These days, employers are taking their training online—with significant benefits. Online training can be more efficient, easier to access, and more affordable than in-person training. It’s also a great way to bring the same, standardized training program to a widely disbursed workforce.
However, some employers worry about whether their online courses are engaging enough as a replacement for in-person learning. Here are a few tips for making sure your online training program keeps your students’ attention—and gets great results.
Keep Individual Modules Short and Digestible
Attention spans are short these days. You may think nothing of making people pay attention for three hours in a classroom, but with online learning, there may be lots of things competing for a student’s attention.
Break down concepts into relatively short, understandable modules—ideally about fifteen minutes at most. Include a quick quiz or interactive feature at the end to reinforce learning and ensure students retain the material.
Vary Your Visuals
It’s not unusual for course creators to rely too heavily on video. But that can be difficult to retain, especially if the video is of a single person talking for a long period of time. There’s a reason students zone out in lectures.
Instead, vary the types of visuals you use. Include eye-catching graphics, video, screenshots, infographics and graphs—even well-chosen stock photos have a place in an online course. Try to keep things from being too visually regular.
The more interactive your course is, the more engaged your students will be. But what qualifies as interactive?
We’ve already provided a suggestion—short quizzes at the end of each module. Depending on your course material, you could also provide ways that students could put the new information to use, including through games, surveys, and hands-on problem-solving.
Other interactive elements include chat features that allow students to connect with each other during the course, or a discussion board that lets everyone continue the discussion once the course is over.
Training your workforce online can be a challenge, especially since there are lots of things competing for the attention of your employees when they’re learning at home. The more interactive you make your training program, the more your employees are likely to get out of it.
Vary your visuals, make individual elements relatively short and simple, and include interactive elements—and you’re likely to be able to improve your training results.