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If your organization has decided to include more online training in its learning and development efforts, we think that’s a wise choice. Online training is an effective and efficient way to ensure your workforce is prepared and capable of moving your business forward. In fact, more organizations are moving away from traditional classroom-based training in recent years, in favor of the flexibility and accessibility that online training offers.
One thing these organizations are discovering however, is that choosing to provide more of their training online comes with its own challenges and opportunities. It’s important to design this training in a way that addresses the needs of the workforce and identifies any skill gaps that exist. It is also important to choose the right delivery method for providing online training. Will it be self-paced or conducted in online groups? Will it use video and animations? Will it be interactive? And finally, it’s also important to create online training that appeals to and engages participants throughout the learning process.
Before designing any training program, whether online or traditional, we first need to identify the key skill gaps and pain points within an organization. A skill gap can be thought of as the difference between what a company needs to meet its operational objectives, and what the workforce is capable of doing. If left unchecked, this gap in skills can lead to a loss of productivity and competitiveness, and ultimately the demise of the company.
The reasons for skill gaps and pain points within an organization can vary. Maybe a large portion of the workforce is retiring, or maybe the business environment is simply changing. Whatever the reason, the solution is training – and fast. Online training is often the quickest and most efficient way to bring new or updated skills to a workforce. By teaching new skills or improving upon existing ones, companies can ensure their workforce is prepared to take them into the future.
Once a need has been identified, the next step is deciding upon the best method for delivering online training to your workforce. Online training delivery methods fall into two main categories; synchronous and asynchronous training, but can include many variations and techniques, which we’ll also discuss.
Synchronous training is what most of us think of as the traditional instructor-led training model. When applied to online training however, this synchronous method of training can be far more flexible than anything we’re used to in a classroom setting. Colleges and universities have been using synchronous training for years in delivering online training – often with great success. Through the use of chat, video conferencing and bulletin boards for posting, this form of online training becomes a virtual classroom.
Asynchronous training on the other hand, is what we think of as self-paced learning. It is online training that can be taken when a learner has the time to devote to it. This flexibility makes asynchronous training popular among both learners and organizations. Since participants can go at their own pace, those with a higher level of knowledge and experience can move through the material quicker, and those who may just be learning can take their time with it.
Both synchronous and asynchronous online training can include variations that make the experience interesting and engaging for learners. Certain blended learning techniques can be incorporated into these online training programs that help to create a more engaging and collaborative environment for learning.
Whatever form of online training you decide to incorporate into your learning and development program, it’s important to make it interesting and appealing to your audience. Ways to do this include using social elements that allow for communication and idea sharing between learners. They should also be designed in a way that is easy to use and intuitive to navigate. Other tips include using multimedia and compelling images, making them interactive and immersive, and keeping them relevant to the learner.
At Designing Digitally, Inc., we’re experts at creating online training programs that appeal to today’s savvy workforce. We know how to design training that meets the needs of business and of employees. We can help you to assess your needs and skill gaps, and to choose the right methodology for delivering online training to your employees. Click here to request more information or to let us know exactly how we can help you.