Online course ideas for small training providers

  in  Online Learning

Using learning management software for the first time as a small training provider can be daunting. How do you deliver high quality learning to your learners so they achieve the best possible learning outcomes? The design of your online course can be make or break - it is important to consider how best to present, deliver, and assess the content provided in your new online training course.

The first area you should consider in online course design is the delivery of the content because effective delivery will keep customers engaged with the content and ensure they take the most from your course. To achieve the most effective delivery of your content, you need to consider both your target audience and the skills you want them to gain from your course.

For example, if your company has been contracted to provide training for a telemarketing company a heavy focus on live interactive sessions would be most suitable. Modern video conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom make it possible to integrate live interactive sessions with more traditional online learning.

On the other hand, if you need to design a course to provide initial training for a cocktail bartender, the focus should be asynchronous; providing clear and simple learning resources, and short tests, with little need for much live interaction.

The presentation of your course material is important too. Not many people will be able to sit and read pages and pages of writing or sit through 3 hour long videos without getting distracted. It is much better to break down your material into bite-sized chunks, and break up these chunks with short tests to reinforce the learning.

When presenting text, use short bullet points, or turn your information into an infographic. Infographics have been used in marketing for years and are incredibly effective. The use of colour and relevant pictures, along with short snippets of text makes them easy to read and understand, as well as visually appealing - that keeps your learners engaged.

When presenting information in videos, consider using 4x30 minute videos instead of 1x2 hour long video, as it is easy to lose focus over long periods of time. Spend some time looking at educational videos on YouTube - you’ll find plenty of good ideas and inspiration for your own videos. And again, the software and technology needed to produce high quality video is accessible and affordable.

Finally, you need an effective and engaging way of assessing your learners at the end of the course. Exams or tests are the obvious choice, but if possible why not set a self guided project or present your learners with a series of real world scenarios? Applying knowledge is a far better way of reinforcing what you have learnt, than regurgitation of knowledge in a quiz. If you are training software developers, set them a programming task, if you are training telemarketers, have them do a series of mock calls etc.

Encouraging peer assessment is also a useful way of keeping learners engaged. Have learners work in a team during their assessments, and then have them assess the projects from other teams to show that they have understood what they were supposed to be learning.

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