How to Perform a Training Needs Analysis
We'll show you how to perform a training needs analysis, and give insights into the benefits of the assessment before you start developing your new eLearning!
Developing an eLearning program often feels like a hike through dense woods. Sometimes you have a clear path, based on the footsteps of those that have come before with previous programs. Most often you are blazing new trails, hacking through the brush with your map and compass in hand and the end goal in mind. Let’s explore some ways you can navigate your eLearning feedback journey and reach your final destination successfully.
Having the right items in your backpack before you begin your eLearning journey is as important as it would be for your hike. Heading out into the woods without a plan or proper supplies can result in some pretty severe consequences. I’m pretty sure nobody ever died because of a poorly planned eLearning project but there are still metaphorical bears in those eLearning woods. Make sure you start with good eLearning feedback tools and begin your journey on the right foot.
Your map is your curriculum plan. This is your outline for the overall courses, goals, learning objectives, target audience, planned delivery and other details needed for your project. Having an accurate map ensures you set off in the right direction, and towards an identified goal. Getting feedback from key stakeholders will help keep you from heading off in the wrong direction.
Involve your subject matter experts, KPI stakeholders, instructional designers and other key project players in a review of the curriculum plan. Consider also involving a few people that represent the target audience for the training. Getting user feedback in these early stages may point out gaps in the overall plan. It also provides you with an opportunity to enhance the curriculum for better results.
The next big tool in your backpack is a well-planned storyboard — the water and food supplies that keep your project going along the journey. Storyboards provide the actual content and the details for the course flow, interactivity, and how you will use other elements like activities and quizzes to reinforce and test knowledge. You will also determine what additional assets and media will be required for the project. Comprehensive feedback at this stage can avoid costly delays and re-work later.
Have multiple people review the storyboards and ask them for specific feedback on things like spelling, grammar, overall flow, clarity and completeness of the information. Evaluate whether the module will be engaging and interactive. Check back with your curriculum plan to see if the learning objectives are being met. Be as specific as you can when asking for feedback and consider using a document collaboration tool like Google Slides to make group feedback management even easier.
Now that you have your map and storyboards you’re well on your way! The next major marker on your eLearning journey is the course build using your chosen authoring tool. This is your last opportunity for eLearning feedback before it goes out to learners. Using eLearning authoring software also brings an opportunity for technical issues and a strong review and feedback process will help ensure everything is working as expected.
Just as your compass needs to point due-north or you will be lost in the woods, your eLearning needs to function correctly or learners will get lost in their eLearning. To make sure everything is on track, you need a thorough and repeatable quality assurance process. This process should evaluate that the course matches the storyboard vision and that it functions correctly.
Assemble a team of detail-oriented testers to go through the course and provide feedback. Include testing in the browsers and devices that your learner group will be using. This eLearning feedback will allow you to fine-tune your course and correct items that may have been missed during the storyboard phase. Create a checklist of specific items to watch for including design, accuracy and functionality and have a team of people run through the module to ensure everything is as you expected. You can use a test management tool like TestPad to help you set up and manage this process.
Despite the best-planned map, course corrections are sometimes needed. You want to reach your end goal and a small pilot group can help you get there. Getting feedback from a representative learner group can help you catch any last-minute changes before the module goes live to the organization. Pilots can also create engagement for a module or even some buzz about upcoming training. Those that are involved will feel valued that you asked for their opinion and feedback.
Include a pilot review within the course reviews with a list of specific items you want them to watch for. Be sure to reply to their feedback quickly and specifically so they know if an action was taken and that their opinions matter.
You’ve successfully navigated the woods with the help of your eLearning feedback process. Now, you can stop and admire the view. Don’t stop your journey there though! Continue to get feedback so you can evolve the content to capture any changes or simply fine-tune it for improved results.
Getting eLearning feedback from learners and their experience along their eLearning journey can help you evolve the existing training. It will also help inform your map and creation of future programs.
Create a very brief survey asking for specific eLearning feedback from your learner group. Include 2-5 questions maximum and ask about things like how well they understood the material, how engaging they found the course or if they referenced the course material at a later date. There are a number of tools available including SurveyMonkey that can help you easily deploy a survey in your organization.
Getting data on how your learners interact with your eLearning is like a birds-eye view of them following your path. Use the available information to see if their journey was smooth or if they had difficulty reaching the final destination.
If you are using an LMS (Learning Management Software) like SmarterU, there are likely some analytics you can get from the course completions that you can use as feedback on your courses. Are the learners taking as long as you’d expect to complete the courses or are they taking significantly longer? What are their average pass or fail rates on the course? This information may indicate areas where you should investigate for clarification on any potential issues and required revisions in the course.
Our team has tackled the woods to create pathways to success for our clients. Have you felt overwhelmed with eLearning feedback in the past? Do you need some personalized help with your online learning program? As your eLearning partner, let us help you come up with a comprehensive approach that drives results. Contact us today!
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