If I had to guess, at some point in your childhood you were asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I also received this question and my answer was that I wanted to be a teacher. And, I did indeed become a special education teacher. Then, years later, I became a college admission counselor and now my professional journey has brought me to Lessonly as a Content Specialist. Did I think I would leave the classroom after five years? No! But I can say that although I’ve left traditional education and teaching, I’m still a teacher today—it just looks a little different than a traditional teaching role.
As I navigated through my professional career to now, I can tell you I never expected to spend so much time teaching, training, and instructing adults, especially before discovering adult education and instructional design. When I was teaching in a school, I was constantly training the paraprofessionals in my classroom on skill-sets or procedures. Once I transitioned to a role within a university admission office, I found myself taking on a big part of onboarding new employees to my department.
Today, I mostly use Lessonly’s online training development software for corporate settings. And while this is a departure from where I thought I’d be, some of the strategies I implement are consistent. In each of my previous teaching experiences, I had hoped for some type of e learning software to help with implementation but, alas, I was left without any specific content authoring tools. If I didn’t want to do the training live, and in person, I had to rely on general word processing tools or computer-based presentation creation software.
Throughout these experiences with training and onboarding, I can say I learned a few things about creating the best training and development courses. These are strategies I use today, too.
5 Steps for Effective Online Training and Development
When you set out to develop your own online training and development courses, I encourage you to consider the following tips:
- Know your audience.
- Identify what you want your learners to learn and identify those goals.
- Design and create your course or training while considering adult learning concepts.
- Evaluate and revise or edit as needed.
Let’s take a look at each of these pointers.
Know your Audience
As you set out to build your online employee training and development program, first identify who will be taking the course or lesson. Who is your learner? Starting here ensures you begin with the correct lens as you move forward. For example, you wouldn’t proceed with a lesson about customer service for a front line advisor as you may for a manager. Not only may their backgrounds and prior knowledge be different, but the situations in which you want to train for could vary greatly too.
After you know your audience, it’s important to establish what it is you want them to learn. Simply put, create and identify your goals! Before you head out on a road trip, it’s common to plan your starting point and final destination, if not some stops along the way. I’m a prior Girl Scout, so I know I tend to head out with some preparation, and I’m sure I’m not alone.
Create engaging learning content
Once you know your audience and goals, you’re ready to design the content and create your training. Keep in mind that you’ll want to align the way you present your materials so that it’s engaging and appropriate for the learner. For instance, adults are self-directed learners and benefit from microlearning. Adults also want to know how they will use what they learn and not just be told to know it.
While you are building training content, this is the best time to decide what kind of platform or e learning software (repeat) you are going to use. Do you have access to an online training system or computer based training development software? Or, do you need to find some free elearning authoring tools or free computer based training first? Or, perhaps you want to go in a different direction altogether and keep it within your own network by using course authoring software and customizing it to your needs.
Implement and Repeat
Once you feel your training content is complete, go ahead and implement it. However, I’d encourage you not to stop here. Make sure that your learners are really meeting those goals you set at the beginning of this process. Do you have an assessment to judge if any revisions should be made? The phrase on a shampoo bottle doesn’t just say to “lather and rinse”, it’s lather, rinse, and REPEAT! I quickly learned I needed my training needed to be a living entity and have the ability to change as the needs and goals changed.
Ready to create spectacular training that inspires your team to do Better Work?
We’re here to help! Lessonly’s powerfully simple online training development software enables frontline teams across the globe to learn, practice, and perform like never before. See how we can help your team ramp new hires quickly and efficiently put everyone on the path to success. Watch this quick preview to learn more.