How to Create Engaging Online Learning
It’s your first day of work. You’re excited. You’re nervous. You want to do a good job. But then you are placed at a desk. You’re handed the company handbook. You are expected to read it all – company policies, regulatory compliances, business practices. Silently you scream. It’s like drinking from a fire hose. You simply can’t swallow it all. You’re drowned by information overload.
There’s a better way.
Energizing Employees to Learn and Perform
New Hire Training with video, audio and animation captures your employee, entertains them with a company video history, introduces them to your culture and policies as you develop in them enthusiasm for your mission.
Expecting your employees to read – and retain – company and job information is not enough. In this media-enriched world where 18 percent of your new hires have not read a book in the past year, content should be delivered in an engaging manner that facilitates recall and energizes your employees to perform to the best of their abilities.
New Hire Training should include:
1. Company history video to share the what, why, and who of the company
2. Company policies in short and distinctive sections providing an overall view of the company culture and expectations
3. Regulatory compliance training with interactive quizzes to reinforce and test employee’s recall
4. Job training practice exercises demonstrating the “how to” and performance requirements
Your main goal should be to provide the knowledge required for a new employee to be successful and to continue the excitement that the employee had when they walked through the door on their first day.
Tell Me, Show Me, Let Me, Test Me
There are four key components for highly interactive online training.
1. Tell Me: The first step is to explain to the learner what they are about to learn. You can do this with straightforward learning objectives or in a more engaging format with pre-questioning interactions or storytelling.
First, let’s discuss storytelling. What is the most important thing to an employee? Answer: Anything that affects them. They care about how they do their job and what they need to know. Using real life scenarios to demonstrate situations that the employee may find themselves in, such as ethical dilemmas, is the best way to get their attention.
Another way to grab interest is with an interaction that asks the learner a question. It gets them thinking and focuses them on the information they need to know.
2. Show Me: Video demonstrations save time. Showing a process flow, the mechanics of a piece of equipment or how to use a website or software application is visually impactful. Use Show Me demonstrations wherever you can.
3. Let Me: Create interactive exercises that enable a learner to practice a skill or get their hands dirty. Working in a LIVE system is not the place you want an employee to practice. Simulating the work environment – without the risk of changing or deleting data – is smart, as well as cost-effective.
4. Test Me: Everyone loves games! Simple challenges break up the training and focus the learner on key concepts. Some eLearning authoring tools provide game templates, such as Jeopardy!®, but we have found that creating a custom game targeted at your industry and environment produces the best results.
Quizzes and Final Assessments test the learner in a more formal way. This method should always be used for compliance training and when an employee needs to meet specific requirements before performing their job.
All companies want employees who are excited to come to work. If you can make training fun and energizing, you have set the stage, creating a high performance culture of engaged employees.
Utilizing audio, video, animations, and interactive games will retain your employees’ interest, enabling them to learn the necessities of what they need to know to perform their jobs.
And finally, media elements do not need to be expensive. There are free or low cost media resources and tools on the Internet. Everyone has a video recorder on their phone. It just takes commitment, time, and a bit of creativity to build online training that works for you.
Karla Barbree Roberts is president and co-founder of Motive Learning, a custom courseware development and learner management services company. For more information regarding online training development, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (321) 453-8133.