Top Tips To Help You Launch Your In-House and Online Training Courses

Some businesses and organizations have begun to move their training from external vendors and service providers to in-house online training and development.

While there are plenty of benefits to outsourcing, there are many associated with doing it yourself, particularly if you are trying to do it on a tight budget.

Here, we look at some tips and tricks to help you get your in-house training up and running. 
Top Tips To Help You Launch Your In-House and Online Training Courses

Collate your team

Before you do anything, you need to make sure that you have a competent team on board to help you to deliver your training.

It is never too early to start identifying your key players and making sure that they are fully briefed on what you intend to provide in your training and what you, and those being trained, should get out of the sessions.

All members of this critical team should know what skills and expertise they are bringing to the project, and have the opportunity to offer their input and give feedback on the process. Remember, your team are the ones working on the ground, so in many cases, they are best placed to provide advice.

Create your learning objectives

There is little point in spending hours and hours of time and resources on creating a course or any form of professional development course unless you have a clear learning objective in mind right from the beginning.

One of the most common downfalls of doing this in-house is that the end goal is not clear, and creators and instructors lose sight of what the participants should be getting out of. For that reason, it is essential that you are all singing from the same hymn sheet and working towards a shared desired outcome.

In fact, this should frame your training program - it should be built around it. Each online training module, task, or resource needs to tie into a specific learning objective or outcome. Otherwise, the participants may have to contend with cognitive overload and will end up disengaged.

Look at where existing knowledge and skill gaps lie and see what you need to do to fill these, to help you to develop your learning objectives.

Storyboard your content

An author would not write a novel without some form of storyboarding or planning, and the same should go for building an online course.

Of course, we are not talking about drawing out little stick people and writing captions, but having a plan is essential. This will ensure that the course flows naturally and logically, without jumping from topic or objective to another. This roadmap should also have rough ideas of bullet-pointed notes, graphics, video links, activities, and resources, to serve as an information point when building your course.

By doing this, you can ensure that the content and the activities are cohesive and align with your learning objectives. When new to online course building, it can be all too easy to get hung up on the aesthetics, but this allows you to get the framework in place first.

Make sure it is cohesive and adheres to company branding

Whether this is being delivered to people outside of your organization or in-house employees, it is essential that your course represents your brand and adheres to branding guidelines.

Just like your stationery, it should feature company logos and color schemes, follow a standard and professional format - even down to the font style used. The narrative should also fit your organization. Have this expectation nailed early on in the process so that again, everyone is working from the same page. It keeps the course cohesive, organized, and professional.

Bear in mind that team members and collaborators may be working on their elements individually or in small groups, so ensure that they have these guidelines laid out to avoid a fragmented approach.

Find the right platform to launch from

Sadly, PowerPoint presentations and multiple choice tick sheets no longer cut the mustard when it comes to professional development and learning, so you need to find the best platform to launch your online training course from.

Participants may be logging on and completing it from anywhere in the world, on various devices, and anytime, so you need to make sure that you pick something that can cope with this demand. LMS software consulting can give you more ideas about which ones are the best on the market.

Decent platforms such as Udemy or its alternatives will enable you to check in with participants and talk to them, share feedback, and assign tasks. Other features that you may want to consider are the celebrations of particular milestones and calendars. There are many out there, so do your research before settling on the one for your business.

Ensure training is delivered at the right time

It is important to provide your training to participants at a time that will be the most useful and beneficial to both you as an organization and them personally.

Consider the following:
  • If it is training before a new product or service is rolled out, how far in advance should it be?
  • Is it on-demand/just in time training?
  • Is it training triggered by software such as if the employee is spending a long time on a specific feature or not using it correctly?
  • Are the participants or employees going to be pulled to the training (directed to support pages or your training program) or pushed (hints and tips emailed to them, pop-ups on screen, etc.), or as part of an ongoing professional development schedule?
It may be one or a combination of all of these things. In fact, the most effective training will use elements of all of these. The important thing is that the training and access method is convenient and accessible to the participants.

You may need to explore and test out some training delivery models or interview a selection of employees to decide which models will work best in your particular environment.

Gather feedback

Feedback from your employees and participants of your online training course is essential if you want it to be a success.

It enables you to know whether it is moving in the right direction and to continue to develop and evolve your training and professional development strategy. While you have a rough idea of whether something works, the people who are actually doing the course are the very best people to give you constructive criticism and tell you where about the pain points are.

From this, you can modify your learning objectives and goals to address the issues. You may also want to consider using focus groups before launching a live version of your course and during the design process to run things past them, test the training, and get objective feedback.

If you use employees, asking them to fill in a questionnaire may also give you a sneaky peek at some skill and performance gaps that may need addressing in your course.

Continue to develop and review your online training course and processes

The development of online training does not stop following deployment. After that, you should continuously assess and improve your online training strategy to ensure it still reaches the goals and learning objectives that you laid out at the very beginning.

Collate information and feedback from staff, participants, and your training leaders use any of the big data that your learning management system of choice provides you with. Analytics can help you find weak areas such as low engagement levels or commitment levels for your online training program. You can then use this knowledge to build a goal-centric action plan.

Also, profit and loss reports and consumer questionnaires can help to shed light on some of the pain points of your business to continue to evolve your training strategy.

It should not be stressful and expensive to develop and lead your online training inhouse, nor should it be littered with errors. The tips and tricks and best practices we have outlined above can help you to streamline the process and achieve the desired outcome in relation to business objectives and goals.

Effective communication with all involved, from developers to course leaders and participants, is essential, as is having the right resources to hand. Pick your team of collaborators and developers carefully because no matter how fancy your course looks, expertise, skill, and engaging tasks and activities are what make a course work.

Good training doesn’t just happen. It needs to be effective. It needs to be modern and fit for purpose – in other words, personalized for the task or the participants. This means thinking digitally and creatively.