Benefits of e Learning

The benefits of e Learning extend far past the desk of your employees. Learn why eLearning is an essential tool to train your organization’s modern learner in today’s fast-paced, digital work environment.

Traditional training methods, like classroom training, have their place in a blended training program. However, they can be expensive and time-consuming. The cost and logistics that go into organizing a face to face training add up: instructors, venue, learning material, etc.

Alternatively, eLearning provides a variety of training modalities that are both cost effective and mobile.

Let’s start with the definition before jumping into the data.

 

What is eLearning?

The eLearning definition, short for “electronic learning,” is any type of learning or training material that can be consumed digitally:

Online training provides significant flexibility considering the state of the modern learner. Even this blog is classified as a form of eLearning! At the same time you’re reading this content, you’re probably also writing an email, responding to a Slack from a coworker, prepping for a meeting, mentally responding to new text messages, and thinking about lunch.

Bombarded with constant, digital communication via notifications, text messages, entertainment, etc.—distraction is the greatest downfall for modern learners. If harnessed properly, online learning can streamline and support employee training and management development.

 

eLearning Trends

As eLearning continues to grow, so does its spelling variations. If you’re interested in any form of digital learning, you might search the terms: “eLearning,” “e learning,” “e-learning,” etc. According to Google Trends, keeping the term as one word — “eLearning” — is the most searched spelling over the past year.

google eLearning trends comparison

To conclude this short point, there will likely always be a dispute around which spelling is correct (especially among SEO experts). However you decide to spell it, using eLearning for employees is what matters most for your business.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Great, so a lot of people search for “eLearning” on Google. But why invest in eLearning? What makes it effective?”

Well, we’re glad you asked.

 

Why Invest in eLearning?

Global Market Insights, Inc. reports that the global eLearning market is projected to reach $300 billion by 2025. More and more businesses are investing in eLearning—not because it’s a trend—but because the benefits of e learning have proven results.

Mark Van Buren, director of research for ASTD, tells HR Magazine: “It is clear that a firm’s commitment to workplace learning is directly linked to its bottom line.” Not only do profits increase when eLearning becomes a priority, but so does efficiency and employee retention.

Benefits of e Learning

 

1. Improve Profits.

Industry data suggests that when employers invest $1,595 per employee each year on training, gross profit margins improve by 24%. Now that’s a statistic to take back to the boss! Every good investment produces an ROI to prove itself as a viable business endeavor.

2. Reduce Training Time.

A study conducted by the Brandon-Hall Group reports that eLearning significantly reduces training time compared to classroom learning—40-60% less time actually.

3. Increase Retention Rates.

eLearning can increase retention rates by up to 60%, compared to traditional training methods, which only boast a small 10% increase (The Research Institute of America).

 

When to Use eLearning

The corporate learning and development space is evolving every year with new technology and advancements. For instance, retraining employees will become just as important as onboarding new hires as a result of automation and AI.

Think of your opportunity cost—is it a better use of time and resources to rally employees together for in-person training (i.e. fly in remote workers, book a venue, pay an in-person trainer, print out all of the learning material, etc.)? Or, is it better to task everyone with completing the same training via a learning management system, then take a learning assessment once it’s complete, so everyone can get back to work?

At this point, when to use eLearning might be self-explanatory—ASAP—but here are a few use cases that may prompt your organization to start using eLearning today.

 

Training Remote Employees

Is a large part of your workforce remote? eLearning is a great way to provide consistent training across the organization—no matter an employee’s location. Mobile learning enables employees to fit in training “on-demand” as their schedule allows. On-demand training is especially helpful for sales reps with busy schedules who are always out of the office selling.

Sharing Company-Wide Information

Every company has standard procedures, processes, policies, etc. that everyone is expected to follow. Why have an in-person, company-wide meeting when the alternative is more affordable, effective, and convenient? ELearning provides a way to streamline sharing information at all levels of the organization with an LMS. Assign everyone the same material or updates to review and save yourself the scheduling headache.

Onboarding New Hires

Every business needs a comprehensive onboarding process. Save HR professionals time by jumpstarting entry-level employees with training as soon as they join the team. ELearning provides a consistent way for new employees to learn everything they need to know at the click of a mouse. Segment onboarding into organized, manageable sections such as organizational basics, human resources, role-specific training, etc.

 

Your eLearning Experts

With all of the new corporate training trends each year, it can be hard to figure out which ones to invest in and how to implement them. Are you ready to invest in the future of your company? The potential of your employees is waiting to be developed. Start reaping the benefits of e learning (your employees will thank you).

