Training managers face a wide range of challenges, including keeping content compliant, accessible to diverse employees, and deliverable in a variety of formats.
While this makes eLearning a great resource for training managers who require flexibility for their training materials, there is still the issue of convenience.
Elearning is designed to be convenient, but the level of access that employees have to eLearning materials still depends on a number of things.
Do employees have access to a computer to watch videos, download PDFs, or complete quizzes?
When should employees use their working time to finish their online training lessons? Should they be required to do it from home?
Will coursework be the same for employees in a different country, or will they need different course materials?
The challenge of convenience and accessibility still plagues many training managers.
Thankfully, there are several things you can do to ensure that these issues are resolved and your employees are able to make the most out of their eLearning experience.
1. Organize Your Content to Make It Easy to Find
Do employees have access to the coursework they need, when they need it?
Organization of your key eLearning materials is essential to ensuring that employees can navigate through coursework conveniently.
Having content stored in a central location – a resource hub on your website, a cloud-based folder shared with employees, or in an LMS system – will make it easy for files to be maintained, updated, and accessed.
Any materials you use should also be organized by date and title in a way that makes sense for you and your team.
Random files uploaded to your LMS won’t be enough to keep things organized. Instead, training materials should be grouped together within the LMS (or cloud storage system, like Dropbox or Google Drive, and so on).
For maximum organization, you can also include a checklist for employees along with their coursework that they can tick off when projects or lessons have been completed.
This ensures that no lesson is missed and that all files are present and accounted for.
You should also perform an audit or cleaning of your eLearning files at least once a month, deleting any unnecessary files or folders and check to see that all files are where they should be.
Here are a few more tips for keeping your eLearning files updated and clutter free.
2. Eliminate Unnecessary Content
Part of your organization process will include cleaning up content that is no longer relevant.
This will enable employees to move through their lessons quicker, with less “digging around” to find what they need.
But cleaning up content also means removing unnecessary information from the coursework itself, not just your storage folders or LMS.
Streamlining lets you update and replace content without the headache.
The goal is to eliminate any content from your coursework that doesn’t absolutely need to be there. “Fluff” materials – filler for the sake of length, for example – shouldn’t be included.
Many training materials are updated quarterly or annually for compliance purposes, which can help keep content fresh but also poses a challenge for training managers.
Having to recreate eLearning content frequently can be time consuming. Training managers can make their job easier by sticking to a core curriculum that (ideally) changes very infrequently.
3. Use Microlearning to Prevent Overload
Frequent changes to content can also be mitigated by creating smaller, “bite-sized” lessons – also called microlearning – that can be easily swapped out or changed.
Instead of having to read an entire manual, for example, you could create a PDF worksheet (or PowerPoint, or video) with a short follow-up quiz.
Not only does this allow you to swap out sections of the lesson with fresh content when needed, but it makes the learning process faster and more convenient for the learner.
If you needed certain sections of the eLearning module to change based on the employee’s location, for example, you could upload a different worksheet and quiz, instead of having to redesign an entire manual and upload it.
Microlearning has also been shown to help employees absorb and retain information at a much faster rate.
They have the added benefits of being easier to finish in a set amount of time, more accessible on a variety of devices (mobile tablets, phones, computers, etc.), and the ability to be self-paced if necessary.
If your employees struggle with finishing training on time, or they want more autonomy in their training, microlearning is a great alternative.
Microlearning provides flexibility in delivery methods, a better retention rate, and it can help streamline your content.
4. Make Content Available on Mobile
Mobile technology is designed to make life more convenient, and the same is true for its effect on eLearning.
Responsive, mobile eLearning lessons available on mobile – either through a native app, web app or mobile website – can make lessons available to employees in a number of settings.
For employees who want to use their eLearning training combined with hands-on experiences, for instance, an iPad on the work floor can help them run scenarios and then see how they would play out in real life.
Or for employees who travel, they can catch up or complete compliance training on the go.
If an employee is out sick and misses crucial lessons that will help them stay compliant in their roles, mobile eLearning will allow them to stay up-to-date and ensure they don’t miss anything important.
Organizations have several options when it comes to creating content available on mobile devices.
If you create videos, for example, all you would need to do is upload them to YouTube, which has its own app that can be accessed on mobile devices.
Content that’s available in online cloud storage, like Dropbox or Google Drive, can also be accessed on mobile devices using Dropbox or Google Drive native apps.
PDFs or quizzes can utilize either web apps (mobile versions of traditional websites), other apps (like SurveyMonkey, etc.) or PDF readers (also available in the app stores or most smartphones and mobile tablets).
Most content can be made mobile, so consider taking advantage of mobile options when creating your content.
5. Use Forums and Collaborative Tools
Convenience is not only a matter of accessibility, but also one of understanding. Can employees understand the content? Can they find help with their lessons when they need it?
To make eLearning for compliance training truly convenient, employees should be able to ask (and answer) questions, run scenarios, or otherwise find help with their coursework in a way that’s not burdensome for training managers.
Online forums, social media groups, and corporate eLearning blogs are great resources for managers who want to create a collaborative environment for their employees.
Invite employees to post questions and ideas in the message thread, or even upload their own online content and resource links.
When employees can self-manage some of their training experience, this will ease the burden on the training manager while also ensuring that comprehension levels remain high.
It will also encourage employees to connect with each other. And team collaboration is always a boon for business.
Elearning is designed to be convenient, but that doesn’t mean it will automatically make your life easier. There are things you can do to make the compliance training experience a better one for employees.
First, get organized. Make sure content is accessible in an online format in a way that’s understandable to your team.
Next, streamline your content as much as possible. Break things down into smaller, microlearning lessons so that it’s easier to update or change course content when necessary.
Finally, make training easy to do from anywhere. Make lessons accessible on mobile devices and allow employees to connect with one another in a way that gets them the help they need, when they need it.