As you ramp up an online learning program, it’s important to consider what your learners will experience. You don’t want there to be ANY roadblocks to successful completion!
Whether you’re just starting out or already have an online learning program that your members love, here are some tips for giving them the most seamless experience as possible:
1. Make your learning management system (LMS) user-friendly.
Not only do you want to choose a platform that was built to be easy for your learners to use, but you also want to set up your navigation and courses to be intuitive, too.
What do we mean? Think about the way a learner would visit the platform and where they would go first: is it easy to find relevant courses? Are titles and descriptions clear? How many times do they have to click on something before they get where they’re trying to go? Give them a helping hand by making the path as direct as possible!
2. Host webinars directly in the system.
This goes hand-in-hand with creating a user-friendly experience for your learners. If webinars are a part of your online learning program (or you have plans to include them in the future), host them directly in the system you use to manage the program. That way learners aren’t having to navigate back and forth between the LMS and the webinar system, and their progress is automatically tracked.
3. Monitor their progress regularly.
Speaking of progress: it can certainly be relieving to have that kind of individual learner insight in the first place...but don’t stop there! Be proactive and create a plan to use it to your (and your learners’) advantage:
Decide on a recurring timeframe to review everyone’s progress (weekly, monthly, etc.)
Determine action points for different scenarios: sending an email to learners who are at 75% complete, giving learners at only 25% a call…
What would help move them along? What extra motivations and encouragement can you give them? Be sure to include some of that, too!
Whatever the process, getting yourself into a regular cadence of monitoring and nudging your learners will keep them accountable.
4. Write clear course descriptions.
We mentioned this before, but it’s important! Your course descriptions are NOT the place to get too wordy or funny. Learners should have a clear understanding of what topics will be covered, and what is expected of them upon completion. (To take a quiz, watch a video, etc.)
Each time you write a course description, consider running it by someone outside of your department (or even outside of your organization) to ensure it makes sense. If you keep “writing like a human” in mind, you’ll be just fine!
5. Prepare them with a curriculum and expectations.
If you’re a nerd like me, you probably also got way too excited about reading through college course syllabuses. Nerdy and excited or not, your learners should know what they’re in for from the start! Consider putting together a guide that describes the entire course curriculum and — this is especially important if they’re earning a certification or license — expectations for completing the program.
These considerations, small as they may seem, eliminate a ton of needless friction along the learner’s way. And at the end of the day, you’re here to help them complete the program and, ideally, PASS!
Still working on putting your program together? Our guide, 3 Simple Steps to Starting an Online Learning Program, outlines just how easy it can be to get up and running. Download your copy below: