Staff training has grown since the days before COVID, or as I call it "B.C." (before COVID), and although the last few months have been tragic and isolating for many, one has to recognize the benefits that the virus has made to businesses who adapted to the change. Even before COVID, most companies operated internally as if they were still in the days before wifi, zoom, or email, and it was almost as if the pandemic made business owners acknowledge the internet! What I mean by this, is that it has forced many companies to utilize online training, remote working, and take a deep sigh of relief because guess what? The internet works! Even though it has been around for many decades, we can safely say, the internet works. Phew! So now that we can all safely agree on this, let's look at the top 3 ways to deliver online training to your staff.
1. Google Drive
This may be the simplest form of delivering staff training, however, a video in a file folder with an accompanying PDF gets the job done even if it is a little rough around the edges. I will say this is a good short-term strategy to deliver your training while a more interactive file called, SCORM is being created and loaded onto a proper LMS and you're using this method to train your staff in the meantime. However, from a long-term perspective, your staff will probably not comprehend the information as effectively as compared to an interactive file.
Most companies today actually use the google drive method and call it good, in fact, this surprised me at how many massive companies do this with no consideration of learning outcomes. This may work if the company is educating Furbies or robots, but the difference in the retention of knowledge by using the next method is exponential.
2. Web Platforms
Thinkific is a great platform if you are creating your own course and want to sell it online. This platform does not support SCORM so you will have to upload each video individually and create the whole look and feel of the course manually. This is the same case for other websites, such as teachable and Udemy, which has users individually upload each video and manually set quizzes and pdf handouts. This method is excellent if your developer talent is limited in your organization and you want your training to be on a platform that still has interactive features, such as quizzes, and games to help your staff comprehend the material.
One major drawback here is the time spent on creating the course when you could get an "instructional designer" to do it for you while you are concentrating on more important aspects of the business. Another issue I found with these types of sites is the cost, paying per head for the training, which is just another overhead cost.
3. Learning Management System (LMS)
If you've ever taken a university course online, chances are it delivered your course to you on an LMS, such as Moodle, Blackboard, or something else that is similar. These programs were much to look at, but they have been the "gold standard" for SCORM packages and TINCAN to be delivered. If you are confused about what SCORM or TINCAN is, imagine a .zip file you upload to the LMS where it says "upload interactive file" and this .zip file contains all your content of the course, the interactive coding, the videos, the handouts, everything. It's like a mini-website you upload. But back to the LMS and why they are the preferred option is because of the compliance they have that has shown to deliver results for so many universities, companies, and even the government. It basically gives you the most options for delivering your course to your staff.
One major benefit with moodle, for example, is that once you pay for the license, you never have to pay for students to use your platform, which is the case for Captivate Prime and a few others. However, moodle requires a host to operate on, such as AWS, and doesn't have its own website like other LMS sites. So, if you are serious about creating and delivering online training, consider:
- Do you have the technical skills to create a course?
- Do you want to increase your staff's learning comprehension and knowledge retention?
- Do you have access to an instructional designer?
If you answered no to most of these, that's ok, you are joined with over 90% of businesses and most do, is typically seek help from a media consultant to project manage the creation, filming, and final delivery of the course.
Best of luck in your research, and I hope this article was informative or at least help break the ice into this much larger topic.