Online training for employees is one of the most effective ways to deliver essential skills to your workforce. With a great Learning Management System, it’s a relatively simple exercise to create courses and disseminate them company-wide, but that alone doesn’t mean things are guaranteed to run smoothly.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a handy list of LMS do’s and don’t’s so you can make sure your online training is a success.
Do Use Video And Interactive Elements
One truly engaging way to relay vital information throughout your courses is via video. It’s an entertaining way to learn, and with video lectures or demonstrations, it’s possible to cover several concepts in a relatively short space of time. People tend to pick up information more easily while watching others, so including interactive elements within courses is something you should adopt. This can come in the form of live video or chat forums, as well as social learning via group challenges. A call to action, or opportunity to respond to content will always be a far more engaging experience for learners than hoping for passive absorption.
Don’t Spend On Building Your Own Software Tools
You can expect to be spending a bit on quality eLearning software, but don’t assume you have to build everything from scratch. Spend that L&D budget wisely! Some great free tools come with LMS packages these days, and you can also use plug-ins or integrate app-based learning technology. In addition to being cost-effective and easy to bolt on, many of these will have the bonus of being familiar to your learners if they use them already in different contexts.
Keep Online Training Brief and To The Point
Here’s an important ‘do’ that often gets forgotten: make sure your online learning courses are to the point and short-ish in length if you can, When creating your training content, you want to communicate key concepts directly and concisely. Meandering modules can be confusing, and worse, potentially boring so stay on topic, and hold your learner’s attention. Offering courses in quickly complete-able, bite-sized chunks is one method to achieve this. Called ‘microlearning’, this popular trend in eTraining is usually received well by learners.
Don’t Ignore Learner Feedback
And how do you find out what’s popular with learners? Ask them! Gathering feedback is a speedy, accurate way to find out how your online training is coming across. You can drill down course completion data on your LMS dashboard, but a simple questionnaire at the end of a module is a great way to directly discover what’s working and what’s not. Don’t ignore this learner feedback – they’ll tell you whether your training is relevant to their work, if it contains errors, or simply isn’t engaging enough. Collect that information and respond accordingly.
Don’t Let LMS Content Get Stale Or Repetitive
One common complaint with eLearning material is that it either hangs around for too long or is repetitive. This can result in poor training outcomes, or your workforce may stop logging into your Learning Management System altogether.
Keeping content fresh is incredibly important, but it doesn’t mean you have to generate brand new courses daily. Switching up the format is a good route to reinvention. If you have an online course you consider vital, for example, covering workplace health and safety, try translating it into a video rather than a text-based presentation, or simply break it down into microlearning units so that learners can quickly run through these shorter lessons that are relevant to their needs.
Do Use Gamification To Motivate Elearning
Including gamification is something you should be doing with your LMS content. Essentially, it means introducing fun in the form of game-like activities within modules. This may mean including eye-catching graphics or animation, encouraging teamwork, rewarding learners with points or badges, or even setting up a leaderboard to motivate people with a little office competition. Many Learning Management Systems come with these features included, and we say use them where you can. Other options for interesting content might include role-playing scenarios using Virtual Reality software, which lets learners practice a skill without real-world consequences to your business. Entertaining, enjoyable content is what you should be offering on your LMS platform, and gamification is a sure-fire way to achieve this.
Do Monitor Tracking and Automate When Possible
Your Learning Management System can track a multitude of vectors related to online training. From individual or group learner performance to course popularity, you should be keeping an eye on your dashboard and responding to the data it provides. Most LMSs offer reporting at the click of a button, which means filtered or tailored reports can be automatically created for your L&D or HR teams to take a look at regularly. Keeping on top of how things are progressing company-wide is at the heart of a successful online training program. In this way, you can spot individuals who might need a little help or a change of direction, as well as offer rewards for teams or departments who seem to be sailing through their courses.
Tracking and reporting isn’t the only aspect of your eLearning software that comes with the option of automation. Other useful automation features include reminders, course suggestions, and feedback forms. We suggest you make use of these to make sure you don’t miss windows for communication with learners due to time constraints or busy workdays for administrators.
Don’t Automate Every Aspect Of eLearning
However, don’t be tempted to automate your whole eLearning universe. While it’s a smart move to alleviate the repetitive aspect to some of your LMS administration (and your L&D team will thank you for this) remember your online training scheme is targeted at real-live humans!
There are several ways to support online training objectives with real-world actions. For instance, you can develop a strategy for admins to reach out to learners if they need help, using the tools your LMS likely comes with, such as live chat or forums. You can organise group activities online, but augment them with in-person workshops to cement new-found skills. Ultimately, the most positive training experiences are people-focused, and exchange enabled by LMS software is the way to go.
Don’t Forget About Device and Usage Trends
While online learning was initially envisaged for rollout on an office desktop computer, this is no longer the case in many instances. Remote working and the use of mobile devices such as tablets and cellphones are increasingly popular, so paying attention to how your learners mostly access their online training is crucial. This is important chiefly due to compatibility issues – all aspects of your eLearning courses must work seamlessly on phones and tablets from a tech point of view.
Plus, the style and design of your courses and modules should factor in how your folks are viewing your training. For example, refresher courses could be offered in a microlearning format and optimised for mobile so that individuals can quickly pick up their phone and spend ten minutes going over a particular topic as and when they feel like it, or during a quiet stretch in their day. Modules with a gamification feature such as multiple choice click boxes might be easier to physically engage with via tablet, and so on.
Do Offer Social Learning To Build Rapport and Trust
Finally, we’ll round off our list of eLearning do’s and don’ts with a reminder to include social learning opportunities within your courses where you can. While some learners enjoy working through modules solo, be aware that your Learning Management System can bring your employees together to learn. Social learning has the benefit of bringing teams together which strengthens the collective ability to solve tasks and cooperate on projects. Building rapport between staff members and trust in your company culture is hugely valuable. Social learning can encourage individuals to become more confident in their abilities and can foster new ideas and ways of working. Both of these things are excellent for your company workflow.
There are many ways to make social learning enticing and fun; either through game-like scenarios, hypothetical scenario problem solving, VR plug-ins or live video workshops with rewards for successful teams.
In the end, your LMS is an endlessly flexible tool to bring your people together as they accrue new skills – be they technical, or social.