The corporate world is littered with a no man’s land of failed training. Online training solutions that were enthusiastically promoted by training departments and endorsed by senior management have fallen into neglect and disrepair. But why did they fall off the rails? Perhaps it was a victim of recessionary right-sizing, or it did not produce the forecasted results, or the content was stale and not engaging to employees. Budgets are always vulnerable but the performance and quality of your training program are well within your control.
Getting To The Root Of The Problem
Tired, shopworn elearning will have the same effect on your employees as a monotone, uninspiring speaker has at a conference. While physically present, the employees’ minds are everywhere but present. This is a large problem as effective training simply can’t take place unless the employee is attentive and open to the content — whether that content is in a classroom or on a laptop or tablet.
The best speakers use a variety of techniques to engage their audience such as humor, audience participation, and an animated, enthusiastic delivery to capture and hold their audience. Online training must follow this example. From this perspective, the best way to ensure employee minds are present is to create online training courses that capture their attention, facilitates skill transfer, and promotes long-lasting knowledge retention.
Much of the content developed for those first unsuccessful attempts at implementing an elearning program during the early to mid-2000s were little more than an imported Powerpoint presentations with video clips and a testing component. There were definite benefits from a cost perspective for training departments but at the cost of quality online content. Courseware was created that was all about the conversion process with little regard for the learner, skills transference, or performance.
Where We Are Today
Developing online training solutions today is quickly developing into a unique field of study unto itself. It requires the skills of content writers, graphic designers, programmers, subject matter experts, and education specialists. Academia has recognized this and many colleges and universities offer certificates, diplomas, and postgraduate degrees in online training. It stands to reason that unless you have those skills on staff, the training that is developed may not be at the level that you need to positively increase the competency of employees.
With that in mind, there are two options to avoid the training pitfalls described above:
Develop Instructional Design Skills Internally
Grow the requisite skillsets within your organization by hiring and/or developing the resource as part of your business plan. If your organization is of sufficient size, this may be a logical, cost effective solution over the long term. However, if the skills are developed internally, there will be a period of time before the training becomes truly effective. As a consequence, any short term training plans will necessarily be delayed during the ramp up period.
Outsource Instructional Design Skills To A Professional
The top custom online training developers in the market today offer expertise in all facets of course design and construction, project management, video and audio production services, and training and performance consultants to assist in development of training plans providing a one stop solution. Most importantly, the instructional design skills helps deliver training in a way gets the results you needs.
If outsourcing your online training development makes sense for your organization, then selecting your builder becomes a critical first step. There are many companies who will offer to build your online training to your specifications at bargain prices. But frankly, they need to offer more than simple digitization of your content. Simply porting content from one media to another alone won’t impact employee productivity. Performance improvement is the result of intelligent course design and applied learning strategies. When choosing a coursebuilder, performance improvement should be at the top of your RFI.
Click here to view our course samples that demonstrate intelligent course design and the strategies used to improve employee performance.