At Unboxed Training & Technology, we provide award-winning tools and expertise to help you train, develop, sell, and succeed. Contact us today to learn more about employee training and custom management and leadership training programs.

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Training Delivery Methods: Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

Content is a huge focus in the training world, though it’s really only one part of the learning equation. The magic happens, though, when strong content is shared through the most effective training delivery methods, enabling the message to be absorbed, retained, and implemented by learners.

Whether your aim is to impart knowledge, sharpen skills, or adjust behaviors, there are a lot of different methods of training delivery to choose from. But there’s no silver bullet. In fact, data continues to prove a blended approach, incorporating more than one modality to deliver your content, increases retention by up to 60%.

So, how do you determine the most effective training delivery methods for your needs? Start by considering the options available and how they align with your goals, audience, and content.

Below is a list of our recommendations.

    Featured Resource

    Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

    Training Delivery Methods for Building Knowledge

    When we speak about training for knowledge, we’re referring to helping learners understand the what and the why of a concept. To tackle these topics, the training delivery methods we recommend hinge greatly on well-organized information and storytelling. These include:

    •  Podcasts
    Borrowing from the popular media format, Podcasts are an excellent way to educate team members, allowing them to absorb information at their own pace in a familiar style.

    •  Infographics
    Visual tools help to reinforce concepts, and the Infographic remains a popular delivery method as it clearly outlines vital data and information in a memorable and engaging way.

    •   Animations
    Another popular visual option, Animations are a great way to educate learners. By imparting critical information in an entertaining way, you can increase both retention and engagement.

    •   Group Discussions
    Part team-building, part training, Guided Group Discussions are a great way to build relationships among team members while educating them on key concepts.

    •   Interactive Training Tools (Pitch)
    These interactive modules from Unboxed’s Training Technology team organize key concepts in an interactive, data-based tool, making it effective for knowledge acquisition and knowledge sustainment (refresher training).

    Training Delivery Methods for Improving Knowledge & Skills

    Building on those, there are several modalities that bridge both knowledge and skills, helping learners to understand the how behind the what and the why. This category of modalities includes:

    •   Instructor-Led Trainings (in-person or virtual)
    Instructor Led Training (ILT) or Virtual Instructor Led Training (vILT) allows you to build upon learned knowledge by giving learners a chance to put knowledge and skills into practice through classroom activities.The bonus of vILT is it allows you to reach learners near and far with training that’s as equally engaging, interactive, and effective as in-person training — without the pricey travel costs.

    •   Interactive Learning Guides
    Self-paced and fully interactive, our Interactive Learning Guides (ILG) keep learners engaged at every step. With a modern, web-like interface, video, animation, gamification, and interactive exercises, ILGs create an engaging experience for learners, making them effective for both knowledge and skills training.

    •   Videos
    Taking cues from what many learners engage in on their own time, training videos are an incredibly popular choice to help learners improve their skills in addition to reinforcing their knowledge.

     

    Training Delivery Methods for Sharpening Skills & Behaviors

    Moving further into training for skills, the delivery methods below allow you to focus more deeply on the tactical responsibilities of your team. These modalities also lend themselves to training for behaviors, educating learners on the action taken, and include:

    •   Group Participation, Hands-On Activities, Role Plays, On-the-Floor Training, Mentor Shadowing
    Each of these training delivery methods differs in their approach but share the same goal: to allow team members to improve their skills in settings and situations where they actually use them.

     

    Training Delivery Methods for Shaping Behaviors

    Behavior-specific training goes one step further, allowing you to work with team members to help them make changes in their interactions, approaches, and performance with direct feedback. There are two modalities that are ideal for this type of training, these are:

    •   Huddles
    Combining the benefits of group participation, hands-on activities, and role play along with direct coaching, Huddles are an excellent training method to help shape and improve behaviors.

    •   Video Simulations
    Offering the same advantages of a Huddle, Video Simulations allow geographically dispersed teams the opportunity to observe team member behavior and coach them to be more effective in their approach.

     

    Need Help?

    We recognize there are a lot of options out there, but choosing a training method doesn’t need to be a chore. We can help you analyze and understand both your goals and content to select the best option for your needs. Reach out to schedule some time with our Training Content Strategists to learn more.

    Want to know more about choosing a training method? Download our free guide!

