Much like life, learning is about the journey, not just the destination. At different places along their learning paths, learners will need different tools and information.
Learning Portal: The Start of a Learning Path
Employees often begin training by accessing a learning portal. First impressions matter and this first-user interaction sets the tone for the rest of the learner’s journey. A good front end can make learners feel like training is going to be fun and easy. So, what makes a good front end user experience?
- It’s easy to use.
A learning portal should clearly show learners where they need to go and how they will get there. When a portal is clunky or difficult to navigate, learners may assume that’s how the rest of their training will be.
- It gives learners the big picture.
Each individual learner should understand why they are taking the training and how their training fits into the overall goals of the company. Users can see their progress along their learning path, including what milestones they’ve reached and how these achievements translate into success at work.
- It’s visually engaging.
Think about the landing page of a website or the starting screen of a video game. Regardless of how great a product/service is or how fun that game will be, users make judgments based on that initial view. A good learning portal is not only visually tailored to the company brand but should also strive to make learners excited to begin training.
At AllenComm, we’ve invested a lot in our learning portal: it’s awesome because our clients need it to be.
The Tools You Use to Build the Path
A great customized learning path is learner-centric, emphasizes learner-specific objectives, and caters to a learner’s preferences. Each aspect of a learner’s path should give them a better understanding of the topic and a way to practice application of that knowledge. Once an employee starts on their journey, training can take many different forms and utilize various technologies. Let’s explore some of the learning technologies and performance support tools that can guide your learners to workplace success.
Effective elearning can prepare learners for their work by providing critical, actionable information through fully immersive training. This type of learning is a great way to cater to multiple learning styles by capitalizing on rich media available with current technology.
There are dozens of modalities in the elearning category. Online courses/modules, videos, motion graphics, gamification, and webinars are just some of the mediums encompassed by eLearning. Your content will help determine what type of elearning would work best for your learners.
- Instructor-led Training
Technology isn’t the answer for everyone; when resources and time allow, instructor-led trainings (ILTs) can still be an effective and necessary training tool—but with today’s technology ILTs can be so much more than a PowerPoint presentation with a quiz.
Facilitators can be supported by rich media, real-time polling, simulations, gamification, and a toolkit of web-based assets to use after the classroom session is complete. According to the US Department of Education, “students in online learning conditions performed […] better than those receiving face-to-face instruction,” with blended results coming in as most successful (Means et al., 2010). A blended solution employs classroom, performance support tools, and elearning elements to create a better live training experience.
- Mobile Apps
There are a lot of reasons why mobile applications should be a part of a learner’s journey. For one thing “mobile-only” users are globally on the rise, with apps taking up 80% of mobile use time. While multi-platform consumption (accessing the internet via desktop and mobile) is still the norm, learning technologies need to meet ever-increasing mobile demands. Mobile applications can take many forms: a reference library in the field; a gamified boot camp for classroom training; a way to reduce the classroom learning curve by providing content and activity sets; and/or an offline tool to access courses anytime, anywhere.
- Augmented and Virtual Realities
With new strides in augmented and virtual realities, these technologies can greatly enhance traditional content and have opened the door for incredible on-the-job resources. At AllenComm, Siteline is a dynamic platform and tool that gives you the flexibility to design your learner’s experience, even as they step away from the computer and into their workspace. This cutting-edge technology can create a truly on-the-job training by allowing users to access key information while at the workplace.
The End of the Line
Just as a learner’s job changes, their training needs are always evolving. An employee may reach the end of their current learning path, but that doesn’t mean they stop learning. Company systems and operations updates, personal promotions or changes in job duties, and advancements in their industry are some of the reasons why an employee may need more training. By creating a learning ecosystem that harnesses methods for conveying personalized content—whether it be a customized LMS, mobile app, Siteline, or whatever works for your team—you can help your learners reach their specific goals and achieve a personal success that affects your bottom line.