eLearning Fan Favorites: 5 Resources That No Skill-Based Online Training Course Is Complete Without
5 Beloved Skill-Based Training Activities
Before they try it for themselves, many corporates are skeptical about online training. It seems abstract and remote, no pun intended, especially for people steeped in old-school thinking. In reality, simulations and role-play can reproduce most of the benefits offered by offline training. In many ways, virtual simulations are better than ‘real’ experiences. Why? They’re safer, more replicable, and offer tangible material for review and re-do. What other elements are essential to this type of task-driven training? These are five resources that no skill-based online training is complete without.
Think about any task you do at work, specifically something you’re struggling with. It might be restocking the supplies closet, dealing with moody clients, or keeping up with deadlines. When you deal with this task, it probably upsets you, making you tense and lowering your productivity. Now think of turning this skill-based online training activity into a game, a friendly little contest against yourself. This is how simulations work. They provide a safe, controlled environment where you can acquire the skills you need at work. Simulations can be anything from shopping in a virtual store to negotiating discounts for customers. It’s all realistic, but none of it is real. This lets employees practice until these skills become their second nature. Then when they’re in that actual situation, outside of training, they can rely on your “muscle memory.” It will instinctively replay their training so they can achieve the best outcomes.
Simulations put employees into a ‘safe’ version of their work situation. They learn by doing, even though it’s a digital set-up, through skill-based online training. But before they dive in, employees might want to see how it’s done. Course content should include tutorials in multiple formats. A demo video, a step-by-step audio guide, or a written how-to article can be helpful. Ideally, have the same lessons in all three styles, more if you can. These study guides should be accessible offline.
Lace them with keywords so employees can easily find them, especially in moments of crisis when they need emergency refreshers. This library of demos is part of the course, but you can also annotate them into a searchable content repository. Ensure they’re mobile-friendly. This way, employees can call them up, even if they’re working offsite. That’s probably where they’ll need this guidance the most because there are no colleagues around to help.
We all seem to love playful quizzes. The kind that tells you what TV series character you are, or guess your age based on your favorite cheese. They’re light and fun, and they appear to be harmless. Use this principle in your course content. Start each skill-based online training session with a seemingly innocuous set of questions. Design them to be entertaining but useful. For example, a brief pop quiz can help them determine which skills they lack based on their responses. Pose hypothetical situations, then ask them how they’d handle it. This gives you greater insight into their thought process and personal areas for improvement. Just remember to keep everything light and low pressure.
Who can resist a well-crafted serious game? Especially one that instills vital skills and offers a good dose of entertainment. The key to successful serious games is to keep them short and targeted. Focus on one crucial talent that employees must develop so they can quickly get the experience they need and apply it. For example, allow them to hone their communication skills by meeting with a virtual customer and resolving their issue. They can use this microlearning tool right before stepping out onto the sales floor. No skill-based online training course is complete without a serious game to engage employees and create an emotional connection.
Include infographics that refresh employees’ memory on how to perform certain tasks and apply their newfound skills. For instance, the infographic covers five useful applications for persuasion skills in the workplace, giving employees an example of how to apply the skill in context. You can also create troubleshooting graphics to help them identify areas for improvement. As an example, develop an infographic checklist that covers seven distinct ways to diagnose active listening skill gaps.
When someone is reading a physical book, they do it chronologically. eBooks allow for more flexibility since you can jump back and forth with a single click. Offer your employees this option. Create clear site maps and guided tours so they can easily find the skill-based online training topic they want. This is helpful because they can begin with the bits that interest them the most. It will draw them into the course, instilling a positive reaction. They can also personalize their own skill-based path based on gaps and job responsibilities. Or set goals for themselves in the form of map milestones or waypoints. For example, they may want to develop their empathy skills on the way to achieving their overall goal, which is to hone their interpersonal skills.
Most adults prefer skills-based training to theoretical learning. It feels more functional, and they can invest in it more, knowing their lessons apply to everyday living. They’ll give more weight to activities that they can replicate in their workday. Include contextual simulations and step-by-step task demos. Assess learners in light, fun ways before every chapter, priming them for knowledge acquisition. Also, use site guides and contents tables to help employees make their way around the course, especially for JIT resources.