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  • Expertise in Web Based Product Training
  • Focus on Technology Vertical
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How to effectively move your product training online


No, this isn’t another debate about how e-learning is better than classroom training! The benefits of e-learning over classroom training have been talked about often and so have been its shortcomings. Let’s talk about the ways to minimize these shortcomings with the help of an effective transition between the two modes.

If you have been doing your product training in the classroom for ages, you can’t just put the whole thing online and send the learners a link. Some times product companies and their learners fail to reap all the benefits that the online learning mode has to offer, because of a sudden shift towards it. Organizations know how intimidating a large scale change such as this can be. Hence a smooth transition is needed for the change to last and be effective. A step by step system has to be designed to phase in the change.

Here are some things to consider while migrating from classroom training to e-learning:
 
  1. Content – It’s not possible for large organizations to develop and deliver all their training content in one go. You have to prioritize your classroom training content that has to go online depending on its complexity and urgency. It is best to start with information based content as it will be easier for the learners to grasp and to adjust to the change in the mode. You can look at skill based and other more complex instructions to go online in subsequent phases.
  2. System – Content development is only a part of the battle. You have to create a system for delivering this content which will ensure effective training. This system should address all the hick-ups that might come up during the transition. For example, what will learners do in case of a doubt or if they need to express their perspective? – Elements like mentor/coach programs, discussion forums, wikis etc. should be a part of this system and the system should define how these will work together.
  3. Internal marketing – Getting learners to adopt the change is perhaps the biggest challenge for such an initiative. An internal marketing program should be created and implemented on a regular basis to educate the learners on the organizational need and get them excited about the shift.
 
It’s probably a good idea to leave some of the training that is critically dependant on physical interaction in the classroom to retain its essence. But, that doesn’t mean you have to stay void of the benefits of the virtual world. You can still cut down its content that is information based and put it online as a pre-cursor to the classroom sessions. This will save you time away from work as well as logistic costs if the sessions are spread over days.

The transition between classroom training to e-learning can be made hassle free by considering the above aspects. There are plenty of creative ways to use the online mode and gain substantial benefits. But, the point to note here is that phasing in one mode does not necessarily mean phasing out the other.

STAM has a decade's experience in helping global companies with their Web Based product training strategies and investments, please contact us for your product training requirements.
 
“The art of progress is to preserve order amid change.”
– Alfred North Whitehead
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