant likes and dislikes as you update training materials
- Do not forget to note any changes to policies, procedures, or safety standards
10) Thou shall covet the expertise of an industry professional.
The clearest path to success when developing an online training program is to seek the expertise of a trusted expert. The online learning specialists with Knowledge Anywhere are dedicated to helping training managers create innovative and effective online training programs. We invite you to contact us to find out how you can facilitate learning with our online training solutions. We look forward to helping you improve your training platform!