Here are 10 important Do’s that every successful online training provider should incorporate into their online (sales) training courses, well in my humble opinion anyway.
- Present the benefits of undertaking the course, module or topic
Do not let your participants dive into a course, module or topic without providing them what the aim is. If you just dump the content in front of them in the hope “they will pick it up anyway” will only lead people to jump off your online courses. Also be aware that you will have many different people participating in your online courses – everyone of them might have different (company) goals.
- Learning must come first, technology must come second
Use technology, leverage it, but always remember it’s a tool. The desired outcome is learning and sales performance and not the use of some cool technology.
However, knowing what technology to leverage for effective learning is essential too – in our case we use audio, videos and lots of other downloadable content
- Use forums and integrate social media
Keep in mind that social media websites are a powerful tool for collaboration, commenting and sharing. You can facilitate group discussions and communities. People will quickly start exchanging knowledge, and will also have fun.
- Break up information into smaller bits
Breaking up information into smaller bits/units/topics is essential, as it helps people remember and assimilate that information. In our case we have broken up our courses into smaller, more digestible portions. Each course is made up of modules, each module is made up of topics, each topics is made up of lessons and each lesson is made up of text, videos, audios plus exercises at the end of each lesson.
- A Powerpoint presentation with voice over is NOT good online training.
I have looked around the Internet and the amount of sites that think a Powerpoint presentation with a voice over is good Online (Sales) Training is quite frightening: It is disrespectful to the participants of any online course, an insult of peoples’ intelligence as well as their creativity.
- Context maintenance
Learners taking online (sales) training need it in a specific context, the instructional designer must maintain it by providing content that is relevant to their workplace performance. The contect should be provided by using scenarios, stories, demonstrations, examples and case studies that tie in to the outcomes for the course, topic and/or lesson. This can easily be done (see point 2 above) with the help of text, video, audio etc.
- Present a lesson clear and simple
Eliminate all unnecessary detail, make it as simple as you can, but no simpler. There used to be a childrens’ program called “Bob the builder” and one of the phrases that was used over and over again was “Use the right tool for the job” – something my kids will never forget, neither should a designer for an online course – the extra detail won’t be remembered so why include it.
- Do not change the format
Keep the format of your course lessons and topics the same, do not change them. Whatever you do in the first lesson or topic you should do it in the same manner in the last lesson. Always put the same “things (buttons, headers, functions, videos)” in the same places so they are easy to find. Use colour coding to differentiate different types of tabs, buttons, targets.
- Assess knowledge with caution.
There are limitations to what you can test validly using a quiz. Many of the learners answers will come from short-term memory simply due to the fact that the exercises are at the end of the topic/lesson – this makes the reliability of their answers questionable. On the other side, however, are managers who want to see some record of achievement and that may well go for some learners too.
- Ask for feedback
It is motivating to know that your opinion counts and contributes to the course.
So why not check out our courses to see whether when we teach, we practice what we preach?