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The Tale of a Product Training Manager and His 100 Slide Online Course

Jim is the product training manager of a large pharmaceutical company. Recently, he published a 100 slide PowerPoint presentation, used in classroom training sessions, as it is, online, to impart product training to his sales staff. However, the published learning material met with very poor response from learners. A concerned Jim analyzed the reasons for the failure and found out the e-learning failed to produce the desired results because of the following reasons.

Gaps in the learning content

The PowerPoint presentation contained only 50% of what is actually taught to the learner as the remaining 50% is conveyed by the instructor in the form of examples, stories, and elaborations. Jim failed to make sure the missing 50% was covered when he published the product training presentation online. As a result, the e-learning course lacked a logical flow, severely affecting its quality.

Span of the course was too long

Most of Jim’s learners were Millennials who have very limited attention spans. They found it hard to remain focused through the 100 slide course and could not digest the information effectively. Needless to say, this resulted in poor learning. Jim could have done better had he divided the lengthy technology-enabled product training material into several 10 minute microlearning modules, each addressing a specific learning objective.

Instructional strategies were not applied

As Jim published the product training presentation online as it is, no instructional strategies such as interactivities, gamification, etc. could be applied to the course. This resulted in poor learner engagement, and needless to say, contributed to the course’s failure.

frustrated at my desk

Inability to access the course on mobile devices effectively

The course was intended for salespeople who travel extensively as part of their jobs and prefer accessing technology-enabled materials on their Smartphones and tablet PCs. The long duration of the online course on products made it hard for Jim’s people to learn effectively on mobile devices.

The failure of the e-learning course taught Jim a few important lessons:

  • DO NOT publish PowerPoint presentations, used in a classroom, as they are. Fill in the content gaps before they are moved online.
  • “Break” lengthy online courses into several microlearning modules, each covering a specific learning objective.
  • Apply appropriate instructional strategies to the PowerPoint presentation before publishing it online, to ensure effective learner engagement.
  • Ensure online product training courses are short to facilitate effective access on mobile devices.

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