As companies build a training department, there are many questions that come up. What training role should we hire first? Should we start with live training or online training? What learning technology should we choose? How much should we invest in the overall training function? How much of the investment should be spent on the different functions within the training department?
Online training designers are not the only ones constantly searching for ways to create more engaging content. Journalists, copywriters, and authors, to name only a few others, must create content that people want to read. No matter your profession, if you create content, the ultimate goal is to create something that provides value.
Online training is growing in popularity for a variety of reasons. First, as organizations become more dispersed, classroom training becomes a larger challenge as employees work in offices (and at home) all over the world. Second, online training tools have become so easy to use that the effort it takes to produce online training has dropped dramatically.
Misha McPherson is director of worldwide sales enablement with a San Francisco-based provider of cloud-based digital marketing software. She is responsible for creating and managing the onboarding and ongoing sales training for 250 field sales personnel worldwide. Prior to this, McPherson was director of global learning and development at Yammer, and also held senior sales training management positions at Monster and Yahoo!. You can follow Misha on Twitter at: @MishaMcP
It is the nerd in me, but I like it when I can base decisions on evidence from research. So when I found this study, "What drives a successful eLearning? An Empirical investigation of the critical factors influencing learning satisfaction,” I thought it would be worth reading. Although this study was conducted in an academic environment, there are important lessons for any eLearning designer about what makes eLearning effective.
One technique that helps to make our eLearning content digestible is to break it up into bullet point lists of talking points. A bullet point list is easy to scan, and the content is easier to remember. No one wants to read large paragraphs of text during an eLearning course, right? Of course not. In fact, I have used bullet points in my eLearning courses for years because it works.
We have all made mistakes in our lives, and eLearning is no different. I have certainly made mistakes in my eLearning designs. Sometimes because I didn’t know any better, and sometimes I knew better but did it anyway out of expediency. Sometimes I had a deadline. What can I say? It had to be done. Remember, the point of our eLearning designs is not to create something perfect, but to create content and experiences that help people learn something new.
If you are reading this, you are likely considering how to create a deliver training and/or eLearning to a growing audience. You have either decided that classroom training will only take you so far or that you are going to start with eLearning as a means of training people in your organization. You are also likely discovering that there are many things to consider and many ways to create and delivery eLearning.
I like to read and would generally call myself an avid reader. However there are times when I am busy with other priorities like work, family, or just plain not wanting to read. When I do resume reading, I discover books I wish I had read sooner because I realize what I had been missing. Design for How People Learn, by Julie Dirksen is one of those books.