Favorite Online Training Resources For eLearning Courses

6 Online Training Resources To Add To Your eLearning Courses

Corporate leaders love digital training. They don’t have to administer it directly and micromanage ongoing development, because it’s largely in the hands of the trainees themselves. This makes it a delegator’s dream. Plus, it costs a fraction of offline courses, and it enhances in-house skill while raising retention rates. Learners like it because it’s more enjoyable than conventional learning. It leaves out many of the downsides we hated about our traditional school days. Instead, there are new elements we’ve learned to love. Let’s explore some of these fan-favorite online training resources, and why you should incorporate them into your eLearning course design.

1. Task Simulations

Performing an unfamiliar task at work can be daunting. You don’t want to mess it up and cause potentially expensive damage. But you don’t want to ask for help and risk looking incompetent either. That’s why simulations are such a popular teaching tool. They allow trainees to try out the task as many times as they like. Because online training is self-directed, nobody even has to know the areas you have difficulty with. Also, simulation can be a lot of fun. It’s like playing an exciting game, but without the pain of losing. To make your simulation realistic, use multimedia to embed ambient music, creating the right mood.

2. Decision-Making Scenarios

While simulations do contain an element of tough choices, the emphasis is more on learning the skill. You might simulate a sales call, or your avatar could learn how to change a tire. Decision-making activities are more likely branching scenarios. This is a narrative exercise where the result depends entirely on you. The path you take charts action. Say you begin the exercise by walking into a reproduction of your office. You might take the lift to your floor, and the power might cut off, prompting you to creatively find a way out. On the other hand, you might walk into the building and take the stairs for exercise. In this case, as you reach the second floor, you may hear the screams of people trapped in the lift. Now you have to creatively help them find a way out. Branching scenarios train you to think on your feet.

3. Case Studies

These don’t sound like particularly exciting online training resources, but it’s all in the way you present them. The advantage of case studies is that they offer realism and precedent. They work particularly well in compliance training because they exit the realm of “what if.” Instead, they show trainees actual examples of what could go wrong (and did). They also show the entire story from start to finish. If you’re worried the case study will bore students, bring it alive. Co-opt it into a narrative video, or format it as an interactive story. They can play the role of an observer or eavesdropper, watching as the story unfolds. They’ll be active characters though, walking through scenes, turning to change the “camera angle,” peeping into rooms, etc. Think of it as a virtual tour, except that they’re walking through unfolding sagas, a bit like an unseen ghost.

4. Avatars

For many people, the most important part of a game is choosing a character. You could select someone based on their appearance, tweaking them to look more like you. Or your decision could be driven by the character’s abilities and weapons. In training scenarios, you can get learners invested by letting them pick their own avatars. They could design it from scratch, using a selection of features from the character library. You can make it quirky by basing the characters on existing colleagues. They could, for example, play as the boss or as the office receptionist. Each chosen character endsows certain abilities and “secret weapons.”

5. Tip-Filled Podcasts

Produce microlearning podcasts that give employees helpful tips on the spot. For example, how to deal with a challenging customer or handle a particularly difficult service call. Each cast should focus on a specific task or troubleshooting topic for quick reference. Get team members on board by inviting them to host a podcast that centers on their areas of expertise. Then add it to your moment-of-need training library to provide ongoing performance support. You can even launch a YouTube channel and post a video of the recorded podcast session to incorporate visual elements.

6. Serious Games

Who can resist a well-crafted serious game that imparts skills and real-world experience as it entertains? One of the most popular online training resources are game-based tools that add an element of adventure to your eLearning course design. Make sure they’re packed with memorable characters and realistic challenges to boost engagement. But don’t forget that the key takeaways deserve the spotlight. In addition to standalone serious games, you can also incorporate game mechanics to increase motivation. For example, badges and points to prompt employees to take the initiative and broaden their skills.

Conclusion

Part of what makes online training so effective (and entertaining) is the availability of resources. Trainees can check the appendix at will or assess themselves via in-course quizzes. They can break down their learning into five-minute chunks spread throughout their busy day. Or they could use audio modules to listen to lectures as they work out or clean up. Other popular training resources include simulated tasks and branching scenarios. Both provide safe spaces to practice a new skill. Learners can use in-game characters for these simulations. Finally, case studies can be used for context. They don’t have to be dry documents full of statistics; they can actually be creatively structured for extended recall.

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