The Not-So-Hidden Problems With “Premium” Online Training

The Not-So-Hidden Problems With “Premium” Online Training

Poor online training solutions are running rampant! It’s giving more thoughtfully planned and designed online training courses a difficult time convincing organizations of their worth. Especially when organizations have had to incur; not only the upfront cost of development but; the related costs of employee productivity loss. To add insult to injury, often these “premium” courses come with a premium price.

The problems related to poor online training reverberate throughout any organization that implements it. It starts with the employees who have to come face to face with a course that wasn’t designed with their specific needs and learning style in mind. It then moves down the line to the learning & development manager responsible to delivering it. When performance gains aren’t met, they’re often the first to blame. However, the core of the problem lies with the custom elearning developer who designed the poorly designed yet expensive course to begin with.


The Root Of The Problem

These courses have to come from somewhere though. In order to get a better idea what’s drving their implementation, it’s a good idea to examine some data. The Towards Maturity’s New Learning Agenda Benchmark Study for 2013 outlines some concerns to implementing learning technologies and how their importance has changed over the course of the last 10 years.

Training drivers for implementation of learning technologies. Percentage of respondents citing this as a key driver for investment in learning technologies.


Training Driver








Improve the quality of learning delivered







Achieve greater consistency








Reduce time away from the job








With this data in mind let’s have a look at how some of these concerns have changed over the course of the last 10 years.

  1. Improve the quality of elearning delivered

    It’s interesting to see how this figure has changed since 2006 when only 41% of respondents cited this as a driver for implementing learning technologies. As of this year, 96% of respondents cite this as important. So what happened? There’s a few things which have come into play since 2006.

    Many organizations have already been implementing online training for years but haven’t seen any discernable performance gains. Part of the problem is that the training that has been delivered to employees failed to engage them at a fundamental level. This means that either the developer cut corners during the instructional design process of the course development or that no consideration was given to the specific needs of the people actually taking the course. When it comes to online training, one size does not fit all.

    “Presentation-style” courses do their duty as a mechanism to deliver information but do nothing in terms of knowledge retention. When it comes to improving employee performance, solid, thoughtful custom elearning development is key!

  2. Achieve greater consistency

    Without consistency in training, it’s often difficult to measure results. In order to get the most accurate results from your online training software, the courses that it delivers to employees need to be consistently good. When referring to “good” we don’t just mean flashy. Good refers to having a solid instructional design foundation. This is often where “premium” elearning developers cut corners — which is unfortunately because it’s the most important part when it comes to delivering training that delivers results. Remember…

    Poor Training = Poor Engagement = Poor Completion Rates = Poor Results

  3. Reduce time away from the job

    By nature, any training is a disruptive experience as it takes the focus of employees away from their day-to-day tasks. The job of online training that has been carefully designed from the ground up is to make this a unique and engaging experience that resonates for the days and weeks to come.

    Part of the consideration is understand where employees physically are when they are accessing training. In any large organization, they proximity to the office can vary depending on duty. There may be employees who work primarily in the office; those who telecommute; and those who spend almost all their time in the field.

    With this in mind, an employee audit is needed so that the training experience is tailored to those taking it. This will dictate whether the training is exclusively online training, mobile learning, or blended learning.

We know that when it comes to online training, a poor product delivered by a custom elearning developer causes problems that extend far into an organization. While a developer of “premium” online training may be able to put a price on the product they deliver, that price must take into consideration actual performance gains. They need to guarantee this! If it can’t, you could be paying for it in the years to come.

For more information on how you can deliver quality online training to your employees, download our free ebook Learn How To Create Performance Based Elearning.

Image Credit: TPF

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