2020 has been a highly disruptive year for businesses, requiring them to rapidly but effectively deliver all training remotely while maintaining the same level of quality, engagement and experiential focus.
Many companies that deliver online or blended learning still fail to achieve the training outcomes they are after. This is due to lack of engagement, poor completion rates, and low knowledge retention rates. According to a research conducted by Dr. Hannah Gore, an e-learning engagement expert, only 3.8% of learners engage with content that’s delivered via an LMS. In addition, video meetings increase our cognitive load and force us to focus more intently on conversations in order to absorb information, which eventually leads to Zoom fatigue.
The Issues of Online Training
There are several problems associated with online learning and training:
Learners are isolated: In the real world, learners usually have peers and instructors that are there with them throughout the training and help them complete it. In the online world, however, learners often feel isolated and frustrated due to lack of human contact. Most of the time there isn’t a place for them to interact with their peers or with their instructor, and they rarely receive encouragement or support. Even when participating in video training sessions, learners are usually on the receiving end and don’t get to ask questions or contribute to the discussion.
Learning is passive: The online learning process is not experiential and learners don’t always get to practice what they learn and apply it in their daily work. Employees often just watch videos and read information, but are not encouraged to go out and experiment with the new knowledge they’ve gained. Research shows that when learning is passive, 84% of learners forget what they learn after two weeks!
No feedback loop: When going through online learning programs or even virtual sessions, learners don’t receive any feedback and have no idea how they’re doing and how they can improve. The absence of feedback can lead to frustration, lack of engagement, and depleted motivation.
How to Create Online Learning Experiences That Are as Effective as In-Person Training
To get the learning outcomes you’re looking for, it’s important to make sure employees apply the knowledge they gain throughout the training and move away from passive learning. Action-based learning means learners not only consume information, but also implement it. Implementing information can be done by answering questions about the content, or practicing a new skill. If, for example, you teach managers how to conduct an effective feedback session, make sure they actually experiment with giving feedback, and not just learn the theory behind it.
Integrating coaching, peer learning, and a learning community
The three most effective ways to make sure online learners don’t feel isolated and are receiving feedback throughout the training, are coaching, peer learning, and a learning community.
Coaching enables learners to receive feedback and specific guidance throughout the training. Employees who take action as part of training need to understand how they’re doing and what can be improved. Without feedback, no real progress can be made and the training has no impact in the long run.
Peer learning allows learners to collaborate and interact with one another during the training, and keep each other accountable. Connecting with peers can reduce the feeling of isolation and increase motivation and engagement.
A learning community is an effective way to allow learners to interact, share thoughts, and give feedback to each other. Being a part of a community enables participants to learn from each other, and therefore improve their ability to achieve significant progress.
To create transformational impact in an organization, it’s important to make sure employees adopt new behaviors. Some actions must be repeated on a daily basis in order to create real behavioral change. The more learners practice new skills and behaviors, the more autonomous those skills will become, and the greater the impact will be.
The use of action-based learning, coaching, peer learning, and habits in your training can lead to the following results:
- Learners remember what they learn even years after the training is completed.
- Learners successfully implement what they learn in their work and personal life.
- Learners feel empowered and motivated by acquiring new skills.
How Can You Implement Those Changes?
When we started myQuest eight years ago, we asked ourselves this exact question. We realized that traditional LMSs and online learning platforms offer a very limited set of options for creating effective learning experiences, which made us feel like we had to find a better answer.
After two years of research and development of the AFT Learning Model, we managed to build a new online training delivery tool that has results that are good as those of in-person training. Our learning technology is focused on action-based learning, coaching, peer learning, and habit-formation techniques, and now anyone can use it.
Today, we are helping hundreds of companies around the globe improve their learning and training processes. Here’s how we do that:
Encouraging students to take action
The myQuest platform encourages learners to complete ‘Missions’. Each Mission is a bite-sized micro action that learners need to take in order to move on to the next step. The use of action-based learning allows learners to experiment with what they have learnt and better understand their objectives.
After learners complete an action, the myQuest platform allows them to reflect on what they did. This is critical for optimal knowledge retention, as reflecting on the learning process connects the neurons in our brains in a way that helps us remember the information better. Reflection questions are also a great way for learners to connect with the coach or the community to receive feedback on actions.
Coaching as part of the learning process
myQuest’s 1:1 coaching feature enables the instructor to give personal feedback to each one of the learners to keep them motivated and engaged. Through the 1:1 coaching section, one instructor can personally interact and train a hundred students in just 30 minutes.
Community and peer learning
Every training program you deliver on myQuest has a designated learning community which allows learners to share ideas, give feedback to each other, and post their questions. In addition, learners can work together and coach one another as part of myQuest’s Buddy System.
On myQuest, actions that need to be repeated on a daily basis are turned into ‘Habits’. Learners are reminded to log in to the platform every day and acknowledge that they completed their daily habits.
Want to Create an Effective Online Training Experience? Here’s How We Can Help You
Personal Project Manager support
Here at myQuest, we assign each one of our customers a personal Project Manager to help and guide them on how to design an effective training experience with our platform. We start with a kickoff virtual meeting, where we show you how to utilize our platform in the best way possible and give you instructional design advice, and continue with weekly check-in calls to make sure you are achieving your goals.
Simple and user-friendly course builder
As a myQuest customer, you will receive access to a robust administration panel and a user-friendly program builder. The tools we give you will allow you to build a professional and engaging course in a matter of hours.
Track your training results and ROI
Measuring your training outcomes is just as important as improving your delivery methods. With myQuest, you will have access to a robust analytics dashboard and tracking tools to help you measure the impact of your programs and your training ROI.