Six keys to creating online learning that works

The key steps HR professionals must consider when putting together an online learning programme

In association with Home Learning College by Avado

 

 

 

 

Today’s L&D professional needs to combine a diverse set of skills, at the intersection of learning & training, project management, and of course technology. Technology can be a fantastic enabler for developing people and supporting performance improvement – it also brings with it some big challenges.

With the rise of online tools these days anyone can put learning courses online. However, there is a huge difference between publishing educational content and really engaging learners effectively so they absorb and retain information. The good news is, with a little planning you can create meaningful, relevant educational experiences that truly impact learners and improve their performance at work.

 

 

Clearly define the learning problem you’re tackling

You can’t create effective materials without first defining a real problem for solving. People need to see the relevancy of what they’re learning, if they can’t see a real world application for the knowledge you’re presenting they’re likely to switch off – no matter how well presented it is.

Think how this course will enable them to perform specific tasks and improve their work performance. When creating text, graphics and images always keep in mind their purpose in fulfilling learning goals and objectives.

 

Make information accessible at all times and from anywhere

Choose the right medium for the message and consider how your learners want to learn. This will then help define the channel that needs to be used. Amid the hectic day-to-day life in the office, learners won’t engage unless it is convenient. All too many times complex new learning platforms are created only to remain dormant. Learners won’t necessarily migrate elsewhere just because you’ve created a course – so it’s essential to think about how accessible the course is.

With the rise in mobile technology, it’s important to consider whether the course can be accessed on the move. If you offer learners the opportunity to absorb key information at any time and in any place this is much more likely to pay off in the long-term.

 

Select the appropriate channels to deliver the learning materials

It’s important to align the learning materials with the modality, if the material is something students need to refer back to, don’t use a video – the fast-forwarding would be frustrating. Try putting yourself in the learner’s shoes and imagine yourself working through the course.

At this stage, it’s important to be mindful of overloading learners with too much content. Information is best retained when broken up into smaller chunks that tackle more specific areas rather than lengthy text addressing a broad range of topics.

 

Practical tasks are key

Make learners do something. Learning happens best when there is an element of choice in the journey, so give opportunities to decide where they go next, and choose which tasks to get to grips with.

It’s important to bear in mind that practice makes perfect so be sure to include plenty of exercises or practical tasks. Repetition is important for retaining information, but you don’t want to bore learners by giving them the same task over and over again or they’ll end up switching off or to auto-pilot. Think up new ways to tackle the same information and create tasks accordingly.

 

Foster an emotional connection

Conjure real investment from students by asking them to picture themselves in a real-world situation. Learners are much more likely to engage if they can imagine enacting specific scenarios in reality as they’re able to see the value in it and also retain the learnings with much more facility.

Adding a visual element to courses can help illustrate how the content aligns with real-life situations. Don’t just teach them, use interactive resources to let them act out the scenario for themselves.

 

Follow up with learners

Make sure you to follow up with the learners for feedback. Don’t let the delivery of learning materials be the final word. Revisiting and reviewing later on to ensure learnings have been taken on board is critical to measuring the successful transfer of learning.

 

Find out more about how you and your organisation can make learning relevant to your workforce by visiting the Home Learning College website.

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