How can I create online training?
Creating and sharing online training used to be a heavy lift. It required weeks or months of time and the expertise of an instructional designer, a web developer, and maybe even a project manager. It also involved multiple apps and systems for different steps of the process. And when you were finally done making it, you never could be quite sure whether it would work on all devices, especially tablets and smartphones.
Thankfully, things have changed for the better. Today, creating online training that works on every device is something anyone can do—without formal design training or any programming background. That’s because all-in-one online training systems have dramatically simplified training development and distribution, transferring the burden from course creators to technology—right where it should be.
So, let’s get you up to speed on how the world of online training has evolved. We’ll do that by highlighting a simple process you can follow to create online training and choose the right apps for getting the job done.
Three simple steps for creating online training
While people approach the task of creating online training differently, it always boils down to some version of these three steps:
- Developing online training
- Delivering online training
- Evaluating the impact of online training
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
1. Developing your online training
Before you start creating your online training, you need to know why you’re making it! So, it’s a good idea to do a little prep work to get yourself organized. This work consists of a few small sub-steps.
Identify the goal of training
First, you’ll want to think through the goals of your training: What does this training need to accomplish? With concrete goals in mind, you can figure out the right depth and breadth of content you’ll need to include in your training course. Thinking about the training goal will also help you target success metrics for evaluating the impact of your training later.
Gather and prioritize source content
Now you’ll need to gather the source content you’ll use to create your online training. Source material can be almost anything helpful, including content from previous training, how-to videos, policy and procedure manuals, best practices from learners—you name it.
Once you’ve figured out what your training needs to do and what content you have, then you can prioritize which bits of content make their way into your course. Sorting each piece of content into “need-to-know” material and “nice-to-know” material is one good approach for figuring out what you’ll definitely need to include in your course. You can leave out the “nice-to-know” stuff or use it in some other way.
Get creative with your authoring app
When you’ve got your training goals and content ready, you can dive into the fun, creative part: making your online training. This is the point where you’ll think about interesting, relevant ways you can turn static do’s and don’ts, how-to steps, or other raw material into something that will keep your learners’ attention.
To know what kind of interactions you can build, you’ll need to understand the capabilities of the course development app you’ll use to create your online training. Apps for creating online training are also known as “authoring apps,” and they vary widely in their features and complexity. Many authoring apps are stand-alone apps you install on your computer. These apps can give you a great deal of power and control over what you’re creating, but they have a bigger learning curve, so they take a while to master and use effectively. And when you use a stand-alone authoring app, you’ll have to publish and upload your course to a Learning Management System, or LMS. (More about LMS platforms in a bit!)
Thankfully, stand-alone authoring apps and separate LMS platforms are no longer the only options for creating and sharing online training. Today, you can choose an all-in-one training system that lets you create, share, and manage your online training in one place. One such system is Rise. It’s a web-based app with a friendly, intuitive interface most folks can master in a matter of minutes. With Rise, anyone can create online training with prebuilt interactions such as sorting activities, scenarios, process interactions, labeled graphics, and more. And you can customize these interactions with your content and images really quickly.
To summarize this step, the process of developing online training includes identifying your goals, gathering and prioritizing source material, and then getting creative with your authoring app. If you want to learn even more about creating online training, you’ll find our article “What’s the Best Way to Create Online Training?” super helpful.
2. Delivering online training to your learners
Once you’ve developed your online training, it’s time to roll it out to your learners. So, what’s involved with that? Well, the answer to this question varies quite a bit.
If you’re using a separate authoring app and LMS combo as we mentioned above, the process of rolling out training can be pretty laborious. Typically, you’ll need to do extensive testing to make sure the content you’ve created in your separate authoring app “plays well” with the LMS. When you have separate systems, the integration and communication between them aren’t always smooth. Testing your training in your LMS can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
And if your organization is like many, you might not even have access to the LMS at all! You may need to rely on your LMS administrator to upload the course, do all the testing, and assign the training course to learners. As you can imagine, this scenario makes the trip from creating online training to sharing it with learners pretty long.
It’s no wonder that more organizations are bailing on the old-school model for creating and sharing online training, and instead, they’re using all-in-one training systems like Rise. Since all-in-one systems include both authoring and hosting, there’s no need for an LMS (or the testing and administrator go-between). With systems like Rise, you simply indicate that the course you’ve developed is ready for learners, and they’ll see it in their course library. Also, you can be sure that they can take your training on any device—and have a great experience, too.
3. Evaluating the impact of your online training
With your online training rolled out, it might seem like your work is done. But there is one more step you should take, and it’s an important one: You’ll want to evaluate the impact of your training. After all, what’s the point of creating online training if you’re not going to make sure it helped you reach your goals?
This is where the training goals you identified early on come into play. Did learners who completed your training perform their jobs more efficiently? Are learners who passed the quiz in your training outperforming those who didn’t? These are just some of the possible questions you could ask to analyze the impact of your training.
In the past, getting data about your online training required asking for a report from your LMS administrator. But with systems like Rise, reporting is built right in, so you can access the data yourself to assess the impact of your training on learners.
Creating online training is a three-step process: You develop your training, deliver your training to learners, and then evaluate the impact of your training. You can use a few different apps for creating online training—either a separate authoring app and LMS, or an all-in-one training system like Rise that lets you create, deliver, and analyze your training in one place.
Whichever way you go, it’s important to know that creating online training shouldn’t require a Herculean effort. With the right know-how and technology for the job, online training is now an easy lift for anyone.