Converting In-person Training to Online Training

The surge in remote work this year has meant that many companies have had to reevaluate their L&D programs.

Despite the rise of online training, most companies prefer in-person training sessions. Research from Brandon Hall Group shows that 96% of companies provide instructor-led training, and according to Training Industry, most learners say they prefer training that’s delivered in person.

That, however, is not possible right now. The Covid-19 pandemic has put a halt to conventions and training days; it’s simply not safe to fly your employees out to a conference for several days of training with hundreds of other colleagues right now. Nor is it safe to pack a local conference room with employees and an instructor.

With many people working from home — the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly a quarter of American workers are working from home due to the pandemic — training will have to change. That’s especially true when you consider that many organizations are now hiring for virtual positions.

This presents a challenge for both the L&D departments that have relied on in-person training, and for the employees who are used to attending them. How can your organization move to a remote setting without disrupting your training? It may not be as overwhelming as you think.

Best practices for converting your in-person training for remote learners

  1. Remember that live training and online training have different strengths. If you’re thinking of simply recording the lecture your trainer would have given in person, popping it into a module and calling that a course, let me stop you right there. In-person training has lots of strengths – learners can interact with the lecturer, ask questions, and have conversations about complex or difficult concepts. The strengths of online training are different. With e-learning, learners can learn something quickly wherever they are, boost retention by repeating a module, or look up information they need when they’re doing a task. When you design a remote learning program, keep these things in mind as you choose your modalities. Which set of strengths will work best for your learners and your course material?
  2. Make use of micro-learning. In an in-person training, a lecturer might go over several topics in one session. That might work in person but online, shorter content is better. Chunk your content into smaller pieces, delivering a module on one topic at a time. That will keep remote learners focused, let them quickly learn when they need to, and provide a searchable library of content that learners can search when they need information.
  3. Supplement your existing content with off-the-shelf learning modules. Now that everyone is working remotely, it can be difficult to distribute some information to your team, like compliance updates and more general information. Off-the-shelf course libraries can help supplement your learning program. You can quickly and inexpensively add modules to your program, and the modules are designed by experts to be engaging and up-to-date.
  4. Love ILT? Keep it. Just because you aren’t able to gather in person, doesn’t mean you should throw out instructor-led training. Features like SAP Litmos’ ILT module let you add live or instructor-led training sessions to your LMS so that remote learners can get all the benefits of an instructor-led session without any of the risk.
  5. Don’t try to change a successful training program. You might have an extremely successful ILT training program, and you might be thinking that now — when everyone is working remotely and you’re investing in an LMS — is the time to expand that training program and make it available to the entire company. Before you do that, remember why that training works well in person. Is it because it’s delivered to small groups only? Is it the conversations that happen in that group? Are there activities that engage participants? Whatever the components of that program are, try to maintain them as well as you can. If it’s a program that thrives on small groups and engagement, don’t open it up to everyone at the company at the same time. If activities and conversation are important to the program, think of ways to capture that engagement in an online setting. Whatever you do, don’t hamstring your best training by simply trying to get it online as quickly as possible.

What do your learners want?

While learners do like in-person instruction, it’s not the only modality they like when it comes to delivering training. Training Industry found that virtual instructor-led training (VILT), e-learning and videos were ranked in the top five preferred modalities for all training topics. – Read more

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Some Companies Are Going Remote Forever. What Will Learning Look Like?

My Post (24).pngAs a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the way many of us go to work has changed drastically over the last several months.

According to an IDG survey released in April, 78% of employees have been working from home more than 60% of the time. That represents a big change; the same study found that most employees worked from home just 16% of the time before COVID-19 shutdown, and although some workplaces are making plans to reopen, it’s likely that this remote state of affairs is going to continue for some time for most non-essential workers.

For many, it may continue indefinitely. Some companies are considering allowing remote work to continue post-pandemic. Research by Brandon Hall Group shows that one third of companies project that more than half of their workforce will be working remotely after the pandemic. Organizations are committing to a remote workforce in other ways; according to a recent story in USA Today, many companies are allowing new hires to work from home permanently, taking advantage of the wider hiring pool that remote work allows.

What worries do companies have about training remote workers?

Those newly remote workers will need training and organizations are understandably concerned about how they will provide it.

The pandemic has disrupted their traditional approach to learning; just 50% of companies feel they’re technologically ready for online learning. This has led to concern from organizations who aren’t sure how they’re going to create and deliver the training they’ll need for a remote workforce: 64% of organizations listed “determining learning priorities” as an important function during the transition from lockdown to a new normal, 61% are concerned with delivering adequate training sessions and hours to employees, and 60% are worried about creating learning content in a timely fashion.

Training content for the remote workforce

How do you plan to train a workforce that will be remote post-pandemic? And what sort of training should you plan to provide if your company is now permanently remote? Below are a few of the kinds of training modules you may want to add to your Learning and Development program.

Onboarding

In this instance, onboarding doesn’t necessarily refer only to your newest hires. If you’re going fully remote, you may also need to train existing employees on the technology platforms they’ll be using to do their jobs remotely — 60% of companies expressed concern about training workers on remote work technology, according to Brandon Hall. You may also be retraining existing workers for new jobs; 56% of companies were concerned about reskilling workers who might return to different jobs than the ones they’d left.

Compliance

Working from home means that your workers will need rigorous compliance training. They’re leaving the office — where you control the internet, the computers, and the physical space — and they’re going to their homes, where compliance is going to be harder for you to control. You need all your employees to understand exactly how work-issued equipment should (and should not be) used, the policies they need to be in compliance with, and the penalties they — and your whole organization will face – if the correct procedures aren’t followed.

Soft skills

Not all your employees are going to be good at remote work right away, especially if they’ve worked outside of the home for their entire careers. It can be difficult to maintain a good work-life balance at the best of times, and the pandemic has been a traumatic time for many people. It may help to invest in soft skills training to help your employees find the line between work and home life, and to contribute to their mental and emotional well-being.

How should you provide training to remote workers?

According to Brandon Hall Group’s research, 96% of companies provide instructor-led training, and in-person training is still the most preferred method of workplace learning in most organizations. – Read more

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Looking Ahead to Learning in the Post-COVID Workplace

My Post (11).pngOrganizational learning is going through a seismic shift. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new world of remote workers, with no chance for in-person classroom training. Delivering digital learning to a dispersed workforce is a challenge most organizations have been nibbling at the edges of for years. Now, seemingly overnight, they are faced with the need for wholesale digital transformation. The good news is that companies that are now headed in the direction of more digital, agile learning solutions are in a good position to tackle this challenge. The bad news is that most companies are not in that group.

For the past eight years that we studied how companies deliver learning, the primary method (by a wide margin) is through instructor-led classroom training, even as recently as the end of 2019. At a time when most people are working from home and travel has all but ceased, companies seek solutions. The most successful companies, however, will be looking for long-term solutions, not just quick fixes for today’s challenges.

At the pandemic’s onset, companies looked to quickly convert in-person classes, sessions and workshops into digital experiences. Unfortunately, that typically meant dropping classroom content into a web-conferencing tool. The two settings are not analogous, however, and content needs to be modified to become engaging enough for virtual audiences. Additionally, it is not a given that in-person instructors will excel at facilitating virtual sessions. These two mediums require divergent skillsets. If an organization hasn’t done a lot of virtual training, those skills may not be available. – Read More

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