In its research on employee training, MIT found that specific learning formats become more effective based on several criteria. An instructor-led course may be best in one situation and eLearning in another. To effectively evaluate the return on your training investment, you need to know what to expect from these different training methods before you measure their performance. By matching the appropriate learning platform to the dynamics of the group, you can create a more efficient worker training system.
- Instructor-Led Training - The study reveals that instructor-led classes are good at facilitating hands-on practice and discussion. There should be sufficient space to manage a large classroom and a staff consisting of several small groups in need of training. This method of training can hold quick learners back because they must wait for the rest of the group to catch up.
- Lectures and Demonstrations – To present a training video or give a lecture is not effective if you are teaching a new skill. However, if you merely seek to update already trained employees on updates to the information they learned, a lecture or demonstration becomes the best delivery model.
- eLearning – Unfortunately, eLearning didn’t rate well by students when compared to other learning methods. They complained about the lack of live interaction. Students want to know they can ask questions and get answers during a facilitated eLearning session. They did, however, value the ability to go at their own pace during the learning process. When non-facilitated, students tended to procrastinate in their studies.
So, how can eLearning do more to meet the needs of learners? First, trainers need to understand their learning objectives and the dynamics of the group and choose the appropriate learning format. They can then measure performance more effectively knowing the optimal training method was used for a given scenario. Second, trainers need to create more effective eLearning opportunities to ensure this training method becomes just as effective as in-classroom training. The technology to do this is available. It only needs to be leveraged and integrated into eLearning courses.
Increasing the Return on Investment for eLearning
Human interaction and blended learning opportunities are likely to be more satisfying to students and therefore more effective as training tools. Course developers could benefit from integrating the following into their eLearning programs:
- Group Video Conferencing - Technologies that allow many people to communicate visually online through technologies like Google Hangouts can create better discussions. Here, participants can see the faces of other participants and have discussions that more closely reflect real-life interaction. An instructor should lead discussions to help students stay on track with the learning objectives.
- Learning Application Tools - Using a virtual reality interfaces, learners can gain hands-on practice of what they learned. For tasks that don’t require manual technique, course designers can include interactive elements that challenge learners to demonstrate the learning. The course introduction should make it clear that successful application of the learning is the factor that defines success in the course.
Let Knowledge Anywhere Help You Build More Effective eLearning Courses
You can truly transfer knowledge anywhere and in any setting when you understand the most effective strategies for a given learning platform. As experienced and dedicated eLearning professionals, Knowledge Anywhere can assist with a suite of helpful eLearning tools, along with expert knowledge to help you create more effective eLearning courses.