In today’s fast-paced corporate world, on-demand training is the need of the hour. How do you deal with learners who do not like to be bound by time and place restrictions? Asynchronous learning programs provide the answer by bringing down barriers in training employees spread across diverse geographical locations.
Though asynchronous learning courses impart training at a pace that is convenient to learners, there are times when learners indulge in mindless clicking, to progress from one screen to the next, without actually gaining any knowledge. As a training personnel, if you have encountered a similar situation with learners at your workplace, it’s time you took another look at the course design. It would certainly benefit you to be aware of the following golden rules to design effective asynchronous learning courses.
1. Highlight Real World Benefits
For asynchronous learning to be successful, a high degree of motivation is required from learners. In order to motivate learners, highlight the real world benefits of taking the online course. Even before they click that ‘Start’ button, let them know the objectives of the course, and the skills that they can gain by completing the course.
Realistic scenarios included in the asynchronous learning program, can help mirror the learners’ work environment. This helps learners translate the learning to real-time application in their work environment.
If designed properly, asynchronous learning can cut down training time by almost 50%, thus contributing to improved productivity.
2. Incorporate a User-Friendly Design
The visual design of the online learning program can affect the way a person thinks and learns. Make sure that the interface of the asynchronous learning course is uncluttered. If you need learners to continue with the e-learning course, make a great first impression by paying attention to the visual design.
You may have included great content, but if the user-interface is cluttered, it reduces the clarity and impact of your course. Do not forget to include crystal clear navigation that guides the learners. If learners are required to figure their way out, with a complex navigation strategy, you have already lost their attention.
3. Include Different Learning Activities
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms have brought online learning to the masses, but unfortunately the average completion rate is just 15%. Though the corporate e-learning scenario is not so bad, there are learners who do drop out of online courses.
One way to boost training effectiveness in an asynchronous learning program is to include different learning activities throughout the course. E-learning doesn’t have to be boring. Use real-life scenarios, interactive simulations, case studies, quizzes, and games to make the learning process interesting.
Get the online course customized to match the needs of your learners, and you can be sure of delivering a training that is 100% effective.
4. Pay Attention to Content Chunking
If the content in your asynchronous learning course is not properly chunked, then learners are overloaded with information. Content chunking or breaking up content into bite-sized pieces helps the brain process information easily. Human memory is limited, so if you want your learners to retain information, present that information in bite-sized modules.
In asynchronous learning, the learner follows a self-paced learning method. Remember not to let learners bite off more than they can chew, by chunking the content appropriately.
5. Include Effective Assessment Strategies
The learning experience in an asynchronous learning program is incomplete without a well-formulated assessment strategy. Include assessments in the form of quizzes and tests to reinforce learning.
Appropriate feedback in assessments helps learners identify their areas of improvement. This in turn improves the training effectiveness of the online course.
6. Provide Virtual Support
In asynchronous learning, learners learn at a pace that is convenient to them. Although, this method of training delivery helps boost training effectiveness, what happens when a learner gets stuck on a complex concept? What if a technical glitch prevents them from progressing through the course?
Provide virtual support in the form of chats/emails to contact the course facilitator. You can also consider integrating collaboration tools such as message boards, forums, and social media platforms in your e-learning course, so that learners get an opportunity to participate in discussions with peers.
Follow the golden rules mentioned above, and you could be well on your way to rolling out the best asynchronous learning courses for your organization. If you have any other suggestions to boost training effectiveness in asynchronous learning programs, please contribute through the Comments section.