Great online training is one thing, having it connect and deliver great results is another. Great training that doesn’t connect is easily and quickly forgotten. Superior training that connects, is never forgotten because it delivers outstanding results.
In order to ensure this does in fact take place, you need to involve the learner in the course development process from the start. They need to work hand in hand with online course developers to guarantee the final product is tailored to the training needs of the company and demographics of its employees. This establishes a connection between learner and eLearning course, greatly increasing its effectiveness. These helpful individuals are the Decision maker, Subject Matter Expert and a sampling of Employees, who have previously been educated on the course material and those who have not.
The Decision Maker
These are the individuals at or near the top of their organization’s hierarchy. People operating under their auspices bring ideas, theories and plans to them for rejection or approval. They represent the final say in training course implementation. They are often but not always, the company’s budget setters. This becomes consequential when determining what type of training program is to be initialized.
They are highly interested in improving employee competency and job performance, while at the same time reducing staff turnover. These concerns are more likely than not, the catalyst that spurred the drive for training course implementation to begin with.
Ideally, by occupying a leadership position, they are arguably among the people best suited to understand and express the company’s wholesale learning culture. They also are situated to most accurately pass along pertinent information with respect to the employees who will be participating in the training program. This data could include such variables as age, technological proficiency and job experience. Any and all such intelligence is highly relevant when constructing a training program.
The Subject Matter Expert (SME)
Such experts exist, or should exist in every successful organization. They are the people “in the know.” They represent the most knowledgeable segment of the staff in relation to the subject matter upon which the eLearning course is founded.
For instance, the projected learning goal for an online training course is to ensure that all of the company’s maintenance staff understand and are physically able to replace blown oil circuit valves in their industrial air compressors. The corresponding resident Subject Matter Expert in this example, would more than likely be a mechanic highly trained and experienced in air compressor technology.
They will act as a Technical Consultant, who will liaise between the decision makers and the custom elearning development team. It is their job to verify the technical validity and operational logistics inherent to the course. They will identify the the relevant specifications particular to course content and verify their accuracy and congruence.
The Employee / Learner
These are the individuals who will actually be participating in the course. In order for the course content to ensure employee knowledge retention and performance competency, it must be tailored to the particular staff demographic that comprises the learning group.
For instance, when referring to an article written by Bill Rosenthall in a December 16, 2013 Training Industry Inc. exclusive report, it was observed that employers must “Be certain that the curriculum relates to the participant’s needs. You must have a clear understanding of the learner’s job functions and their level of expertise on the subject before you design the course. There’s nothing more off-putting than instruction that is off-topic, over the heads of the learners, or appears to them to be dumbed-down.”
They must ask themselves numerous questions regarding the effectiveness of the eLearning course prototype including:
Was the experience interesting and engaging?
Was there ease of course navigation?
How was the clarity of instruction?
Did it impart useful intelligence and did the course assist in knowledge retention?
Did they acquire new knowledge and skills that will benefit their professional performance?
By answering these questions, the feedback offered by the Employee/Learner represents a significant opportunity to fine tune vital components that will eventually make up the core of the training program’s instructional design and learning technologies.
By an organization including these people in the eLearning course development process, they are working to ensure the best possible training product for their employees. They can rest assured that the end result when interacting with their employees will perform as expected; successfully meeting the company’s learning goals.
For more information on how you can deliver the best training to clients, download our free ebook Learn How To Create Performance Based Elearning.