As training professionals, we’re living in exciting times. The convergence of technology and advances in instructional system design principles have led to training programs that are more effective in their goal of knowledge transfer. It has also allowed for training that is more available and more easily consumed than ever before. We need look no further than the growing adoption of online training as a perfect example of how technology is enhancing the learning experience and providing increased access to knowledge.
Benefits of Online Training
The benefits of online learning aren’t found solely in the reduced cost of training, but in the increased efficiency and effectiveness of lesson delivery. This is due to a number of important factors that online training addresses. Let’s take a look at a few of these benefits:
- Consistent and repeatable. Unlike classroom-based training which can be influenced by a variety of environmental factors, online training delivers a consistent and repeatable learning experience. Also, once an online training course is developed it can be delivered over and over again, unlike the single-delivery model of classroom training.
- Learner-paced. Online training offers the ability for learners to work at their own pace, and to review the material as necessary. In a classroom or other multi-learner setting, some individuals learn at a faster rate than others. This can lead to inequalities in the effectiveness of training delivery.
- Increases productivity. Traditional training can require a worker to be away from the job for a period of up to a week or more. The loss of productivity – not to mention the outright cost – makes this an inefficient way to train your workforce. Online training offers learners the ability to update job skills while taking far less time away from productive work.
- More interactive. With the new tools and techniques available to developers, online training can deliver a far more interactive and immersive learning experience. Through the use of virtual reality, simulations and interactive learning scenarios, online training offers the ability for learners to see and perform sometimes complex tasks – not just hear about them.
- More enjoyable. In any training setting, the more enjoyable an experience it is, the more a learner will get from it. Online training can create an engaging, fun and interesting way for knowledge transfer to take place.
How to Convert to Online Training
A challenge that many learning and development departments face is how to transition from the current model of traditional training delivery to online training. What works well in a classroom setting may not translate easily to online training. That’s why it pays to engage the experts in evaluating the best ways to convert your current model to an effective online training model. Some of the best-practices for doing this conversion include:
- Avoid simply transferring content. The best online training comes from transforming your current content into an engaging, interesting and interactive digital learning experience.
- Create a story around your lesson. Develop your learning material into a story that tells not only how, but gives the details and allows a learner to explore the concept.
- Identify the best design for the material. Most classroom training has been developed without an eye for whether this is the most effective method of delivery. Converting to online training is an opportunity to review and identify the best way to deliver the lesson.
- Give them the opportunity to see it from different angles. Online training has the ability to allow for different learning styles and techniques. By converting asynchronous training into interactive exploration, training becomes far more effective.
Training the Next Generation
Online training is hitting its stride just as the Millennial generation is most in need of it. Here we have a workforce that is extremely comfortable using technology, and has the ability and desire to learn via online training and other eLearning methods. The implications for business are obvious. With a willing audience, available technology, access to online training expertise and a mandate to provide the most effective training possible – focusing on online training makes more sense than ever.
In recent years the emphasis of training programs has shifted from simply improving the bottom line of companies to improving the capabilities of the workforce. Online training plays a pivotal role in such a transition. Here at Designing Digitally, Inc., we’re experts at designing and developing online training to meet the growing needs of today’s organizations. Let us know how we can help your company to implement an effective online training program.