Transform Your Traditional Training Course
How To Transform Your Traditional Training Course Into An Engaging eLearning Experience
Christopher Pappas
20 Aug 2018
Sofia Cloud

How To Transform Your Traditional Training Course Into An Engaging eLearning Experience

Organizations deliver high-quality online training in a timely and cost-effective manner once they embrace eLearning. Online learning has found favor amongst employees because it is flexible. Hence, it allows them enough time to perform their duties and to internalize information around their busy schedules. However, converting a traditional training course goes beyond just moving the content into online PowerPoint presentations and uploading a few videos. Here are 7 tips to help you transform your traditional course into an engaging eLearning experience and creating quality online training content.

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1. Analyze Training Need

Normally, training need analysis helps organizations to identify the areas that need improvement. Especially regarding skill and knowledge gaps. In this case, the analysis will help you to identify the benefits of moving to eLearning. A training needs analysis also helps to identify:

  • The audience
  • What you want them to learn
  • The methods that help them learn most effectively
  • How you can accelerate the learning process

These evaluation areas can help organizations tailor eLearning courses to suit the training needs of their employees, instead of merely creating generic online training content that fails to achieve the desired outcomes.

2. Identify The Most Suitable Learning Format Based On Training Objective

Depending on the training your organization offers, traditional courses can be converted into three common learning formats:

a. Asynchronous Learning

The interaction between online learners and instructors takes place with a time delay. The learner solely interacts with the online training content via technological systems. This approach is effective when employees are pressed for time or are in different locations. It allows greater flexibility and supports self-paced learning.

b. Synchronous Learning

Such as traditional learning, synchronous learning is instructor-led. Learners log into the Learning Management System at the same time in a virtual classroom setting. The virtual classroom allows learner-to-learner as well as learner-to-instructor interaction. The instructor controls the virtual class, calls on participants, and gives out topics of online discussion.

c. Blended Learning

This is a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning. This hybrid approach often involves in-class online discussions or presentations, as well as self-paced activities that enrich the eLearning experience and improve comprehension. For example, employees might learn about the latest compliance policies during a live event, then explore videos, online training tutorials, and simulations on their own.

3. Identify The Best Instructional Design Model Beforehand

Which instructional design model will you use for your eLearning course? ADDIE is the most commonly used model. This, however, does not make it the most suitable for you. For example, you may find that the ideal Instructional Design model for converting traditional training into eLearning for your organization is the Nine Events of Instruction, a model developed by Robert Gagné. Conducting research helps your organization identify the ideal model for your needs.

4. Evaluate Your Current Training Assets (Then Think Outside The Box)

Merely converting existing PowerPoint slides and making it available online is usually the least effective way to transition to online training. Organizations need to identify where content can be added or removed to make the online training course engaging and interesting. You can evaluate, organize, and repurpose your existing training content during the internal curation process. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of lateral thinking and creativity to revamp your existing training assets and make them easily consumable for modern learners. Depending on the training your employees need, you might consider the following methods of content curation:

  • Merging
  • Elevation
  • Aggregation
  • Distillation
  • Chronological

5. Make The Most Of Interactive Online Training Resources

The best way to build company culture awareness in corporate eLearning is to create a sense of community. Employees need to know that their feedback counts and is acted upon. But they must also feel like they're being kept in the loop. Especially regarding business decisions that impact the company culture as a whole. Launch a social media group to provide them with a platform to speak and to keep them abreast of company updates. Use this social group to offer bite-sized online training resources that build company culture awareness, such as inspirational quotes that sum up your company's core values, or videos that feature your founder talking about the company's mission and its origins. Keep in mind that often employees help shape your company culture over time. It's a culmination of their personality traits, beliefs, and work ethics. They're a crucial component of your organizational identity.

a. Learner-To-Content Interaction

Interaction between learners and online training content/subject matters which aids understanding. In order to enhance this type of interaction, you may use flashcards, FAQ, YouTube videos, and RSS feeds.

b. Learner-To-Instructor Interaction

This involves interaction between the learner and the instructor/Subject Matter Expert. It can occur via email, online discussions, online lessons, quizzes, group projects, or video conferencing sessions.

c. Learner-To-Learner Interaction

This type of interaction is also known as peer-to-peer instruction. This interaction is realized through group collaboration online training activities and LMS platforms such as chats, forums, eLearning blogs, Wikis, and online glossaries.

5. Start An Online Training Certification Program That Covers Core Policies

You can enhance the interactivity of your online training content through various design approaches, such as gamification, microlearning, and social learning. Use an eLearning storyboard to represent what the online training content will look like and make the eLearning course design process efficient. Effective online training programs support the following kinds of interaction:

6. Rethink, Revise, And Reevaluate

Before deploying the converted program to online learners, ensure that it meets the needs of your employees and supports the desired behaviors/outcomes. Check if the eLearning course design and navigation are user-friendly. Gather a group of Subject Matter Experts to test and retest the online training course and give feedback for improvement. Keep improving the online training program after launch with the help of analytic and reporting features. Here are just a few LMS metrics you should track on a regular basis:

  • Number of log-ins and completion times
  • Learner satisfaction ratings
  • Learner assessment scores
  • Individual and group progress and completion rates

7. Use A Rapid Authoring Tool To Speed Up The Transformation

A rapid authoring tool features a built-in online asset library with eLearning templates, images, and ready-made interactivities that can help you speed up the eLearning development process. Not to mention, create more engaging online training content for your eLearning course with limited resources. These time-saving tools also allow you to break up existing online training resources and add multimedia to boost employee participation and immersion. Some even have pre-built branching scenario and simulation templates to facilitate real-world application.

Converting traditional training courses into eLearning is a process that requires organization and patience for positive results. However, it gives you the opportunity to improve online training ROI, enhance knowledge retention, and even reduce employee turnover. Use these 7 tips to transform your traditional training program into something new and engaging for modern learners.

Want to learn more about how to cut instructor-led training costs and make the move to online training? Read the article 7 Tips To Switch From Instructor-Led To Online Training to discover 7 top tips to ease your organization into online training.

About Author

Christopher Pappas is founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA, and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU. eLearning Blogger | EduTechpreneur | eLearning Analyst | Speaker | Social Media Addict


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