Training Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
Every online corporate training project comes with its own unique set of obstacles such as a tight deadline or the difficulty of organizing an abundance of training materials. These issues can make an online corporate training project challenging even for the most experienced instructional designers. No matter the challenges, there are a number of online corporate training mistakes that many projects have in common. So, before developing your next online corporate training course, have a look at this list of the top 9 online corporate training mistakes that you should avoid.
- Not having a clearly defined learning objective or goal.
Before you even begin creating content or designing the layout and the structure of your eLearning course, you need to have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve. What are your core learning objectives? Which skill sets are you hoping to develop, or which key pieces of information would you like to provide? Have a vague or underdeveloped learning objective will only lead to disorganized deliverables that miss the mark entirely. Think about your target audience and their current knowledge base. What will they take away from their online corporate training experience?
- Text-heavy online corporate training courses and modules.
We've all seen examples of eLearning courses and modules that rely far too heavily on text. However, large texts will only serve to overload or bore the learners. Not only will they be unable to actually retain the information or skill sets you are trying to provide, but they also won't be able to acquire it in the first place. Focus only on the information that is relevant, and be concise when creating the written content. Prefer to include more graphics or images, rather than text, to boost the aesthetic appeal. These visual elements can illustrate your point in a meaningful way and also serve to break up large blocks of text.
- Lack of on-the-job scenarios or examples.
Giving the learners an idea of how they will be using their newly acquired information or skills by providing real world examples is essential. They need to be able to see the practical use of the acquired knowledge and to experience, first hand, how they will benefit from the online corporate training process. If you have an overall lack of on-the-job scenarios or real life examples, the learners won't be able to see how it relates to the world outside of the training module. As such, they won't be motivated to learn or to engage in the training itself.
- Creating online corporate training modules that lead to cognitive overload.
Cognitive overload occurs when too much information is delivered at once, and this will make your online corporate training wholly ineffective. The learners will simply be unable to absorb the key pieces of data you are sharing with them. Thus, they will lose interest or won't be able to see the benefit of the online corporate training session. So, when creating training materials, try to keep things short and sweet. Stick with “bite sized” online corporate training courses or modules that offer the learners a bit of vital information at once, rather than lengthy modules that are verbose and contain irrelevant content.
- Redundant use of graphics or images.
Going overboard when using graphics and images is one of the most common online corporate training mistakes. Be choosy about which images and photos you use, and only select those that are relevant and are in-line with the overall look and feel of the online corporate training deliverable. In other words, don't use graphics just for the sake of using graphics. This tends to just distract the learners rather than draw attention to important information. Assess each image and wonder if it is going to convey the message you want. Is it going to make the online corporate training course more meaningful for the learner? In addition, is it going to help or hinder the objective?
- Lack of group collaboration exercises.
Group collaboration activities, such as group chats and virtual scenarios, allow learners to become fully engaged in the training session. They can truly benefit from the experience and skills of their peers. However, if you have a lack of group collaboration exercises, then you are missing this all-important social component. Encourage your learners to work together by integrating social media discussions, instant messaging, and message boards into your eLearning strategy.
- Out-of-date content or resources.
One of the biggest online corporate training faux pas is including content that is outdated or links that are no longer active. Be sure to check every link periodically to ensure that it is still working and frequently update your online corporate training course or module, so that you can always provide the learner with data that is current and relevant as of today.
- Forgetting to include audio elements into the online corporate training program.
An important part of any training is absorption. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is to include an audio element into the online training experience. Integrate background music and audio narratives that can make the online training course more pleasant. If they are in an online corporate training environment that requires silence, such as on the sales floor or out in public, then they can simply wear headphones or save the module for a later time.
Not including assessment tools to track results.
You cannot possibly know if your online corporate training is successful without some sort of assessment. This may come in the form of exams, surveys, or periodic quizzes after learners have completed an eLearning module or training session. Such assessment tools allow you to track results and collect invaluable data, so that you can then improve upon or modify your online corporate training strategy. Simply put, without assessments, you have no way of knowing if you are achieving your primary objective or if your current online corporate training plan is improving learners’ performance.
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