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    4 Virtual Instructor Led Training Best Practices for Max Engagement

    As technologies evolve and people become increasingly comfortable connecting virtually, companies are looking for ways to take their existing training content into the digital space. That’s where virtual instructor-led training (vILT) comes in. But what exactly is vILT, what are the benefits, what is its #1 challenge, and what virtual instructor led training best practices can you follow to maximize engagement?

    Let’s take a look.

    Around-The-World

    VILT Benefits

    The benefits to business are obvious. By moving existing training content to online or app-based platforms, your company can:

    • Connect learners globally,
    • Reduce training costs, and
    • Complement your blended learning strategy.

    Plus, unlike self-paced e-courses, instructors can still interact with learners in real time, facilitating discussions and answering participant questions.

    But let’s take a step back. What exactly does a vILT look like?

     

    Three parts of a vILT

    The three main components of a vILT are:

    1. The platform
    2. The training content
    3. The people

    Three-Components-of-vILT-best-practices

    The platform

    Two software platforms commonly used for vILT are the Cisco Webex Training Center and Adobe Connect. Both platforms create an online space where instructors and learners can interact and offer tools to increase engagement, including: virtual whiteboards, polling, “raise hand” and chat functions, and breakout rooms for smaller discussions and activities.

    The-Platform-vILT

    The content

    Then you have your course materials which consist of the audio and visual content the instructor uses to teach the course, including: videos, text, audio clips, and images. Those materials are often contained in a PowerPoint presentation as a convenient way for instructors to organize and share information.

    In addition, a facilitator’s guide outlining timing, talking points, discussion prompts, and activities can be very useful in keeping your session on track. Job aids, infographics, and other supplementary materials can be used as takeaways to reinforce learnings.

    The-Content-virtual-ILT

    The people

    You have your learners, of course, and your instructor/facilitator who is teaching the material and/or facilitating discussions and activities.

    You may also want a producer—someone who is tech savvy and has in-depth knowledge of the platform you’re using to launch tools, move participants into breakout rooms and help monitor the time.

    The-People-live-session-training

    So, what is the biggest challenge with vILTs?

    The big challenge

    The greatest challenge with vILTs is also the greatest challenge with ILTs—keeping learners engaged. But with vILTs it is especially easy for participants to hide in the back of the virtual classroom where no one can see or hear them. Plus, instructors must compete with all the distractions at learners’ fingertips like email, texting, and Internet browsing.

    Distracted-Learner-vILT

    Which leads us to…

    Virtual Instructor Led Training Best Practices

    Follow these 4 virtual instructor led training best practices to keep learners focused and engaged.

    1. Make your training part of a larger blended learning journey. One of the advantages of the vILT format is that learners can complete self-paced training and review materials before and after the live session. You don’t need to cram everything into marathon in-person sessions. Micro-learning has been proven to be 50% more engaging and makes the transfer of learning 17% more efficient. Break your content into smaller bite-sized pieces and focus your vILT on interactive discussions and activities
    2. Develop a set of rules and expectations up front. This may include asking participants to close email and browsers and refrain from using their phones. Let them know ahead of time how they are expected to communicate, for example chatting in questions or using the “raise hand” function.
    3. Make sure you utilize platform tools to their greatest advantage. For example, polls can be used as a quick and easy way to keep learners engaged while gathering valuable feedback. Breakout rooms are extremely useful with large groups to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. But don’t make the mistake of using tools just because they’re there. Make sure all aspects of your training are thoughtful and intentional. That’s because.
    4. No technology can replace an enthusiastic, engaging instructor who cares. Think back to school. What were your favorite classes? Most likely they were taught by teachers who kept the content entertaining and expressed a genuine interest in their students. The same goes for virtual classes. The best instructors use storytelling and compelling audio-visual content and, when possible, establish one-on-one relationships with their learners. This can be challenging with large groups, but whether it’s a quick phone call, email, or post on an intranet message board—try to find the time to connect with participants.

    “vILTs really benefit from instructors and L&D departments who think outside the box and find ways to connect with participants outside of the live session.”

     

    A vILT can be a great, cost-effective addition to your L&D department’s offerings. Participants love the convenience and business loves its low impact to the bottom line. And by following these vILT best practices, you can overcome its greatest challenge—learner engagement—to see positive, measurable results with your training.

    To learn more about how to think strategically in this digital space and develop custom, design-forward, and engaging content, take a look at our custom vILT solutions and give us a shout! We’re happy to walk you through our process.