The benefits of eLearning are many: for learners it is self-paced, convenient and requires less seat time, while organizations benefit from the re-allocation of staff resources to the clients who need their help the most. Many organizations recognize the benefits of virtual training but are unsure where to begin. Some just transfer their PowerPoint presentation to an online version, producing a less than adequate learning experience for the learner. But it doesn’t have to be so! You can effectively transfer your Instructor-Led Training (ILT) material to online delivery. Here are a few best practices to help you convert your classroom-based training to eLearning.
Revisit Your Existing Content
Revisit the learning objectives - are they clear and concise? What do you want the learner to know or do at the end of the course?
Ask colleagues, instructors and learners what works well in the course and what does not. For example, what are the evaluations telling you? What concepts are difficult to explain or are typically misunderstood? At the end of the course can the learner do what they set out to learn? If not, where are the gaps and how can you fill them?
Re-purpose Your Existing Content
Take an inventory of the workshop materials associated with the ILT. For example, handouts, PowerPoint slides, Prezis, videos, case studies, role plays, quizzes and evaluations. There are likely many paper documents that might be re-purposed for the online version, while case studies and role plays can be converted to video “What would you do?” scenarios.
Bite Size Pieces
Chunking refers to the strategy of breaking down information into bite-sized pieces, so the brain can more easily process new information. Chunking information is particularly important for online learning as the instructor is not present to answer questions and to guide the student's learning process. Chunking ensures eLearning content is organized in a logical and progressive manner.
Break the content down into smaller units of no more than 20 – 30 minutes in length. You will need to sift through several hours of workshop material removing the “nice to know” content and leaving the “need to know” essential elements of the course. Use external links to access the “nice to know” information or include it as a handout in additional resources.
When converting ILT to eLearning, industry experts recommend that you follow the same phases of an Instructional Design Model such as ADDIE. Your existing ILT was probably designed using this model, or perhaps not. But that is yet another benefit of the conversion process- it offers the opportunity to revisit, revise and improve your training materials, offering learners a convenient and engaging learning experience.
To learn more about converting your Instructor-Led Training to eLearning, please join us for 3 Big Steps - Converting your Workshops to eLearning, June 7th and 14th, 2018
Jane Bozarth, Nuts and Bolts: From Classroom to Online, Think “Transform” not “Transfer”
Ayesha Habeeb Omer, Ph.D. 3 Best Practices To Convert A 3-Day Instructor-Led Training To Self-Paced Learning
Nicole Legault, What’s Easier: Converting ILT to E-Learning or Starting from Scratch?
George Miller’s article from 1956: The Magical Number Seven.