This should be easy since I’m in the business of advising my clients all the time on tools they should be using to build online training. I’ve been in the training field for about 20 years as an instructor/trainer/instructional designer/LMS implementer/LMS/Administrator/speaker/facilitator/sales rep/service technician/support analyst. If it involves training and education I’ve done it. So, I figured I could list out some obvious and not so obvious tools that will help you build engaging online training courses that can educate and protect your business. After all, it’s no secret that well-trained employees are the core of any successful business.
1. Video – Super obvious, right? Video is the great equalizer. It allows you and your message to be consistently delivered to anyone at any time. It’s a duplicator or the closest thing we’ve come to it. It’s a great idea to tell all your employees how something should be done but if you can show them too it becomes a no brainer. We invest in expensive equipment, costly insurance policies, branding and marketing but what about the brand itself? The people you have representing you are the brand so make darn sure they know how to do their job. Showing them with video in addition to in person is the best and most cost-effective way to save money in the long run. The best thing about this is almost everyone is walking around with a great video camera on their smart phone and editing video has become so easy. Don’t pay high dollar productions costs when your employees care way more about the substance than the sizzle.
2. Images – I’m not talking cute little clip art pics but pictures of your business equipment, your employees and your surroundings. When employees log in to take an online training course and see pictures of fellow employees, equipment they recognize or facilities they work at, it tends to resonate so much more then general web based and often purchased at a high cost images. Why pay for images that can be photographed by you?
3. Gamification – Interactive Games are a great way to get your audience engaged in the learning process while also keeping it fun. There’s a lot of gaming tools and sites out there but we love the ease and price (free) of Quizlet. Check it out here https://quizlet.com/
4. Quizzes & Assessments – Okay, this is an obvious one for me but I am always surprised how few people actually implement this into their e-learning materials. It’s doing a few things. Quizzes help you engage your audience in interactions to help drive home learning messages. It can also be a pause point for some quick reflection about the lesson you just taught all the while ensuring your audience isn’t just going through the motions, clicking next and moving to the exam. Lastly, those final exams are what helps you determine if lessons are being comprehended. They also help point out strengths and weaknesses in areas of expertise you want your audience to learn. Most LMS’s will give you statistics on which questions are being answered correctly, helping to identify strengths and weaknesses of your staff or learning audience. Use this information. If your target passing threshold of a question is 65% and your audience is only passing it at 30% there is an obviously glaring need to address the content of that question so the learners have a better chance at retaining that information.
5. Third party embed code sites. These are the websites you get to borrow pre-built material from. Why don’t people do this more often for standard training information? Someone has usually gone through the trouble and effort to build out the training material for you. Why not grab that material for free and use it and you focus on building what is your unique messages and lessons? I’m talking about sites like YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare, SlideBoom, PowToon, JibJab, and Prezi. There’s tons of cool sites, this is just a shout out to the obvious ones.
There you have it, 5 tools that will help you build a world class, fun and interactive learning experience without breaking the bank. Every one of these suggestions is a free way to help design engaging learning modules.