5 Steps to Create Engaging eLearning Courses for Your Business
Businesses with a distributed workforce, whether it be a business of tweny people, or twenty thousand, often struggle with ways to train their employees in a convenient and engaging way. Hiring third party trainers and having them educate your employees can be an expensive proposition. Some companies can't afford the expense of an in-house trainer or to publish training materials. Onboarding new employees at random times can be a drain on productivity, and new employees can get inconsistent information.
eLearning software can make training new employees convenient, consistent and if done right, more engaging than training via teleconference, classroom or high cost third party trainers. Some qualities of effective eLearning applications include the following five key elements:
1. Employee eLearning Ease of Use
Every step of the learning process, from registration to courseware execution to testing should be intuitive and easy for your employees to complete. Finding eLearning solutions which are available on the public internet is preferable to training which is exclusively available in the office. If your employees work from home or are contracting from customer sites, giving them the option to log in where via the public web is the best option. You want your employees to be able to go through the courses easily, and not dread moving on to the next course and the difficult time they will need to endure logging in, paging through complex training, and being evaluated on their progress. Canadian eLearning companies Desire2Learn and InsightWorks have made these processes as simple as possible.
2. Distributed Training that is Job Specific
When a course is specifically tailored for their job responsibilities, they tend to pay more attention, derive more value from it, and complete the courses faster. Training might be specific to equipment related to their job, helping them to get acquainted to a new working environment, or to get informed about new company policies. Regardless of the material, making sure that there are elements of the training which are tailored to specific roles within your company is necessary unless you want employees to tune out and potentially miss course deadlines.
3. Online Training which is Current
You have probably seen videos during jury duty, CPR training or driver training which were created for a bygone era. The clothing styles, forced acting and dated technology of the course might be more comical than compelling. Though updating your courses might seem expensive at the outset, the results will be much more impactful if your team is actually listening and not laughing hysterically at the dated content. It's fine to use humor in your courseware, just make sure the humor is in context. You want your employees laughing with the training, not at it!
4. Gamification strategies for eLearning
Humans, by their nature, are reward driven just like other animals. It doesn't have to be financial reward to keep employees invested in an eLearning course, often a points system, badges, recognition by management, or small gifts are great employee incentives to complete course work on their own time. Gift cards for coffee, vacation time, or parking spots can be enough for some people to complete training and maintain high levels in their productivity at the same time. Rewards are better than punishment as incentive to get training completed.
5. eLearning Role Based Evaluation
Many adult learners find eLearning challenging because they read information, they go through the motions of paging through the materials, and they take the necessary quizzes to pass through the requirements of the course. A few days later if you ask them about what they learned, they may shrug their shoulders and not remember. Even though some simulations of real world scenarios might seem a little cheesy while taking the test, having personas and simulated work situations play out for the learner where they can be evaluated based on what they would do in a particular situation is preferable to just multiple choice quizzes without the situational context. Stories make the learning and evaluation process more memorable, just like fables and morals of stories in childhood.
To get the best "bang for your buck' in your company's eLearning initiative, consider these suggestions. Training employees is a significant investment for companies of all sizes. Make sure your employees are engaged and invested in eLearning, and you will get better return on investment.
About Mark Burdon
I am a Content Marketing Professional. I've been successful in Marketing - Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, coaching, web content writing and design