Creating An Online Training Program
As technology advances and mindsets evolve, remote working is becoming more of a norm.
An Indeed survey found that 70% of people worked remotely at least once a week in 2019. And with the pandemic showing no signs of abating, this percentage and frequency are poised to skyrocket in coming times.
When such a large proportion of your workforce operates remotely, it makes sense to formulate a formal online training program for them. After all, documenting strategies and processes will eventually help reduce your effort in the long term. Moreover, it will help you switch from onsite to online painlessly.
In this article, I’m going to outline a roadmap for creating an online training program for remote working teams.
Let’s get started.
4 Steps To Create An Effective Online Training Program
An online training program is the foundation of remote working. It connects the multiple moving parts of remote work, namely training material, workflows, and communication. Here is a stepwise approach to help you create an effective online training program:
1. Evaluate Training Needs
To assess the skill gap in your organization, you will need to evaluate your employees, individually and collectively.
- Ask your workers to self-evaluate their skills
Do they need help with hard skills, like using a fax machine, or with soft skills like time management? You can also send evaluation forms to their managers to get an objective perspective about their skill levels.
- Identify real-world tasks from training needs
In eLearning, it’s vital that you keep the teaching real and practical. To that end, you will need to break down training needs into precise, real-world responsibilities. For example, a brewery manager may express the need to teach bottling to new hires, so this could form a separate module in your training program.
- Connect modules using logical workflows
Look at your training program from an employee’s perspective. Is the course flow sensible or disjointed? Fill in the gaps between modules with connecting activities/sub-modules.
2. Create The Course Material
Once you’ve prepared a course framework, it’s time to start with course creation. Choose an authoring tool that allows you to incorporate existing course material into your program. This way, you can utilize training demos and resources that are tailor-made for your organization and employees.
If you have excellent learning resources available, you can make do with a rapid authoring tool. To create courses from scratch, you’ll need a full-featured online course builder like Teachable or TalentLMS.
Next, you need to add bells and whistles to your eLearning course. Slide after slide of plain text won’t engage learners for long periods of time. To keep up their interest, you need to spice things up with videos, animations, quizzes, and surveys.
A word of caution here.
Avoid overwhelming learners with an overload of visuals and interactivities. You need to understand the basics of visual communication and use these graphic elements judiciously. Keep the focus on learning objectives, and you’ll be good to go.
To explain a complex, technically heavy process, you can use process infographics. By replacing a boring process reference guide with a crisp infographic, you can make learning resultful and interesting.
3. Test Your Course Rigorously
Testing your software is perhaps the most critical step in this process. Software testing should be done after each iteration and not just at the end of course creation. Check each module on a set of beta learners to get real-time feedback on your training program.
Pick your test group wisely. You don’t want an overeager intern or jaded near-retirement employee testing your courseware since they can’t possibly provide a true-blue picture of where you need to improve.
While manual testing is unavoidable, it’s certainly time-consuming. You can use automated testing tools to expedite the process. Regardless of your testing mechanism, ensure that you incorporate feedback and improvement suggestions promptly. A continuous develop-test-restrategize loop is essential to make your training program agile and responsive.
4. Execute Your Training Program
Using your LMS, roll out your new online training program. Seek continuous feedback from users and be prepared to tweak your courseware as the market and learner needs change.
Your training program’s success largely depends on your LMS. If it supports multiple file formats and is SCORM-compliant, you can sit back and relax. Other essential features are robust reporting and analytics.
It’s also important to design for scalability, especially in an expanding industry. To that end, you may need to diversify your online training program into a mobile learning app. Mobile marketing and mLearning are a necessity for on-the-move learners. In fact, there are many successful mobile marketing apps that started as standalone online courseware.
Want a pro tip?
If you’ve created a standout online training program, you can consider monetizing it. Package it enticingly and promote it on the web. When you’ve put a great deal of effort and time into course creation, why not extract maximum mileage from it? That’s just smart business!
An online training program enables remote working. When employees are equipped with requisite skills, they tend to have better morale and productivity, which in turn raises your bottom lines. The stepwise approach explained above will guide you in program formulation and execution.
Do you have any questions about this strategy? Write them in the comments and I’ll get back to you with the answers soon.