The first things corporations cut during the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008 were their training departments, as there wasn’t a direct ROI from corporate training to a corporate balance sheet. This is something learning teams might be facing given the recent layoffs.
In this blog, we’ll share four approaches to e-learning for lean learning teams that need to do more with fewer resources. These approaches all work together and benefit both the team and the learners.
In today's world of information overload and attention deficit, learners no longer want to participate in hour-long training sessions in the traditional sense. As a result, one trend that seems here to stay is microlearning.
Microlearning is an instructional design approach that involves delivering training content in bite-sized focused learning modules. Modules typically range from 3 to 10 minutes and are often interactive and designed to be used on mobile devices for training on the go. Whether or not you have a tight budget and few resources, microlearning is a win-win for learners and designers alike.
- People today have shorter attention spans (an average of 8.25 seconds), so you have a better chance of engaging learners with shorter training modules.
- It’s easier to digest on mobile devices, allowing learners to fit in these short modules while they go about their day (more on mobile learning later).
- Easier for learners to fit into their schedules—whether that’s a break in the workday, a short amount of time between meetings, etc.
- Improved retention.
- Microlearning modules can be more cost-effective; they take less time to create since they have a smaller scope, which means fewer resources.
- They’re easier and faster to update and build upon.
- With specific, tailored modules, you can mix and match them for a personalized training experience.
- Modules on digital and mobile platforms eliminate the need for traditional in-person expenses such as venues, travel, instructors, etc.
Mobile learning is another approach to e-learning that can be cost-efficient for a lean learning team and preferred by learners. Mobile training goes hand-in-hand with microlearning by making small training modules with easy-to-digest content for mobile devices.
Since most people already have a smartphone, there’s no need for additional hardware investments. In addition, mobile learning eliminates the need for in-person training, which can be quite a significant expense. Modules can be distributed to many people without substantial additional costs, lending themselves to training updates.
In addition to the benefits for a training team, 64% of learners prefer to access training material on their mobile devices, and 72% of learners report an increase in engagement from mobile training.
You can optimize your mobile learning to produce the best results.
On the-go training lets your audience access and participate in training activities whenever and wherever they are. This fits right in with the microlearning approach of smaller training modules, and mobile access provides the freedom to take training without being tied to one location or schedule. Learners can access training through dedicated mobile apps or web-based platforms that are optimized for mobile devices.
On-the-go training has many advantages:
- It takes the work that you’ve done to create more accessible and digestible training modules and increase learner engagement and completion.
- It provides learners with the flexibility and convenience to participate in training when it works for their schedules, whether that’s during commute time, during a walk, or after dinner.
- It eliminates the costs associated with in-person training.
- It’s a scalable way to reach learners—develop and enable access to the training once, and you can reach large numbers of people.
Another way to produce training on a lean budget is to repurpose existing training content. You can leverage materials you’ve already made while maximizing your investments in this training.
Let’s say you have a one-day course that you used to (or still do) provide in person. You can reuse that content in many ways:
- Start by thinking about how to break down longer content into smaller, stand-alone chunks. Even if you end up with several modules for a topic, you can group them within the topic. And if you use a microlearning approach, they’ll still be more digestible than a full day’s worth of training.
- Once you’ve organized the content, you may want to analyze it to see how engaging it is for smaller chunks of learning on the go. For example, you might consider changing text-heavy content to interactive presentations or videos. You also might want to build quizzes or other knowledge questions to measure learner understanding.
- Use a mobile-first approach to repurpose the content.
- You can extract text-heavy content like reference materials, checklists, and job aids from the existing training and make those stand-alone resources to support the training.
- You can also mix and match the content to build programs for different learners.
Even if you need to update the training materials to include new products or references, it will still be less costly than generating and giving brand-new content in person. Repurposing existing training content is more cost-effective than creating entirely new training content.
If you’d like to learn more about these approaches to training, please contact us today. We help companies develop, support, and localize all types of training materials. We’re here to help!