Instructor-led training (ILT) is no longer the most suitable option for company training in our intensive daily routine. Therefore, many companies are considering converting their text-only ILT materials into e-learning modules that feature funnier and more engaging activities such as role plays, quizzes, discussions, etc.
No doubt, e-learning is more beneficial for company training, especially if done right. Below you will find a few ideas on how to turn your already developed and well-working ILT materials into even more efficient e-learning modules.
6 Elements to Consider
If you have made the decision to convert your ILT materials into e-learning modules, you should be aware that it is not simply converting PowerPoint presentations but involves a serious investment of time and efforts to do a proper job. Working with a reliable partner or properly trained and knowledgeable in-house e-learning developers is a must.
Here are six of the most important elements that should be present in an engaging e-learning course. Try to include as many of them as possible while converting your traditional training materials.
- Enrich the content
The first step that you need to perform is to go through the content of the training materials that you have. Check carefully if there are things that are no longer valid or necessary, or if there is more updated or interesting information that can be included. Think about how some important chunks can be presented in a more attractive, memorable and preferably interactive way.
- Create a storyboard
The e-learning storyboard is like an architectural plan that helps create the entire course. It outlines all the necessary ideas, elements and important moments of each module. Using a storyboard can facilitate the conversion of the ILT materials since it will help you (re)order the entire training content.
- Make slides interactive
If we are literally talking about conversion of PowerPoint slides used for ILT into an efficient e-learning course, then the most important feature to look for is interactivity. Higher engagement of the learners in the training process leads to higher knowledge retention and better end results. The interactive element may be a quiz, an interactive video or a scenario-based module that allows the participants to experience different real-life situations in a safe environment.
- Add video
A video can make or break your e-learning course, so be careful when you decide to add one. It is very useful if you want to explain a complex idea, convey a message by the leader in the company or simply make the course more entertaining, however not all videos will be well received by the learners. Make sure that the video is not too long and that it is high quality. You should also consider adding transcript and include written facts to appear on screen.
- Do a professional voiceover
In line with the above point, a professional voiceover is also an important asset of a high quality e-learning course. A dull voice or an inappropriate speaker can ruin the overall effect.
- Translate and localize
Last but not least, if your company has offices in different parts of the world or employees who speak other languages, you need to properly translate and localize your e-learning courses to achieve consistency in the level of training. Presenting the same concepts but with the proper language and examples is very important for a better understanding of the message conveyed.
Benefits of Switching
The benefits of switching from ILT to e-learning can be divided into two groups – for the company as the training-provider, and for the employees as the learners.
- For the company
- Cost savings – the companies pay a one-time fee for the conversion of the ILT materials to e-learning courses, which can be used over time. So, it is not necessary to pay instructors each time you need a new training or cover travel costs to bring your employees to a certain venue;
- Broader reach – once a given training is in an e-format it can be distributed to all offices of the company regardless of their location (after being properly translated and localized, of course);
- Easier management – it is much easier to store online courses compared to paper materials. What is more important, however, is that it is easier to change and update the information and/or improve the course further by adding more interactive elements, videos, quizzes, etc.;
- Consistency – the quality of the training provided remains consistent in time and does not depend on the qualification of the instructor. You can ensure that all your employees receive the same level of competence regardless of their location;
- Higher efficiency – since e-learning is more appealing to participants and gives them the possibility to actively participate in the process – through scenario-based learning or gamification, it achieves better results over a shorter period.
- For the employees
- Flexibility – one of the main benefits of e-learning is the great flexibility it offers to the learners. They are not bound to a certain time or location and can learn on the go – whenever and wherever they want or can;
- Greater control – since e-learning is student-centered it means that the learners have a greater control over the process. They can choose when and where to learn, which device to use and at a pace that suits them best;
- Higher retention levels – last but not least, 80% of people are visual learners, which means that they will achieve a higher retention of the information if it is presented in a visual format (video, animation, interactive game, etc.) rather than simply listening to an instructor speaking.
Choosing the Right Type of E-Learning
When considering switching your traditional learning materials into an e-learning course, take into account that there are three types of delivery for e-learning:
- Synchronous learning – real-time learning that happens in virtual classrooms, through web-conferencing, etc. You have the opportunity to interact with the instructor and the other participants in the training session. It is sometimes perceived as the online version of the tradition ILT, however it uses all the tools that modern technology offers and is more appealing and engaging for the learners;
- Asynchronous learning – self-paced on-demand learning that allows the participants to choose when and how much to learn. It is also described as student-centered since the learner is the one that determines the time and place of instruction. The online learning resources used for this type of learning feature e-mails, blogs, online discussion boards, etc.
- Blended learning – this type of learning combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of the instructor and the learners in one and the same venue, however it gives more flexibility with time and schedules and takes advantage of the computer-based tools for interactivity.
If you are planning to train your employees and your company structure allows it, it can be a good idea to consider the blended approach. You can also view it as an intermediary step before turning to complete online training in the future.
An important note: No matter, which e-learning type of delivery you will choose, make sure to create an effective e-learning environment by selecting the right learning management system that will allow you to create, distribute and manage your courses easily.