Earlier this month, I wrote a blog post about five ways to make your training survey questions more effective. This week, I'd like to discuss whether we should do survey questions at all? Seriously. Part of me thinks we should not conduct training surveys at all.
We all do it. We begin creating a training class, eLearning course, or presentation by sitting down at the computer, typing bullet points of the important things we need to present. If we are in a groove, we can create five to ten slides pretty quickly in a rough first draft. When we get to a stopping point, we look back and can be quite proud of our first draft.
Two questions any eLearning designer should ask when designing a course are, "How will I know if this eLearning course is effective and how will I define effective?" Certainly every professional, no matter what the field, is concerned about doing great work and knowing how he/she will know when that great work is achieved. A surgeon wants to know whether a procedure is effective. A mechanic wants to know whether a repair works. An eLearning designer wants to know whether a training course is effective.
Writing a training course is not much different than writing a blog post, an article, or a book. At some point, you will need to sit down and just plain start writing. Anyone who creates any type of content has had to face the dreaded writer's block. Even learning designers get to a point in which they are sitting at the computer staring at a blank screen, and asking themselves, "OK, what do I write now?"
Too many eLearning courses are lectures in the form of slides with content that learners must either read or listen to. The content usually contains abstract topics, such as processes, that learners are then expected to apply in real life. The problem is that there is a gap between a concept in a course and applying it in action.
Gone are the days when you have as much time as you need to deliver an effective training class. Few businesses are willing to dedicate the time necessary for people to learn new skills. After all, proper training is time consuming, expensive, and organizations need to operate as efficiently as possible. You have likely experienced this first hand in conversations with business managers in which you explain why a class requires four hours, while the manager tells you she can only give you ninety minutes.
There are plenty of "general" reasons to implement e-learning in your company. For example, you could deliver training to anyone in the world, people can complete training at their own pace, and you can provide a consistent message in your courses. These are just a few ways that you can benefit from e-learning, and there are certainly plenty of others.
One of the reasons that e-learning is so successful is that it solves a problem of delivering training to audiences that are dispersed across the country and even around the world. Our workplaces have never been more global and the more global organizations are the more scalable and efficient e-learning delivery can be.
Last year, I had the opportunity to evaluate an industry certificate program with the intent of making it available to employees as a skill development program. My evaluation included completing an entire series of courses, at the end of which I received a certificate of completion. The certificate was automatically generated, and I was able to print it out as an official record that I completed the program.