Is your company on the threshold of offering online corporate training to your employees? If so, congratulations. Online learning is a cost-effective, schedule-friendly way to teach your staff valuable skills and concepts. As with any training initiative, however, you will encounter challenges.
Removing hurdles beforehand is much easier than overcoming them.
By becoming aware of the most common obstacles faced by online learning and identifying ways to overcome these hurdles, you will be better able to maximize your online corporate training program’s effectiveness.
Your staff members may differ greatly according to their levels of computer literacy and tech savvy. While this will put some employees at a disadvantage, there are ways to overcome this hurdle.
- Program Design. The most obvious solution is to incorporate a beginners’ level computer course into your training program that will teach technological newbies the basics.
- Interface Design. “How to Attack Your 5 Toughest eLearning Challenges” states that it is a wise idea, when selecting an online course, to choose one that uses an interface that matches the skill-level of your learners.
- Tech Support. When choosing an online training provider, ensure that they offer adequate technical support. Carefully consider what forms you’d like this support to take as well, such as live chats, a toll-free telephone number, e-mail, or an FAQ section.
Online courses are a great way to motivate tech-resistant employees to become more comfortable using computers and the Internet. In turn, this new knowledge will also enable them to better meet the demands of the workplace.
A thriving business is likely a noisy hub of activity, which is a good thing. On the flip side, however, a “hustle and bustle” atmosphere is not exactly conducive to learning. Plus, the very nature of the computer its self can be a distraction with Facebook, Angry Birds and other inviting features begging for attention. There are ways to keep the focus on the task at hand–learning.
- Offer a Study Place. Create a designated quiet spot for employees to engage in online training without interruption. Ensure that it is removed from the demands of customers, the phones, and their ever-increasing “in box.”
- Distraction-Reducing Software. “Tips for Overcoming Distractions in Online Classes” recommends the use of distraction-reducing software to block out social media, e-mail, and games for specified chunks of time.
Learning in Isolation
In a traditional classroom setting, students are afforded the opportunity to learn from one another. The independent nature of online courses can make this more difficult, but there are ways to foster discussion and collaborative learning.
- Face Time. Incorporate collaboration into your online training initiative by requiring learners to meet with each other to discuss course assignments, complicated concepts, and assist one another with problem areas. “Top 9 Online Corporate Training Mistakes You Should Avoid” adds that you could “encourage your learners to work together by integrating social media discussions, instant messaging, and message boards into your eLearning strategy.”
- Course Design. Select courses that include interactive elements such as group chats and message boards.
- Mentoring. If your online training program is geared towards training new employees, assign a mentor to oversee their progress, respond to questions, and help them see how what they are learning applies to the workplace.
Yes, with a little forethought, you can outsmart the obstacles associated with online learning. By anticipating the hurdle’s every move, you can prevent it from tripping up your learner and ensure that each of your staff members enjoy a productive and successful online learning experience.
What obstacles associated with online learning have you encountered? How did you overcome them?