Online training solutions, unlike their traditional brick-and-mortar counterparts, are more engaging and immersive. With online resources, learners are not restricted to the passive transfer of knowledge from the instructor to the students.
Rather, they have more control over their learning, and they can access a wealth of information online and share knowledge with global communities. Also, with smartphones and Internet, online learning is not confined to the walls of the training room but can take place anytime and anywhere.
Online training solutions, therefore, open up fresh avenues for organizations to customize their learning and development initiatives and gain more from their ROI. Besides, these solutions are more cost-effective and timesaving as learners do not have to travel to a specific destination for training. Here are some quick tips to measure training ROI.
This also means that companies save on both travel and accommodation cost. And finally, the biggest benefit of all, online training solutions provide the employees the much-needed flexibility to learn at their own pace.
This being said, there are different types of training solutions, each with its own benefits, and you can choose one or a combination of many, in accordance with your learning and development goals.
Here are some of the online training solutions for employee training.
1. Web-based Training:
As the name suggests, this form of training is accessed via web. Online training solutions, in the form of animations, videos, audios, and other media can be accessed via web browsers using the corporate Intranet or personal internet.
Initially, the web-based training solutions were in the .XML and .FLA format. However, with the impending phasing out of Flash, companies have now begun to transform their eLearning courses to the popular HTML5 format, an open source web format. More on How to Convert your Content from Flash to HTML5.
2. Webinars and Virtual Classrooms:
A webinar is a training session which is delivered online using video conferencing software. Virtual classrooms, on the other hand, are similar to the traditional classrooms, the main difference being the instructor and the learners log into an online learning environment, from virtually anywhere in the world, and have live interaction.
A virtual classroom includes video conferencing tools and online whiteboard for real-time collaboration. The advantage of webinars and virtual classrooms is that they allow employees to collaborate and interact with their instructors, peers and thought leaders from across the globe. Comparison between Online Training Platforms vs Traditional Training.
3. Video-based Training:
Videos are more engaging by nature and help to capture learners’ attention. You can include graphics, animations, interviews, case studies, expert testimonials or even recordings.
The advantage of videos is that learners can watch them as many times as they like and thus, learn at their own pace. It is believed that the human mind can process videos 60,000 times faster than plain text, which makes them an ideal medium to impart training.
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4. Collaborative Learning:
Learning happens effectively when we collaborate. Most learning management systems (LMS) today provide tools and features for collaboration, for example, discussion boards, chat rooms, messengers, etc.
These platforms help to connect a diverse and global workforce and facilitate the sharing of ideas and opinions, thus, making learning a more enriching experience.
5. Blended Learning:
Blended learning as an online training solution allows an effective blend of online and offline learning, thus, providing learners the best of both the worlds. It incorporates the role of an instructor who provides the much-needed human touch, which is often missing in online training.
In blended learning, employees rotate between self-paced online learning and classroom sessions. Blended learning can also be delivered online such that learners come together in a physical classroom and an online instructor delivers the lesson. Here are the top Advantages of Blended Learning over Traditional eLearning Methods.
6. Custom eLearning:
As the name suggests, these training solutions are specifically tailored to your organization’s unique needs. Search the internet and you will find both free and paid online resources. However, there is no one-size-fits-all in learning and development.
And while these courses work well for start-ups and small businesses with limited budget, larger organizations can custom develop their training solutions using their in-house eLearning development team or outsource to third-party eLearning course developers.
7. Mobile Learning:
Mobile devices and tablets have revolutionized the way we consume our content. Many organizations have already leveraged the mobile to train their employees. Mobile learning provides information to employees which they can easily access on their phones. It is different from eLearning; an eLearning training session can be about two to three hours long.
However, learners are unlikely to stare at their phones for such a long time. Therefore, mobile learning modules are more concise and to the point.
They are designed in the form of small micro-bites, mostly in the audio and video format. Besides, with many organizations now following the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, mobile learning is a format that is fast gaining ground as a viable training solution.
As the name suggests, this form of learning breaks down large chunks of material into small digestible nuggets. Each nugget is around two to three minutes long, and is either in the form of audio, video or animation.
Sometimes, it can also be a bulleted list summarizing a lesson. Microlearning allows learners to focus on specific nuggets of information and enhances knowledge retention. Learners can access microlearning on all device types including mobile phones.
Online training solutions delivered through any of the above forms can make all the difference to your learning and development initiatives. Online training solutions are created using various media formats such as audio, video, animations, simulations, 3D models, graphics etc.
All these formats make learning more entertaining, immersive and engaging. Besides, collaboration tools such as social media elements, message boards, discussion boards, online communities etc., unfetter learning from the bounds of a classroom and taking conversations worldwide.
This being said, the type of online training solution you choose will depend on your audience, budget and your unique organizational goals.