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5 Secrets of Making Online Compliance Courses Interesting

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5 Secrets of Making Online Compliance Courses Interesting

Oh! What a headache”, “Why am I troubled every year?”, “I am aware of the regulatory norms governing our company. Do I still need to take this course?” — reactions such as these are not uncommon when people are assigned compliance courses. Many staff members don’t wish to take courses on governance, risk management, and compliance as they feel that the content of these courses is dry and boring. No wonder, completion rates for these mandatory courses are very low.

How can you overcome this problem? Well, here are 5 proven tips to make your compliance training interesting.

Tip 1: Replace bland bullet points with videos 

The surest way to put your learners off is using bulleted slides to dump the “lifeless” content of compliance courses. Instead, you can go in for videos to convey the intended message effectively. Studies by the American Academy of Neurology show that videos help impart learning better, compared to text. Videos enable your people to instantly connect with the subject-matter and retain information more effectively.

Tip 2: Use scenarios and case studies to help your people apply the learning 

I’m sure you’d agree that providing mere “legalese inputs” will not help learners prevent violations of applicable laws and norms. Your need to tell your people how the relevant statutes and rules have to be applied to their jobs, and there is no better way to do this than using problem-based learning (PBL) elements such as case studies and scenarios. According to Cindy Hmelo-Silver, Professor of Learning Sciences at the Indiana University in Bloomington, PBL facilitates effective application of the knowledge gained. Consider the following scenario.

A medical device company manufacturing PET scanners presents its learners a case study of a company that has violated the documentation norms prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The learners can analyze the case study and identify how the violation took place, and this helps them prevent a similar problem. 

Tip 3: Hold a pre-test to ascertain the knowledge levels of your learners 

Compliance courses are mandatory and need to be taken by all staff members of your organization. Some of them may have good knowledge of the pertinent laws and rules, and it would be a waste of precious time to assign courses on these. It is a good idea to test the knowledge of your people before assigning them compliance courses. This is useful because it helps you identify what they already know and you can allow them to skip the modules that contain topics already familiar to them.

Tip 4: Let your staff choose the order in which topics are accessed 

Our experience shows that one of the biggest mistakes made by companies is locking the navigation of their online compliance courses. This results in learner frustration. You need to provide your staff complete freedom and let them be in-charge of the course. For those skeptics who argue that learners may skip modules if navigation is not locked, I would like to remind that a final test is conducted before a completion certificate is issued.

Tip 5: Go in for gamification 

Gamification is the order of the day. According to the research firm Markets and Markets, the market for gamification is likely to touch the USD 11.1 billion, growing at staggering rate of 46.3%. Gamified courses help break learner monotony very effectively, and this makes them ideal to impart compliance training. Studies show that gamification helps improve learner focus and retention levels. However, on the downside, it takes more time and money to develop gamified courses compared to “traditional” e-learning material.


Compliance training can be made interesting using videos and PBL elements. You need to ascertain the knowledge of your people before assigning a compliance course, so that they can be allowed to skip topics which they already know. You need to gamify your compliance training and let your learners take charge of the courses. Hope you liked this post. Do share your views.

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