When your employees participate in a well designed eLearning program that is based on established learning goals, everyone will benefit. These training goals indicate what knowledge and skills are expected of employees when training is complete. Consequently, they influence what type of eLearning course will be built. This may sound obvious however, statistics show that over 90% of eLearning courses fail to deliver on the original training goals.
The following are three typical training outcomes, each with a description of a training approach needed to achieve those goals.
1) Knowledge Acquisition
This is the straightforward process of passing on information to other people. Employees simply need to cover the required material, retain learned knowledge and grasp the meaning on a fundamental level. Many times this type of training outcome can be achieved through the format of an E-manual presenting “How To” instructions.
A great example of this is looking at a small SCUBA company with three boats and a perfect safety record. Motivated to stay incident free, they decide to implement a tablet-based eManual to further assist their tour guides in best safety procedures. Once the employees complete the manual they then have to undergo a comprehensive test before they can be re-certified by the company. This type of training approach was quick, inexpensive and easy to deliver. Furthermore, it did not require employees to take extra time off to physically attend an instructor-led safety workshop. By taking the course on their mobile devices, employees were able to learn at their own pace to ensure passenger safety is maximised and no one gets left behind.
Simulations affect employee capability by encouraging individuals to demonstrate their competence. Upon course completion, they must be able to exhibit both physical and intellectual capability in the real world. A simulation is most commonly presented in an animated imitation or mock-up of the skill set looking to be acquired. Other techniques could include interactive decision making or role-playing scenarios.
A great example of this technique was employed by a very popular diner chain that wanted to train their line cooks across the country to put out consistent product. In order to do this, they had an interactive eLearning course designed that visually replicated their cooking line. It included fryers, flat-top and gas burners along side all of the food items needed to cook any number of their breakfast orders. Upon completion of the educational portion of the course, the employee would then participate in a timed simulation where they would drag and drop the correct ingredients onto the proper equipment and “cook” the “food” for the proper length of time. If they miscalculated the time or ingredients, the food would appear to burn and they would have to repeat the task over, until the job was properly performed. After the eLearning simulation is successfully completed, the employee must then demonstrate their acquired skills in front of the head chef, validating their new capability.
Performanced based eLearning is designed to affect the employee’s capability and motivation in order to assist them to act correctly in a manner congruent to the particular situation at hand. This training outcome requires involved, in-depth custom eLearning development. A custom developed elearning program will most likely include extensive interactivity represented by learning technologies such as performance tools and gamification. Many times, blended learning can be applied to achieve this training outcome. This could be done by using an online learning course that is partnered with either one-on-one or classroom-style instruction and coaching.
Example: A construction company has just acquired the contract for a new downtown building. Mainly having experience in residential jobs, they need to bring their employees up to speed concerning commercial safety standards and compliance. Their staff will also be operating some different equipment and will need instruction on handling. A blended learning solution may very well work here. Pair a simulation with a digital performance tool, and their people should be good to go!
Digital performance tools are smart systems used by employees on phones, tablets and computers to directly assist with their jobs. They ensure job tasks are done consistently correct while reducing work steps and management guidance.
By matching the right eLearning approach to the desired training outcome, companies can successfully improve employee performance and reduce cost compared to that of stand alone, instructor-led training. Whatever your training outcome may be, a professional instructional designer can help you configure the best possible training solution for your company.