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!
Online training offers many benefits. Over the past months, even many who resisted its pull have capitulated; forced online during the pandemic, learners, managers, and executives alike realized that some instructor-led training actually works better online.
When reviewing your training library — both existing and planned — it’s a good idea to follow a strategic approach to repurposing ILT — instructor-led training — for digital consumption. This article presents tips and guidelines for deciding what to move online as well as how to go about repurposing instructor-led training.
Whether you move your instructor-led training to asynchronous online training, which learners complete individually and on their own schedule, or synchronous online training, also called VILT or virtual instructor-led training, the environments are very different in critical ways.
While your instructors may well use technology in the classroom, with online training, the technology is the classroom and the only means learners have to access the training. In VILT, an instructor or facilitator may be able to assist with technology issues, but that’s not always the case; learners doing asynchronous online training must be able to access and navigate the delivery platform.
All classroom instructors need ways to capture and hold learners’ attention and focus, but the sheer number of possibilities for distraction multiply exponentially when learners are remote. Virtual instructors must build in engaging interactive activities every few minutes during virtual classes. Asynchronous online training also needs engaging interactivities to hold learners’ attention and focus.
An eight-hour workshop is not unusual; nor is an instructor-led training class that meets weekly for an hour or even a few hours. But asking learners to spend similar amounts of time in eLearning courses is not reasonable. Without the interaction among classmates and with the instructor, spending hours at a time learning online is a very different experience from participating in instructor-led training. Virtual classrooms (VILT) fall somewhere in the middle. It’s common to schedule recurring classes online, but instructors should be mindful of the number of hours learners are expected to be present and attentive online.
When instructor-led training is repurposed thoughtfully, and virtual and asynchronous training materials are well designed, your learners and your organization will realize significant benefits from the transition.
Asynchronous, mobile-friendly online training modalities offer learners a lot of control over their learning. They can choose which device to use, control their training schedule, and, depending on the material, choose a format they prefer or even skip around to learn topics in an order they choose. For remote workers, those who have long commutes or spend much of their day on the go, asynchronous online training is often the only way they can reliably complete training.
If your organization is growing, scaling instructor-led training can be costly or impractical. Once you’ve converted key ILT materials and content to online training, it can be used by any number of learners, at any time. It can easily be translated and localized for learners anywhere on the planet, too.
In addition to flexibility around when and where learners do their training, repurposed ILT offers the opportunity to personalize or adapt training in other ways. For instance, if content is created in small, focused, modular units, such as microlearning, content items are easy to reconfigure into different courses. You can offer training tailored to the learner’s pre-existing knowledge and experience for example, or mix and match modules to create training suited to specific job roles. If you choose a platform that supports adaptive training delivery, you can deliver a unique mix of content to each learner, based on their knowledge and performance.
Most online learning platforms gather basic data about learners’ engagement with and progress through training. Some, especially those that support the xAPI standard, can collect enormous amounts of learner data. Training teams or learners’ managers can use this data to verify that learners are covering the material, passing quizzes, or achieving mastery of essential skills and knowledge.
A comprehensive instructor-led course is likely to need some revisions when repurposing the content for online training.
With a goal of minimizing seat and screen time for your learners, pare your content down to its foundations. Clear learning goals based on performance objectives can help: Any piece of information that does not relate to improving on-the-job performance, is nice to know, not need to know. As you review the material in your training course, consider which content is:
Then, take that essential, need-to-know content, and focus on finding ways to make your VILT sessions interactive and ensure that the time instructors have with learners is used to the fullest — this time should focus on content, skills, and interactions that make the best use of the instructor’s knowledge and experience.
If your course won’t have a VILT component, select a format for the need-to-know content that enables learners to get what they need, whether it’s the ability to review content over and over, opportunities to practice applying information they’ve read or encountered in a video, or the chance to talk through what they are learning with others in the training cohort.
When converting other content to resources, consider how, where, and for what purpose the resources will be used and choose an appropriate format or formats. When possible, offer materials in more than one medium, and always follow instructional design best practices. For instance:
The process of repurposing a large training library can be overwhelming or require more resources than your training team has available. At any stage of your process of repurposing instructor-led training for online use, you can reach out to an eLearning consultant for guidance or assistance.
The team at Flare Learning can provide assistance on anything from creating a plan for repurposing your ILT to doing the entire process alongside you — or taking your existing content notes and delivering completed digital training assets. Contact us today to find out how we can help.
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