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Once More, With Feeling: Training Development Strategies to Update Your Content

Is it time to update your onboarding, compliance, sales enablement, or other training? Do you have a new training development project in the works and want to get the value of older material, or is your team looking to make improvements to a still useful course? Perhaps your content is entirely out of date, or maybe you just need to make adjustments to a training that is still useful but could use improvements to meet new objectives.

Whatever your needs, there are important considerations to update existing content. There are best practices that will apply no matter the type of training development project, as your goal will be to ensure your training is engaging, motivating, and effective.

The following list should provide you with the strategies you need to see your content with a fresh set of eyes.

How to Refresh Existing Learning and Training Development Materials

Here are the early questions to ask, along with recommendations that are generally useful to update older learning and training materials.

Go digital. Are you using virtual experiences for learning? Chances are, you already have some form of eLearning training available to your team. The low hanging fruit with any content upgrade is to enhance your digital offering, in whatever form needed.

Person doing training development on a laptop

Consider the UX. Is the user experience of your course intuitive, friendly, and accessible? Is it a complicated process to find and use the training? If your courses are mostly ILT or in-person, consider digitizing some of the content as supplemental resource guides to view online or download as a PDF. You might consider adding a landing page with links for easy reference. Also be sure the technology used for any virtual learning is up to date. While we’re sure you’re not still hosting a Flash-based course, it’s worth mentioning the importance of upgrading your technology regularly. Host digital courses on the cloud for ease of access, be sure all systems are compatible with browsers available to your team.

Add media. How would you rank the look and feel of the course? Is it visually appealing? Can you stop the course midway and rewind to re-watch?  If there is sound in a virtual course, what is the quality? For courses that are pretty basic, you could add images to break up text and illustrate concepts. If you have the tools available you could add short explanatory videos, or motion graphics. Visually appealing learning delivery methods are more likely to engage your learners – and engagement is key to memory and learning retention in training development.

Use microlearning techniques. Do you have large blocks of uninterrupted text for learners to read, videos to passively watch, or other lectures that your learners must get through? Chances are, you could increase engagement by breaking up your learning courses into smaller, more effective modules. It’s a key training development strategy. Or, you can add material in the form of short infographics, demo videos, games, or online simulations.

Finally, we always recommend that your team take a big picture view of your offering. You should conduct a needs analysis – either using internal resources, or with the help of a performance consultant – to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the current course offerings. Gather assessments, user data, feedback from participants and management, and make observations.

It’s the most effective way to develop a plan of action to update your content.