You need to customize, personalize, rethink, reorganize, analyze, plan ahead, and follow-up to make the most of computer-based training.
You just downloaded some great educational software for staff training. You’re excited at first; then over weeks and months, you discover that it hasn’t had any impact or influence; and some departments aren’t even using it. What went wrong? The truth is that you can’t just distribute training materials—however good they are—to your employees and expect them to automatically embrace them. Learning is dynamic and very personal. For educational software to resonate with your teams, HR and other team leaders need to take some steps to customize high-tech learning.
Consider these best practices:
- Apply a blended, multidimensional learning approach. For instance, if you show a video, have a transcript of the program for those who would rather read than watch or read as they watch. Elsewhere, pay attention to the speed of video/online learning; slow it down if learners complain or just seem to have trouble keeping up. The key here is flexibility. Don’t make learning so rigid that some people lose interest quickly.
- Offer relevant, customized content. Find a way to connect information in the generic materials to your specific organization and how employers work in it. Consider customizing the curriculum by changing the order of lessons or adding or eliminating topics as appropriate.
- Pay attention to learn analytics. Clearly define what kinds of skills and/or knowledge you want learners to have after the training. Conduct pre- and post- tests, and track the effectiveness of the training. For instance, if the curriculum is about infection control, track infection rates starting before the training and 3-8 months after.
- Don’t forget soft skills training. Topics such as communication, teamwork, self-discipline, and conflict resolution are important for a well-rounded workforce. There are AI-based analysis tools that you actually can use to assess learning in these areas.
- Incentivize and reward learners. Incentives might include attendance at a professional conference, access to new learning materials, tools, and/or technology, and more responsibility. You also can reward learners with gift cards or a ceremony where you give out achievement certificates.
Have a strategy and goals in mind up front before you purchase learning software. Find out from vendors what is included in your package, such as any support, updates, and add-ons. Additionally, do your research, check ratings, and talk to others who have used the software. Done right, you can have up-to-date, well-organized learning materials, statistics, and customized additions in a single platform.