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Pump Up Your Training Program in 2020

It’s already one month into 2020 and you think you might have to pull back on your New Year’s resolutions. Going over the list of items, you realize that includes all of those not-yet-finished business goals from the previous year. You scan through the flurry of emails and Slack chats from December to your boss and one promise stands out: Your pledge to revamp your organization’s training program in 2020. [insert needle scratching on record here] We know. We’ve all been there. If you’re in the eLearning space, the pressure to keep your content up-to-date, provide coaching for your learners, train up new Instructional Designers, all while implementing a new LMS can be daunting. But refreshing your training program doesn’t have to mean extra hours at the office and incorporating an LMS doesn’t mean boring.

Keep reading to discover some of the simplest but most powerful ways you can pump up your training program in 2020 now!

Know Your Audience!

Before you assess your content, you need to understand to whom you are delivering that content and what they are expecting, as well as what the goals of the organization are for those learners. A quick way to do this is to create Learning Personas using a tool like Xtensio. We suggest identifying 3-5 personas through anonymous surveys using online survey tools such as Survey Monkey. Questions should be simple; no more than 15; and include an organizational goal statement for each question. For example:

Knowbly would like Customer Service employees to be able to be proficient in CSS to create microwebsites for customers. Based on this goal, please rate your knowledge of CSS:

1.     None

2.     Some CSS (enough to understand a few lines of code)

3.     Proficient (able to use drag-and-drop website creation tools such as Weebly + enhance the site)

4.     Expert (able to connect additional tools to the website through integrations, forms, etc.)

Once you’ve administered the survey, you can group folks into different personas and prepare to assess where the gaps are in your training program. Using our previous example, you may find after surveying that you have the following distribution of learning personas:

1.     No knowledge of CSS: 5%

2.     Some knowledge of CSS: 60%

3.     Proficient knowledge of CSS: 20%

4.     Expert knowledge of CSS: 15%

This distribution tells you that you the learners in your Some Knowledge category will be the most prevalent group in your training program and therefore your content should provide several opportunities for that group to level up. You will still need to adapt to learners in the remaining categories so you know it’s time to bring in an instructional designer at this point.

Instructional Design 

Instructional designers and SMEs (subject matter experts) are your best friends when it comes to creating and presenting engaging, effective content. You may have instructional designers on staff or you may need to consult with a group such as APASS or Collabor8. In some cases, your authoring tool provider may have instructional design services on staff. (Shameless plug: At Knowbly, we have a team of Instructional Designers and partners who can help you with your instructional needs.) Regardless of the source of your instructional design team, you should feel confident that s/he will be able to help you craft an approach that gets results. Your instructional design team will need to understand the goals of your organization, the gaps in your training program, and the learning personas for whom you are creating the training. The instructional designer will help you determine whether you need to consult a SME and be able to quickly provide any additional resources for you. Don’t hesitate to bring in an instructional designer early in the process.

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