Making the abrupt switch from traditional, tried-and-tested, face-to-face training to digital learning may seem quite daunting for organisations. In these uncertain times we can offer some good news. Simply that, we are here to help!
By developing a sustainable digital learning strategy now, your business will benefit hugely in the long run. What you are doing now is future proofing your organisation. Beyond the COVID-19 crisis it is likely that in person learning may see a decline. Organisations will discover that traditional, face-to-face training can be delivered at distance through digital channels, achieving the same outcomes as face-to-face learning, with the many additional benefits of a blended learning programme.
More good news? It can be surprisingly easy to get started. Here are 4 simple steps to guide you on the creation of your digital learning strategy:
Step 1: Understand Your Audience and Your Goals
Like with face-to-face learning design, the first step in digital learning design is to get to know your audience and the type of learning that will work for them. Make sure that you also set goals for each programme that can be easily understood and bought into at all levels within your organisation.
Step 2: Analyse Your Existing Content
Do a quick audit of all your existing face-to-face content, making sure nothing goes to waste. Then break the content into smaller chunks, noting down the learning objective for each. Below are three common content topics that can be easily turned into online blended learning programmes:
Business skills learning
There has never been a more important time than now to make sure that your employee’s soft skills learning needs are met. Topics like delegation and time management have become fundamental. People working from home will need more management if positivity and productivity are to remain high.
Product knowledge learning
With recruitment in some sectors being done in a matter of hours to fill in for people off sick or those unable to work due to child-care responsibilities, getting staff quickly up to speed on products is a must. Product knowledge usually involves individuals having to retain a lot of detail, so it should be made easy to remember and easy to link to customer needs.
Onboarding employees is a hot topic these days. Especially for those working in the medical or retail industries, where they might be hurriedly employing new staff to respond to higher demands. A digital learning onboarding programme could help you onboard new employees quickly and consistently, whilst providing a more sustainable and valuable learning experience.
Step 3: Match Your Content to the Best Channel
Start by reviewing the channels you have at your disposal. Face-to-face may no longer be an option, but there are many digital channels from which to choose. Look at some examples below.
With minor tweaks, such as smaller learning groups, virtual classrooms can have the same impact as traditional classrooms, and the same level of social benefits. Particularly in terms of fostering connection and collaboration between learners.
Video is also a powerful digital learning tool. Having a veteran share their story, or a subject matter expert share their knowledge via a short video, can provide enormous value for learners. It is also a more flexible option, allowing people to be able to learn anytime, anywhere.
Creating a collaborative peer group adds another dimension to the learning experience. Learners can connect with other learners who face the same learning challenges and bounce ideas off each other in a way that more traditional learning does not allow.
Step 4: Find the Tools You Need in Your Team
With a clear idea of what you need to develop, you can now assess whether you have the skills inhouse to create the necessary learning programmes. If you have been creating and delivering face-to-face learning programmes, then it is likely that you already have learning design skills and subject matter expertise. It is the digital elements that you may still be looking for. Below are some that you may want to consider.
Content authoring tools
These tools allow relevant and current content discovered during the flow of work to be quickly disseminated to your learning community. It allows you to harness the internal subject matter expertise of your organisation and create real learning communities.
Gamification and reinforcement
Games and spaced practice allow for learning to be reinforced effectively and can practically fit into busy working schedules. An effective learning campaign strategy, where narrative, and media are delivered over time, can also be extremely powerful for engaging and motivating your learners and encouraging practice.
The beauty of digital learning is the power it offers through data and measurement strategies. Managers can monitor learner engagement and performance in real-time and respond to the learning needs of their teams as they happen to make an instant, positive impact.
Now that you are done with firefighting in the initial aftermath of the outbreak, it is time to leave old traditions that no longer serve you behind. As well as offering scale and speed of learning at distance, digital learning now adds flexible and highly effective, sustained, and applied learning to the experience.
If you are looking for help to transition from face-to-face to digital learning, our experts are here to show you how to do this today.