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If you’ve identified a need for training, specifically an eLearning course, as a way to enhance your products and better train your employees this year, you’re not alone. According to the 2014 Industry Report, 44% of companies intend to purchase some type of learning tool or system in 2015. An online training course is a great way to provide key information to clients, drive traffic to your site, and increase brand awareness.
Many times, companies jump right in and start assembling content or recording videos for training, without first identifying the key elements needed. It’s like painting a room in your home. You want to see that shiny new paint on the walls right away, but if you don’t spend the time up front doing the prep work, (taping, cleaning, filling holes, etc.) the final outcome is likely to suffer. Your choice is to either do it over again, or learn to live with a less than stellar final product. Neither is desirable, so remember three things when kicking off a new training course: Who, What, and Why!
Who needs this information? Identifying the audience is absolutely crucial for several reasons, the most important being how you develop the content. Keep it relevant to your audience. The last thing you want is a 3 hour page turner of a training course with people checking out after the first five minutes. Before you begin outlining the course, answer these questions:
A wonderful by-product of clearly defining the audience, is it helps keep the learner seat-time optimal. The ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is very common because companies feel they get more bang for the buck, but the reality is learners check-out, close out of the course and rarely return. You work hard to drive those individuals to your learning content, make sure you hook them, so they keep coming back for more.
What are you trying to convey or accomplish? Another common mistake when first beginning a training program is throwing in too much information or a bunch of unrelated content. Keep your training content focused and concise.
This is essentially the “What’s in it for me” question. There are a couple of ways to best get this information across to the learner:
While the tips above can help you plan an eLearning course that provides real value to your audience, they can all be distilled down into one central idea: always hold the leaner’s needs above all else. Is the content relevant? Is it valuable? Is it easy to find and access? And perhaps the most important question of all: Would you want to sit through the course you just developed?
Tim Halter is the COO and head of eLearning at Charisma! Communications, an auto-focused agency that offers public relations, video production and eLearning services. He can be reached at Tim@Charismacommunications.com.