Learning new quality information is a way to remain mentally agile, and to continually improve and explore our potential.
In our professional life, this translates into becoming a more valuable employee with a wider range of skills and competencies.
Companies have the structure and resources to offer learning opportunities to their staff to create a stronger, more skilled and knowledgeable workforce that is better able to reach shared goals.
Training is valuable, especially in light of reports showing that 74% of employees don’t believe they are reaching their full potential. Another 68% of employees consider training and development the company’s most important policy
But how do you approach such a herculean task if your colleagues are split between working in the office work and from home?
They should all be able to follow the same courses.
You’ll need to set it up as a telematics experience, as a well-structured online course providing all of the employees with the same curated knowledge base, regardless of their location.
Today, we’ll help you get to the bottom of what needs to be considered when creating such learning and development opportunities.
Find Out What They Want/Need to Learn More About
When in doubt, ask. What do your employees want or need to learn more about?
Try and stay on topics relevant for the business, but feel free to switch between hard and soft skills.
Is there a new software or a system you’ve recently introduced, with people having trouble adapting to it? Maybe a step-by-step tutorial would be in order.
Have the laws regulating your line of business changed?
Are your co-workers coming across scattered fragments of information but have no real overview of the changes and it’s hurting productivity? You may need a comprehensive run-through to get everyone on the same track.
In order to eliminate any unhelpful input, consider conducting an internal survey.
Offer a few viable options for an online course for employees to choose from, instead of only asking them a blank open question.
This will show you where to focus your attention and reveal the areas in which additional training and development could do the most good, yet without overwhelming your team.
Create Resources Accessible to All
Once you’ve gathered and analyzed the data and decided on the topic, you’ll need to start thinking about platforms and accessibility.
Some formats that may work very well in-house might not work so well for alternately located colleagues and may discourage them or diminish their ability to follow the course.
Create a hub of information and resources that can be fully accessed digitally. Here you will store all the necessary materials for successful course completion. The digital format will even improve course functionality.
Your platform doesn’t have to be fancy. Any sort of cloud storage such as Google drive would do to hold resources, and it’s best to use the platforms your colleagues are already familiar with.
You can even give out “homework” via forms in open docs or Google sheets.
Of course, the way you store and distribute the course modules, classes, or themes will depend on the format you choose to deliver your content(Learning ).
Diversify Teaching Formats
Tools by which you impart new knowledge matter. No format is generally “the best,”, but each format will suit your subject and goal to a different degree.
With online platforms, you can reap the benefits of technology and explore various formats to:
- enhance attention
- improve information retention
- increase engagement
- keep track of progress
- ensure successful completion
Think about the topic of your online course and the life circumstances of those who are going to benefit from it.
Does your subject matter demand video demonstrations, charts, or face-to-face communication?
Should the participants be able to see the instructor (for example, if it’s a course on nonverbal communication), or will a slideshow with a voiceover be enough?
Does the curriculum call for a lot of interactive work and practical tasks?
Various aspects of your online course will benefit from different formats, so combine them for the best results.
For instance, the intro may be a video greeting the participants, followed by a more theoretical first module where audio is enough.
Then, the second one may benefit from screencasting, and the third from an interactive classroom where all can participate and practice the skillset.
However, remember – less is more. Keep the experience streamlined and avoid piling on elements for their own benefit. Instead, let each form you choose have a purpose, benefitting the learners.
Make It Bite-Sized and Digestible
If you’ve decided on creating a course, you will most certainly have a lot to cover.
Still, don’t get too carried away with the amount of information you offer, to avoid overwhelming the attendees.
Reduce information to bite-sized chunks to facilitate what is called “microlearning.”
If participants feel overwhelmed or frustrated because they can’t keep up, you’ll lose them before they complete the course.
People are far better at absorbing small nuggets of information spread out over a longer period of time than a large amount of information presented to them all at once.
When contemplating content, keep in mind that people have a lot on their plates and that your online course will not be the centerpiece of their day.
Remember that they will most likely come to it already tired with diminished attention or will soon be distracted by something.
How you build your online course matters.
For instance, if you have a large section to cover, rather than cramming it in a 45-minute monologue, break it down into a couple of 5-15 minute videos, tasks, or audios.
Instead of trying to say everything at once, give your attendees guidelines and most important facts, and provide them with additional materials or sources they can study at their own pace.
Learning new things is hard and demands a lot of energy. It jolts us from autopilot in which we’ve routinized most of the practical knowledge into habits.
It pushes us out of our comfort zone, and that’s good.
Keep in mind that training programs bring companies 218% higher revenue per employee and a $30 return in productivity for each dollar spent on e-learning.
Help your team learn and develop by creating an online course that is accessible regardless of location.
Survey potential participants on the choice of topic and create high-quality resources available to all participants.
During the course, vary the teaching format to hold your participants’ interest by making sure your content is easily digestible, concise, and clear.
When we know better, we do better — and everyone benefits.