Best Practices: Converting from Traditional Training to eLearning
Through time, eLearning has proved to be more competent and cost-effective as compared to traditional training. Studies demonstrate that those trained via eLearning show an improvement in performance much higher than those instructed using the traditional face-to-face methods. Many companies have converted the traditional learning sessions into eLearning by using various eLearning best practices that assist to achieve excellent transition.
Haven't started yet? Converting traditional training to eLearning format is a great way for your business to optimize the learning experience and generate more engagement and improve performance.
Here are 8 best pratices that we have picked up during the years that have helped us immensely when converting ILT to e-Learning:
#1: Move away from the practice of taking traditional curriculum and moving it online
What works well in person and in traditional classroom situations does not translate to the eLearning environment. Take the Power Point, for example. In traditional training sessions, instructors can stop and discuss each slide more deeply, answer questions and encourage discussion. In the eLearning environment, the Power Point becomes a boring slide show that employees simply click through as quickly as possible or only refer to when completing the assignment.
Remember: “Moving content online is not simply about transferring content - it is about transforming content”.
#2: Identify best-fit eLearning course format
If you want to convert traditional training to eLearning, you should understand the importance of identifying and picking the right e-learning format. Each type of format has its key strengths and weaknesses and is appropriate for a different set of circumstances.
Generally traditional training can be converted into three primary eLearning formats: synchronous learning (real- time), asynchronous learning (self-paced courses, parties communicating over elapsed time, not real time, usually in a typewritten format) and blended learning (brings all together ).
#3: Start simple!
Don’t try to go crazy creating award winning eLearning course. Your objective is to develop courses that communicate content correctly, where learners are able to understand and become better at their jobs. An eLearning tool like SHIFT gives you some really nice starter templates to help you organize content in the best way.
Bottom line: Keep it short, simple, and moving.
#4: Determine which factors are driving your eLearning initiative
Identify the main reason to move your actual training content from an instructor led class to eLearning. It’ll definitely help you be much clear about the learning objectives for the eLearning course.
Some companies make the transition just because it's the thing to do.Therefore, finding out the driving force is necessary for building a course that meets expectations. Are you trying to reduce time and travel costs? Offer a 24/7 accessibility for learners? Or do you need to train employees across time zones? Some of the possible drivers that you must identify.
#5: Organize and manage content
We all know content is one of the most difficult resources to get hold of when converting traditional training to eLearning. We are also aware that content is so important when it comes to eLearning it should be updated regularly with fresh information.
Any organization who is doing any type of training right now, has content… they just have to know what they have, and identify content that is eLearning friendly. Start by selecting content that has very wide consumption in your organization and has barely targeted learning objectives (ex: new employee on boarding programs).
The managed and organized course content has a complete schedule, clear learning objectives, examples and instructional content. Carefully chosen graphics and animations.
Consider these 3 factors:
- Content needs to be organized specifically for elearning pruposes. Copying and pasting information from PowerPoint or Word file onto the screen is not recommended at all. For example, organize content in modules and sections.
- Adapt the tone of content (according to your audience).
- People read differently online than on paper, therefore,content needs to be presented in different ways.
#6: Keep in mind that strategy and instructional design are not secondary to content.
If just start pushing information to your audience with no structure, engagement or incentive, and if you think they are actually going to use it, you’d better think twice.
Some companies make significant mistakes when they just apply buy some conversion software, apply it to their traditional training (slide shows), and publish the outcome as “eLearning. Think about the best way to present the content.
"Content is not king. If content were king, shovel-ware would be worthwhile. There are no kings. Content, delivery, motivation, and relevance have to work in concert for learning to occur" (Internet Time Group’s).
#7: Use eLearning development tools
eLearning rapid development tools can be very helpful resources for organizations in this transition process. Tools like SHIFT help non-technical HR and training professionals build and publish eLearning courses quickly easily with no programming or graphic design skills required. We definitely encourage the use of these types of tools.
#8: Create a marketing campaign to promote the initiative
If you want an eLearning initiative to work, marketing your project internally is fundamental. It doesn’t matter how awesome your eLearning courses are, if they aren’t promoted to the right people, and these people don’t complete them, it’s basically a waste of time and resources. Follow these steps to market eLearning internally.