Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog

Wednesday

7 Steps to an Effective E-Learning Training Strategy

E-learning creates endless possibilities for new ways to help our team to upskill. In a world where business practice constantly evolves all of us need to be on our toes and up to date with the latest trends and technology relevant to our industry. It’s no use management being on trend if our staff are left behind.

Below we will set out 7 steps which will help guide you towards creating an effective e-learning training strategy to ensure that your staff are getting the most out of their training and development program at work.

1.  Decide On Your Objectives & Plan Accordingly
Planning is essential in ensuring that the resources you put into e-learning are well spent. Identify what type of training is most needed within your organization at this time. Is the training required uniform across the board, or do you have a need for various types of training?

Take into consideration what skills the course will develop, how it will do this and what theoretical frameworks it will be based upon. Next, you need to consider the learners themselves, what are their requirements? We all learn in different ways and to ensure that your staff get the most value out of the e-learning training, you should aim to personalize the training insofar as possible.

By setting out your objectives in advance, it will be easy to measure the success of the program at the end.
       
2.  Make It User-Friendly
Above all else an e-learning environment must be user-friendly. If the learner has difficulty in navigating around the website or accessing the webinar then everything else becomes secondary. Pay close attention to making the material accessible to all staff and giving an introductory tutorial to make sure that everyone knows how to access their course.

The language used should be clear and concise, learners want and need to be able to extract the relevant information without having to wade through extra academic style details which do not pertain to how they will use the skills they are developing.

3.  Give Students a Plan
Many learners feel more secure when they are given a clear overview of the course syllabus. Knowing what material they will cover in the coming weeks allows them to do preparatory work if they wish and relieves stress that may arise out of the unknown. This course overview should also outline what is expected of the students, and how they can expect to be assessed.

4.  Get Them Talking
Group interaction and collaborative learning is sometimes seen as not particularly relevant to an e-learning syllabus. However, overlooking this aspect of training may leave students feeling isolated leading to a lack of interest in the training. Not everyone enjoys group work, but it is a feature of most workplaces and even those who don’t enjoy it will probably expect some degree of collaboration during their training. Collaborative activities where students work together to solve a problem create a wonderful learning opportunity for everybody involved. Each learner can contribute the skills that they have been developing, contributing to the good of the whole, and students can identify different ways of approaching tasks.

Social media is useful for collaborating, as are forums where ideas can be exchanged.

5.  Set Up an Assessment Strategy
Any training program requires an element of assessment to ensure that the learners are processing and retaining the relevant information. It also allows the students to put what they have learned in the e-classroom to practical use. Some people will prefer to assess the students at the end of each module with a simple multiple choice quiz, while others opt for a collaborative group project at the end of a unit.

How the learners will be assessed should be agreed upon before they begin their course, and outlined to them so that they can prepare for it as they progress. Assessment not only gives you as the e-learning coordinator the chance to see how staff are progressing with their training, but it also gives the learners a sense of achievement which will drive them forward and keep them motivated.

6.  Solicit Feedback
It is important to ask for feedback to check that your e-learning program is actually delivering what you hoped it would. Be sure to discuss the learning outcomes with both the learners themselves and their team leaders, this will allow you to see if the both parties have derived benefit from the training. Where the learner feels that they have, but their team leader is not seeing it, then perhaps the training needs to be tweaked to ensure that it is more relevant to the worker’s daily workload.

You can solicit feedback using online surveys, face to face chats or online chats where the learners come together for a session.

7.  Keep the Learning Going
Many learners, and indeed, instructors can tend to see training and development as having a set start and finish date. While this may be strictly true, training within an organization should be approached as ongoing. Life itself is a constant journey on the path of learning, why should work be any different. Encourage your staff to engage with their career development in this light. Set up structures by which they can approach you with regard to continuing their learning once they have completed one e-learning course. Perhaps there is an advanced course you could run or a course of study which will complement the first one. Every time your staff upskill in a way that improves their productivity and sense of purpose at work you will see the return in spades.

I hope that this overview has given you a few ideas on how to get started implementing your own corporate e-learning training strategy. With adequate planning and a positive approach, you may find that e-learning can make a huge difference to staff morale in your workplace.


Guest Blog Contributor By-line:

David Grover is a Communications Manager at Timeo, a useful tool for businesses in the UK. He’s also a freelance career coach, who’s always eager to share his experience. In his free time, he enjoys traveling.

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