This week we’re going to take a brief break in our discussion about Executive Level Recruitment and instead delve into online learning which is becoming a key cornerstone of onboarding, best practice HR, and Employer Branding. Online learning itself has transformed the way that we deliver employee training. PowerPoint presentations or investing hours to coordinate face-to-face training are firmly a thing of the past and most organizations are now moving to an online platform as a time and cost-effective means of keeping learners up-to-date on important information in a manner that is easily trackable and consistent.
Choosing the right software
Bringing your training to life online starts with choosing the right software. Depending on your requirements you may want to build training yourself or you may just need a platform that can deliver training to your learners while also tracking results. If you decide that you want to build training yourself, the right eLearning software makes this process simple and easy.
Generally, there are two types of eLearning software and these are form-based or freeform authoring. Form-Based eLearning software contains pre-determined templates and takes care of most of the programming and visual design elements for you. Typical Form-based tools allow you to publish text, documents, and other visual elements such as photos and video. Freeform eLearning software provides more flexibility and customization than form-based eLearning software allowing you to start from a blank slate if you have the skills and expertise to do so.
Which you decide to choose is down to the resources you have available and the goals you’re striving towards.
Your Learning Management System
However you choose, when you’re delivering L&D for your organization it is more than a matter of putting your learning material online and telling your employees to use it, this is where your Learning Management System (LMS) comes in. Your Learning Management System is the platform that contains your online learning materials making it easy for learners to access them when and where they need them.
The overall function of your LMS will depend on your organizations learning objectives and desired outcomes but you’ll likely use it to upload, share, and track your training initiatives. Depending on your LMS provider you may be able to access a range of “off-the-shelf” training on a range of topics. As an example, Scout Learning, our own online learning product, offers access to more than 70,000 high-calibre professionally developed training resources.
Once you know how to bring your training to life online and the different options available to you, the next thing to consider are the key elements of instructional design. Instructional design is a process of building engaging and interactive learning that meets the needs of your learners and improves learning outcomes. The three essential areas of instructional design include: content, visual design, and application.
- Content refers to the type of learning material that you need to deliver be it something you’ve sourced and generated yourself or something provided to you by your LMS. When reviewing content it’s important to ensure that you’re including content that is relevant and appropriate by being clear about overall goals and objectives.
- Visual design is a great way to contextualize learning particularly when using your branding, colours, and imagery. Without properly considering the visual design elements in your course you may include elements that are confusing, inappropriate, or not user-friendly. If your users experience online learning that is unprofessional or difficult to use they may disregard it and it will be a struggle to keep them engaged and motivated.
- The final concept of instructional design includes the application, namely, how will your users apply what they have learned? Clear, actionable objectives throughout your course with relevant activities allow your learners to put what they learn into practice. Interactive elements are the best way to create an engaging and memorable learning experience.
Online learning has changed the way we work for the better and it is here to stay. It’s rapidly becoming one of the greatest advantages in gaining and maintaining a competitive edge by upskilling your workforce. It’s also one of the best ways to support your team by allowing them to learn through a self-paced and easily accessible experience.
If you need support in bringing your training to life online there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Instructional designers can help you contextualize your existing training materials and publish your courses quicker and more easily. Subject-matter experts can provide niche expertise when you need to rely on external knowledge.
Finally, an LMS provider can assist you in implementing your system and ensuring it aligns with your strategic goals.
As I wrap up this podcast, I need to give thanks to our two Learning Services specialists Jennifer and Holly who provided the content for this guide. If you’re interested in learning services and would like to know a little more, get in touch and one of our learning specialists would be happy to discuss how Scout can assist you in achieving your learning goals.
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