The best way for your employees to learn

The Best Company Learning Models through Instructional Design

E-learning, mobile learning, micro-learning, instructor-led classroom training, self-paced learning, blended learning – yikes!  What does it all mean, how should you be using it, and what is best for your organization.  Are you missing out if you do not incorporate one or all?  All of these different terms have been created by the Instructional Design and Training community to try to provide different methods to best meet company needs.

The most cost effective and highest retention method is traditional instructor-led classroom training.  This allows interaction with an instructor, as well as other students, to get a rich and robust learning experience.  However, this is not always possible for 100% of a company’s training needs.  Your company may need something more customized and specific to its unique needs.  Or maybe you have some employees that can’t set aside a four or eight hour block of time for classroom training.  Or you could have an ongoing training need for only one or two people at a time (such as during onboarding), which makes classroom training cost prohibitive for such a small number of participants.  In these cases, it can be beneficial to engage an Instructional Designer to create a customized learning solution.

The best design, in these instances, is a blended learning approach that incorporates many different learning methods based on your training needs.  If blocks of time is an issue, a self-paced learner model is best, where an employee can do short segments at a time with e-learning or reading materials.  Or, if it is quick ideas and concepts you need employees to know, on an ongoing basis, a mobile/micro-learning method could be employed in which employees can learn quick tips on a mobile app, taking just two minutes or less at a time.

In any case, where self-paced learning is designed, the key is to have many different tools and methods to engage employees.  If everything is taught via video, students will quickly tune out and off.  The most successful instructionally designed courses incorporate videos, workbooks, exercises, and other interactive tools, which continually change focus to keep employees engaged.

One potential pitfall of self-paced designed courses is that it is very easy for an employee to drop off before they finish.  Employees start with the best intentions of continued learning, but work quickly gets in the way and changes priorities.   A high level of employee management is needed with these learning models in order to ensure employees complete courses.  Companies should manage these with an LMS (Learning Management System) that can track employee progress, as well as send reminders to keep them on track, and limit the amount of management prompting needed.

The most effective Instructional Design models combine instructor-led classroom training with other blended learning components.  For example, have classroom training for core and most widely used concepts and skills, then incorporate self-paced learning models with shorter concepts for more specialized topics for more specific and unique job roles.  Have homework or continued learning concepts through e-learning or self-paced reading, then use the classroom setting to bring those concepts together and hold students accountable.

An Instructional Design expert can help you build the training programs to best meet your ongoing company needs, with a one-topic course or a complete Corporate University structure.   They can also create a solution that will get you the highest knowledge retention, and promote and manage the employee engagement.

Learn the many ways AdvantEdge Training & Consulting can help your organization with Instructional Design.