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How to integrate digital learning in trainings

by Ioannis Lagoudakis, on Nov 9, 2020 4:05:32 PM

Making learning digital is high on the agenda of many companies. And digital learning has indeed many advantages, especially allowing the learner to be more self-directed and empowered. But I doubt that providing only digital learning solutions is enough to result in any real transfer to the workplace. A combination of more in-depth face-to-face learning with technology based learning is much more likely to affect the three core aspects of learning: knowledge, behaviour and attitude. 

Here some tips based on my experience as a training consultant on how to best integrate digital options in your training sessions:  

1. Know your training objectives:   

A carefully designed training programme has clear objectives (which skills need to be developed in what time) and a solid strategy behind. Only with defined goals you can ensure that the different training delivery formats work in sync with each other and that your efforts are not duplicated needlessly.

  1. Online questionnaires at the beginning of a programme help participants to raise awareness, gain insights and set goals.
  2. Videos showcasing communication and problem-solving skills can positively affect motivation and help acquire new behaviours. Videos are also very effective for transferring new knowledge (e.g. how the new product works etc.)
  3. Digital publications like white papers, E-books and case studies are appealing to learners who like to reflect and go deeper - consciously connecting new knowledge with old schemata.
  4. Online assessments before and after training sessions are a good way to test knowledge. (Mobile) micro-learning elements (multiple choice questions, drag & drop exercises) help make learning sticky. A varied form of practice and planned repetition of quizzes have proved very beneficial, as have exercises requiring knowledge retrieval and composition.
  5. Virtual communities provide their members the opportunity to contextualize knowledge, to share ideas and best practices. The platform should be designed in a simple, smart and user-friendly way.

2. Offering solutions fitting your audience and their eco-system:

At what time are your participants most likely to use digital tools? During their lunch break? On the train back home? A group of front line employees who drive to work and have only few breaks during the day would be a challenging case. Factors like size of the training population, age, knowledge of the subject, previous experiences are also to be taken into consideration when choosing your digital tools. Consider the following:

  1. Podcasts can be used to provide quick reminders, checklists, or messages from Senior Management Executives. Listening to interviews of successful employees and their positive experience from the training programme can also affect engagement.
  2. E-learning modules offer the participants the option to go back to a concept if they have not understood it well or skip a few parts if they are already well-versed with the subject matter.
  3. Webinars are a good solution to address a large audience to introduce a new development or new product within the organisation. Trainers must be trained for such an impactful web-contact.
  4. Mobile learning modules are best for populations who need to learn-in-time due to rapid changes in their environment.

3. Less is more:

One of my recommendations is not to overload your programme with digital elements. As explained before, always base your decisions on your training objectives and your audience’s features. 

Another important point is to balance control with trust: Adult learners in general like to have control over what they learn, how fast and with whom they interact with. Combine non- supervised with supervised completion of tasks and trust people will go for their best.

Ioannis Lagoudakis

Training Consultant