What is the format for your eLearning course?
Virtual Class, Social Learning, Blended Learning, Virtual Reality… Digital Learning offers a wide range of formats and technologies. Each has its peculiarities and its advantages. Beyond what’s currently in style, the format should never be an end in itself, but a way to better achieve your goals. So, before thinking about what form your digital training will take, start by defining the objectives, the targets and the content. Here are five tips to get you started.
To design a Digital Learning course, you need to have a clear vision of the topic and your concrete goals. The type of program and its format will depend directly on this information. Is there a new regulation that impacts your company’s work and involves all employees? A virtual class or blended learning format could be the best choice. Do you need tailor-made courses so employees can improve their skills on a new technology at their own pace? Adaptive Learning, with progressive levels, is a good solution. Do you want training that allows your employees to demonstrate new skills? Then you should consider integrating evaluation modules.
The technique must serve the training, not be an obstacle. This is why it’s essential to profile the learners, to stick to their expectations and, most importantly, to adapt to their “digital maturity”. So, while the virtual classroom can be used everywhere in theory, it must still correspond to how a real user actually uses it. “The format must be adapted to the digital practices of learners”, says Vincent Gaillard, project manager at ITycom. “Today, smartphones are widely used, making it easy to offer accessible and attractive training to as many people as possible.”
For many companies, this is a daily challenge: how to create something that fits both in-house and remote employees or that works for manufacturing teams who don’t have computer access. This makes it critical to think about how your Digital Learning training will be “consumed”: at what time of the day, on what medium? When will learners be the most available? Will they have a device (computer, tablet, smartphone) for accessing the modules? Again, answering these questions will help determine the format of your e-Learning program
One of the major advantages of Digital Learning is how simple it is to deploy at many remote sites, including internationally. However, you still need to have the right technical infrastructure. If your company has an LMS or a secure intranet, it will be easier. Otherwise, you will have to consider an alternative solution, such as using hardware (a USB key, for example) to disseminate the training programme at the company’s different locations.
The constraints are not only material. “Sometimes a customer comes to us with a specific idea that unfortunately isn’t necessarily relevant. Either because it is not suited to the context or because it’s difficult to achieve in their environment. By discussing with them, we will be better able to separate the expressed needs from the real needs. We have to avoid starting with a misunderstanding or being influenced by a fad. It’s sometimes necessary to make compromises: for example, to give up on using a Serious Game because it’s unsuitable to the context, but to add some touches of Gamification in the proposed training”, explains Vincent Gaillard.
Digital transformation impacts all businesses. When the company has already started this transformation, employees are often more comfortable with training based on new technologies, such as social learning, for example. If not, it’s important to support the company in deploying it. e-Learning training takes a lot of in-house pedagogy.
“Getting to know the company, its culture and how it works will shed light on its digital maturity”, says Vincent Gaillard. “That’s why it’s essential for us designers to immerse ourselves in the business and for the company to be closely involved in designing its e-Learning training. Together we can clarify their situation, identify the profile of learners and their working conditions, and take stock of the tools at their disposal. And work on all this without preconceived ideas. For example, some senior populations are more comfortable with digital tools than some millennials!”