1. Keep Learners Engaged
Many online learning courses cover complex and technical topics. Learners are often compelled to undergo training for their jobs. They may, for example, be required to attend compliance training or learn to operate certain programs. In order to be effective, training needs to hold people's attention. It isn't enough to bombard learners with data. Bored users are seldom successful. Here are some ways to make even the driest topics more interesting.
2. Address the Needs of Different Types of Learners
Not everyone learns the same way. There are visual, aural, and kinesthetic learners. Of course, many people are a mixture but most have a dominant learning style. Accommodating different learning styles is a challenge for classroom instructors as well as creators of e-learning programs. With online learning, however, there's the danger of creating an oversimplified course that only addresses one learning style. For example, if your course is mainly composed of graphs, charts, and other images you're focusing on visual learning.
It's important to create a diversity of tools for all types of learners. One of the benefits of e-learning is that learners can access material at their own pace. Thus, a visual learner might re-watch videos while an aural learner can re-play audio files. Kinesthetic learners might prefer hands-on material such as games.
3. Make the Platform Accessible and User-Friendly
In many industries, employees come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Not everyone is tech-savvy. If learning applications are too difficult to use, it defeats the purpose. You want learners focusing on absorbing the material, not having to spend hours learning how to use the platform. Another issue is that people use a variety of devices and operating systems.
4. Learning Must be Practical
If the course material is too theoretical and abstract, learners may not come away with the real-world skills they require to apply what they've learned. Some e-learning content is heavy with data and theory but doesn't really illustrate how the information can be utilized. You can bridge the gap between theory and practice by introducing role-play and interactive videos. Dramatizations can work for certain topics such as compliance training for harassment. With interactive videos, learners can provide feedback and test their knowledge. Simulations and gamification can also bring issues to life in a realistic way.
5. Evaluate Results
With any type of training, it's important to evaluate the results. You want to know what is and isn't working so you can make improvements. On the one hand, e-learning is the perfect environment for tracking certain types of data. If users are taking tests or assessments, for example, it's simple to score the results. In other ways, however, it may be more difficult to evaluate the training's effectiveness. For example, if a course is covering many topics, you may not be clear about what people are absorbing. Additionally, assessments taken right after training don't reveal how long users retain the information.
6. Update and Improve Course Material
Industries are transforming faster than ever. Training material, to be effective, must contain the very latest information. In some cases, such as compliance training, it's essential to include the most recent compliance rules. In all cases, you want to make sure learners are getting the most relevant and timely training. You may also want to make changes to improve the overall effectiveness of the course. You might want to include new features and remove ones that proved ineffective.
E-Learning Should be Flexible and Always Evolving
All types of learning and training come with certain challenges. In many ways, e-learning is more efficient than traditional learning. For example, it's generally faster to update material with online platforms than to publish hard copies of books and other printed materials. However, if you want to get the most out of your e-learning courses, it's necessary to carefully assess learners' needs and strive to consistently improve the platform.
NexPort Solutions can Help
Our team has decades of experience assisting organization in delivering their training online. Our Learning Management Platform, NexPort, is trusted by Fortune 500 Companies and educational institutions, managing millions of enrollments. NexPort is a high availability, cloud based service that allows our partners to host one or many campuses. NexPort Analytics allows in-depth analysis of student behavior and progress while NexPort Campus allows partners to manage students, instructors, and curriculum for online delivery. To learn more about what we can do for your organization contact us today.
About NexPort Solutions
NexPort Solutions Group is a division of Darwin Global, LLC, a systems and software engineering company that provides innovative, cost-effective training solutions and support for federal, state and local government, as well as the private sector.