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!
Getting learners’ attention is harder than ever. Adult learners are often juggling multiple jobs, families, maybe school … Add to that the constant presence of their smartphones, constantly pinging out notifications.
To gauge what kinds of learning content adult learners look for and are excited about engaging with — what will attract and hold their attention — Training Industry, along with SAP Litmos, conducted a survey of over 1,000 adult learners. Their report, “What Learners Want: Strategies for Training Delivery,” offers several actionable insights for creating quality eLearning content that adult learners will find both engaging and effective.
Adult learners have clear beliefs about how they learn best — and they expect to be active participants in their own learning experiences. They do not want to waste time on long courses filled with information they don’t need.
They have also “come to expect on-demand access to job-relevant information,” the report said, likely because that’s how they find information as consumers.
Learning has increasingly become social and informal, too, the survey found.
Adult learners have strong preferences for how they access training content. Variations by industry, type of training, and job role were more striking than by age group, challenging common stereotypes.
Forget “millennials only like video” and other ageist tropes. The survey results show that “what learners want doesn’t differ across generations.” When asked about preferred delivery format or modality, age had little or no influence on preferences and “the order in which each generational group ranked delivery methods was nearly identical.”
Rather than breaking along age lines, learners’ preferences had more to do with characteristics of their jobs, their industry, and the type and topic of the training. Key takeaways:
Drilling down from learners’ broad preferences, differences emerged based on the type or purpose of training. For compliance and leadership development training, learners gave eLearning high marks. But they preferred on-the-job training and video-based training in customer service, sales, and for onboarding and learning technical skills.
Learners consistently found mobile learning and job aids to be effective — whether or not they had expressed a preference for these modalities. This could be because the on-demand, in-the-workflow nature of these types of content provided learners with the exact information they needed at the moment they needed it.
A common solution that L&D teams deploy is multimodal training. This not only has a better chance of meshing with more learners’ preferences, it’s consistently been found to be highly effective — in fact, the study found that “the sheer number of training methods used to deliver a specific program improved training effectiveness.” Many organizations are taking this to heart: Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents had received multimodal training.
A multimodal approach might combine microlearning with job aids and workshops or orientation sessions, for example.
Even within a specific job role or content area, multimodal training can be highly effective.
A long eLearning course could be reinforced with microlearning afterward, for example. That microlearning could include on-demand access to specific bits of information — useful as just-in-time job aids and performance support. Learners who have taken training could informally network and share information and problem-solving tips using an LMS or social network like Slack or Yammer. The LMS could also host short videos and documents that learners can refer to on demand.
Creating multimodal content can make training more effective and more efficient — for the content creator as well as for the learners.
When considering content development, it’s easier to implement a multimodal approach from the beginning. Designing and developing content in several forms at the outset is more efficient than creating a comprehensive eLearning course — and only afterward coming up with other forms for the content.
A multimodal mindset could result in a blended learning program — or creation of several related resources and activities that present the same concepts in different formats.
Providing training that gives learners what they want pays off. “The largest driver of effectiveness was whether or not [training] was provided through at least one preferred modality,” the Training Industry report said.
Effective training led workers to greater clarity about performance expectations, higher job satisfaction and the perception that their supervisors supported them.
Regardless of industry, training goal, or use case, provide learners with effective, high-quality learning opportunities. Talk to a member of the Flare Learning team today to start making your vision of engaging multimodal eLearning a reality.
Subscribe to our Flare Learning blog to get the latest online training tips and tricks delivered right to you. Ensure your training never flames out!
Contact us today and we'll be happy to answer your questions and discuss your unique online training needs with you!