Implementing workplace online training offers many benefits and helps support thin training markets such as regional/remote learners or niche industries.
Workplace online training means that the training can go to the learner without the need for the trainer to travel. It also significantly reduces a learner’s time away from the workplace and their families, as well reduces learner isolation as individual learners / small groups of learners can be joined together to make a larger, connected learning group. These key benefits mean better retention and completion rates, and improved audit requirements being met.
However, implementing workplace online training is no simple feat, so here are 6 steps to help you successfully implementing workplace online training:
1. Select the right workplace online training methodology
Some people think that all online training is the same or they base what they know about online training on one of their own bad experiences.
Michael Coghlan, an experienced a creator, facilitator and thinker around elearning environments since 1997, through his work with Clint Smith discusses 9 possible online learning methodologies (See http://what-is-elearning.wikispaces.com):
- Distance Education
- Blended or Web Enhanced Learning Type 1
- Blended or Web Enhanced Learning Type 2
- Virtual Classroom Type 1 (Collaborative)
- Virtual Classroom Type 2 (Presentational)
- The Community of Practice
- The Flipped Classroom
Consultation with key stakeholders and a training needs analysis is required to determine which is the best workplace online training methodology for the learner group and learning/assessment requirements.
2. Do your due diligence prior to the workplace online training commencing
Workplace online learners need a lot of support prior to launching them into their workplace online training.
Pre-program assessments (Good ePractice Guidelines pg 38) regarding language, literacy and numeracy, as well as digital literacy, should be undertaken via Skype / Google Hangout or telephone.
Workplace online learners need to understand what’s in it for them (WIIFM) to be undertaking the training, as the idea will often have been that of their manager for them to undertake training.
A Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) assessment will need to be undertaken (see the Virtual Worker (Learner) Workplace Health and Safety Course as an example – Click on ‘Login as a Guest” and you can download a back-up copy of this Course for use in your own Moodle v2.5.)
Discussions with the workplace manager/supervisor is also important to understand how the workplace online training links to their workforce development plan (if they don’t have one offer this as another service or get them to contact Workforce Blueprint).
The workplace online training should address a key workplace pain point, and you may need to explain to the employer why more than what they need is being covered to ensure Training Package requirements set by industry are being met.
3. Thoroughly design and develop your workplace online training program
Like all good training programs, there are key components of a workplace online training program which need to designed and developed:
- Writing Learning & Assessment Strategy
- Creating online lesson plans
- Determining the best eTools to use
- Sourcing/developing content
- Developing e-assessments (both formative and summative)
- Implementing pre/post evaluation strategies
- Enabling an online Induction / Orientation
- Reviewing the program
The best way to develop these skills is to participate in online learning programs (such as the Implementing Workplace Online Training 14 week online program), as well as building your own online professional learning network (PLN) and participating in online communities of practice such as the ‘Designing Learning’ Facebook Group / Linked Group.
Work shadowing more experienced online facilitators is also another very effective way of developing facilitation skills.
5. Work out what support systems will be needed
Beyond just technical support to help learners access their online learning space(s), other support systems need to be considered for workplace online learners, such as finding and supporting an workplace support champion, who the workplace online learner can go to if they are having any workplace issues which inhibits their workplace online training eg firewalls not allowing access to e-tools, software not able to be added to their workplace computer to enable webinar rooms to be accessed, getting headsets for webinars etc.
6. Plan the implementation process strategically
Many online training program implementations have failed because they have failed to plan. Use a project management approach to implementing workplace online training:
- Scope the workplace online training program
- Undertake a SWOT analysis and a risk management analysis
- Gain input and endorsement from key stakeholders
- Determine whether any contracts need to be established with the workplace
- Develop a communication plan for all key stakeholders
- Determine how the implementation will be evaluated
- Establish key reporting requirements and establish key milestones
Designing for digital effectiveness
Any workplace online training implementation needs the right technology, the right people with the right skills and attitudes, coupled with the right policies / processes in order to make it all happen and to reach the ‘digital effectiveness’ for implementing your workplace online training program.
If you don’t have all of these elements balanced you will get:
- Neglect of the program because people will not be engaged or supported
- Disappointment if the program doesn’t meet the business’s needs, and
- Frustration if people are hindered by restrictive or contradictory policies and processes
Want to know more about successfully implementing workplace online training? View these ‘Implementing workplace online training’ resources:
- Implementing Workplace Online Training Webinar Recording (approx 1 hour)
- Implementing Workplace Online Training Webinar Slides
- Virtual Worker (Learner) Workplace Health and Safety Course – Click on ‘Login as a Guest” and you can download a back-up copy of this Course for use in your own Moodle v2.5.
- Implementing Workplace Online Training (iWOT) 14 week online training program
This is part of our “Be Ahead of the Pack E-learning Implementation Program“