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5 Ways to Reinvent Training

Posted in Professional Development

Author: Kristin O’Leary

There is no question that we have all had to look at our current processes and reinvent many of them over the last four months. With the drive to reinvent, we can innovate and utilize our creativity to design a new approach. E-learning is on the rise across America. According to KPMG, 90% of corporations now use e-learning, as opposed to only 4% of corporations in 1995. Classroom learning and training is one area where reinvention has allowed us to create new and better opportunities. At JM Wilson, we began this process of reinvention over a year ago, and we are thankful to be able to share some of what we have learned with you. Here are five ways that you can help your organization dive into online learning!

1. Split it up

Have a long (30 minute or more) training session that you typically share in a classroom setting? 
When reinvented for online learning, break the content into small, digestible segments, around 15 minutes or less. Splitting up these longer training sessions will enable your group to quickly learn and take a break from the course if a client calls or they need to step away. It also helps your learners feel that the course is more manageable, and they can easily see their progress through the course. According to SHiFT, e-learning increases learning retention rates by 25%-60% because learners have more control over the learning process. LinkedIn also shared that 58% of employees prefer self-paced learning over instructor-led learning.

2. Engage

Consider different types of content that you can add to your course. Online learners will have more distractions than classroom ones, so offering various kinds of content can help keep them engaged. Video, guides, podcasting, interactive content, quizzing – are only a few of the formats you can utilize. As you create your course, think carefully and deliberately about how you plan to engage learners. Speaking of video, resist the temptation to use only recorded versions of live training courses. The quality is typically lower than content created specifically for online learning, but you will be able to tailor it directly to your audience. You can be sure to use tone and word choice that speaks to the online learner and draws them into the presentation. Plus, you won't have to edit out the usual "Can everyone see my screen?" 😉

3. Build-in Resources

Do you typically just include a copy of the PowerPoint presentation? Think about creating a Quick Tips guide or an easy reference that your learners or customers can quickly scan and utilize. They are more likely to read and retain the content if it is short and to the point. Including a guide will also give them something to print and post or refer to when they need to refresh themselves on the content.

4. What's in it for learners?

Make the value of the learning known. How are you communicating what your learner or customer will gain from attending that session? While you know that it will be beneficial for them, it's up to you to clearly communicate what that value is and how their time investment will benefit them. The online learning format itself can also give learners more time back in their day. According to Brandon Hall, e-learning takes 40%-60% less time to complete than traditional learning formats. And what is the value for your company? Outside of information retention for learners, e-learning can also decrease training costs. 

According to IBM, "IBM managers were able to learn five times more content at one-third the cost. As a result, IBM saved $200 million, which accounted for around 30% of their previous training budget." Speaking of time, set the expectation for your customer or learner of how long the training will take to complete. They should know before beginning how much time they will spend completing the course. Communicate what the course will cover and the knowledge they're expected to walk away with after completing the course. 

5. Don't be afraid of a pop quiz!

Once your customer or learners complete the course, do a fun pop quiz! A quiz can help them better analyze the content they just learned. It can also improve retention while creating a perfect opportunity to have some fun! You can offer incentives or giveaways to learners who complete it correctly or first. It also gives your learners the chance to DO something, rather than viewing the content. Be creative and leave your learners with a positive impression.

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