BenchPrep Team July 29th, 2020
Top 5 Questions Answered About Quickly Moving to Digital Learning
Are you thinking about moving your instructor-led resources to a digital learning environment?
You’re not alone. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report, 58% of organizations are reporting budget increases for online learning.
Yet, putting your courses online remains a formidable challenge.
How much content should you upload? Should your courses be self-paced or include live instructor sessions? How do you even schedule video meetings anyways?
The list goes on and on.
Truthfully, you don’t need to know all the answers to those questions right now. This blog will answer the top 5 frequently asked questions about quickly moving to digital learning.
1. How do you know what’s essential to shift online?
Any course has two essential components—1) content and 2) assessments.
When you shift your instructor-led courses to a digital learning solution, your learners need on-demand access to learning materials like videos, lectures, textbooks, flashcards, or other resources. However, don’t stop here.
To make the learning stick, you need to provide a way to test their learning through quizzes, assignments, discussion forms, gamified activities, or other forms of assessments.
By focusing on these essential components first, you are able to see how your content performs with your learners and if they retain that content during the assessment period. When evaluating which eLearning solution is the right fit for your organization, be sure to add data analytics to the needs list. Data analytics will be able to tell you if your content is working, where your learners are engaging with your content the most, and more.
It’s important to start by giving your learners access to these two essential components before worrying about eLearning best practices.
2. What parts of a course are easiest to transition online?
Whether you’re teaching in a classroom or using eLearning, your goal remains the same—solve a business problem through training. You can transfer your learning objectives from your instructor-led training directly to your eLearning experience, but be cautious that your learning objectives are aligned with your current business needs before the transition. You don’t want to do double the work.
So before you begin the work of transitioning to online courses, check in to see if your business needs have also changed and if you need to restructure your courses or add additional course content to meet your goals.
Then, consider your existing course content. Do you offer your learners textbooks, PDFs, lectures, or some combination? Do they need to complete tasks or assignments as they work through the material? The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to start from scratch, even if your content exists in a primarily analog format.
Start with what you have now so you can scale later. Consider how you can break your textbooks or PDFs into smaller, bite-size lessons you can deliver online. Make a plan to transition your lectures into videos or webinars. For more help adapting your content for the digital world, check out this blog post.
And as you plan for a long term online learning strategy, look for a learning management system that helps you deliver this content in an engaging way that also gives your learners plenty of opportunities to test their knowledge and complete assignments.
3. How do you make people feel comfortable with online learning?
When it comes to online learning, it’s important to make sure your program does not make your learners feel isolated. Luckily, new technologies give learners the opportunity to feel connected from the comfort of their home..
Learning management systems (LMS) are one example of a technology that makes the learner experience easier for your learner by having a variety of learning methods incorporated into the platform that fit every learning style.
If the learner likes a lecture style, many learning management system solutions provide integrations with video conferencing software platforms like Zoom or GoToWebinar to create the classroom experience through video form.
Or if your learner likes more interactive activities, there are many features with an LMS that can create that experience like discussion boards, flashcards, and gamification. Here are some benefits of those interactive features:
- Discussion boards: This feature allows learners to interact with their peers and instructors on specific topics that they are covering. It keeps the learners engaged after the lesson has ended.
- Flashcards: This is a tool that works both inside and outside the classroom. This interactive activity improves memory by igniting the brain's connection to the content your learner is studying through a learning method called spaced repetition.
- Gamification: Think of gamification as a video game but for learning purposes. By adding this immersive experience to your learning platform, you will be able to increase the learners’ engagement and retention.
Your learning management system should not only make your learners feel comfortable, but also improve your learners’ outcomes.
4. Is now the time to be using new technologies?
Trying out new technologies makes a ton of sense right now. With other options unavailable, we’ve all become more adventurous in our technology usage.
As an added bonus, new technologies can elevate your eLearning experience from good to great. Some learning technologies, like virtual reality or scenario-based learning, closely mirror the real world while allowing learners to practice skills in new ways.
Self-paced digital solutions can also take advantage of how the brain learns. People forget 47% of what they learn 20 minutes later and 67% within 24 hours. So a lecture probably isn’t the most efficient way to transfer knowledge. With an online platform, learners can space out their learning to minimize the amount they forget. It’s a practice called spaced repetition. And, online platforms are great at providing spaced repetition because they’re available on-demand and easily accessible.
5. Will online learning improve your instructor-led courses in the future?
Digital learning presents an enormous opportunity for personalized learning experiences. The modern learner wants information on-demand. They want it personalized for them, and they want to trust that the learning technology they’re using gives them the information they need to learn at that moment.
By integrating personalized learning technologies, in-person classes can focus on application tasks and extending learners' thinking; rather than baseline knowledge. Let the computer do the work of helping learners with knowledge retention, while instructors help learners with critical thinking skills.
What are your next steps to take your program digital?
Moving your training online can be a daunting task. There are more questions that might be on your mind:
- Should everything go online?
- Is it enough to upload the Powerpoints and PDFs?
- Do learners need different activities now that it’s an eLearning course?
We answered all these questions and more in our latest e-Book, Roadmap: Convert your classroom resources into powerful eLearning. This e-book shows the path towards successfully turning your most successful instructor-led courses into effective eLearning.
Download it today and start moving your courses online!