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Computer-based training is one of the most effective means of providing education and skills training for employees. Today’s employees are extremely comfortable with technology and more likely to accept and enjoy using digital technology for learning, as compared to the conventional classroom structure. This increased receptivity results in better retention, enabling companies to obtain the desired results from the training program.
However, simply introducing a computer-based training program is not enough. The content and delivery of the program matters and determines the successfulness of the outcomes. To assist companies with designing and developing computer-based training, we have compiled some best practices:
The best developers and designers can be hired for creating the training modules, but it is unlikely that they are the experts on the subject matter of the module. Therefore, it is important that you get subject matter experts (SMEs) on board for the project. SMEs should work in collaboration with the designers and developers, to create a cohesive and comprehensive computer based learning environment. By engaging SMEs, modules can be created that are in line with the knowledge level of the target audience.
Setting the right end goal is important to keep development on track. Before starting work on the project, the SME and the developer must understand the end goals desired to be obtained through the computer based training. This will ensure the training program is designed to meet the business needs of the organization. Establishing the desired outcomes up front will ensure the training is fulfilling and worthwhile for both the organization and the employees who participate in the training. An ambiguous end goal will make things difficult for all parties and will not result in meeting the company’s training needs.
Often, digital training programs lose their meaning and intention because of the wrong channel or delivery medium. The focus should be on the content of the program and on ensuring that the end goals are met. Distribution is an important part of the process and a platform must be selected that doesn’t distract the participants from the matter at hand, i.e. learning and upgrading their knowledge and skills. Therefore, it is important to keep the delivery simple.
There is a wealth of development tools that can be employed and deployed for making computer-based training development easier and hassle-free. Developers and SMEs can collaborate using the tools more effectively, and make the training program sustainable. After all, it is easier to simply update the modules or create new versions, if the people working on it are familiar with the tools they will be using.
A common mistake companies make when developing computer-based learning environments is focusing more on the medium or content, than the end users. Taking into account the behavior, experience, and knowledge levels of the target audience, when creating the program, is critical.