What turns good online training into great online training? Great results. A course with the production qualities of Avatar is nice to look at; perhaps it captures the imagination, but is the viewer learning anything? Probably not enough to justify the cost of production.
The engine room of truly effective elearning is its interactivity. In other words, its ability to capture both the viewers imagination and cognition. The act of deductive reasoning is where learning takes place and an interactive exchange is the arena for that activity. Interactive courses can be as simple as a series of multiple choice test questions or as complex as an engaging role-playing scenario.
Here are 10 great examples of online training strategies culled from an extensive list available from The Thiagi Group, a training website devoted to improving performance. These are strategies you can use in your training course to improve performance in your students. Some work better than others in particular workplaces or industries.
As you create your instructional design document, keep this list handy. I encourage you to add your own custom course development strategies in the comments section following this post.
Action Learning involves a combination of action and reflection to solve complex, strategic problems in a real-world organizational setting. Learners apply existing skills and knowledge and create new skills, knowledge, and insights through continuously reflecting on and questioning the problem definition, the collaborative behavior, and the ensuing results.
Action Research is a strategy in which learners conduct research to examine a question. Specially suited for participants who dont know what they dont know, data collected during the research may alter the original question.
Games borrow structures and play materials from popular recreational games to create highly motivating training events. Games encourage individuals and teams to demonstrate their mastery of concepts, principles, skills, and problem-solving strategies.
Scenarios incorporate key features of discovery learning. A typical course transports participants to a specific time and place. The simulated activity presents an optimal challenge, requires participants to make decisions, and provides relevant feedback. [Example: Patient Management Course demo]
Coaching Activities involve the trainer supporting the learning and improving performance efforts of learners through interactive questioning and guidance. [Example: Blended Learning]
Decision-making activities involve a list of items to be arranged in order of priority. Learners complete the task individually and then reach consensus in teams. Then they compare their priority rankings with expert rankings. In the process, they learn more about factors that contribute to the importance of items and also factors that influence making decisions and reaching consensus in teams.
Creativity Techniques provide a structure that enables participants to solve a problem or to utilize an opportunity in a creative fashion. These techniques are useful not only for learning new skills and knowledge but also for improving the performance of a team.
Simulation Games help participants experience an event similar to a real eventwithout the difficulty, expense, or danger of the real event. Originally used in war games for training officers and soldiers, simulation games are currently used in business games for teaching complex concepts. Most simulations are based on models of reality. Computers are frequently used to translate complex models in such areas as aircraft piloting and urban planning into graphic representations. [Example: Process Management demo]
Procedural Simulations are dress rehearsals of real-world events, such as conducting a raid to rescue hostages, evacuating a burning building, or being subjected to a surprise inspection by auditors from the funding agency. By working through these simulations, participants get ready for real-world events. [Example: Patient Management Course demo]
Troubleshooting Simulations require participants to systematically find the causes of problems and to fix the problems. These simulations can use realistic simulators (as in the case of debugging faulty machinery) or computer printouts of output data (as in the case of slowing down the loss of market share). [Example: Make The Sale demo]
The skys the limit when it comes to online training development. By incorporating these learning strategies and perhaps developing creative ones of your own, youll be able to deliver impressive courses that are limited only by your imagination.
Image Credit: Philip Taylor