One of the reasons many organisations continue to stick with face-to-face workshops is that they feel the effort to transfer workshops into online training is too hard.
Until recently, this was probably correct. If you had to use complex eLearning Authoring tools, like Captivate or Storyline, to create online training, that was a long process with a steep learning curve (or an expensive process completed by external consultants or training designers you would have to add to your employee list!).
With modern cloud-based learning creation tools, this process can be a LOT easier. With a platform like Tribal Habits, it is so easy to take your training online that anyone in your team could do it. At a high level, here’s a seven-step process to transfer workshops into online training.
Start by defining the scope of content and what delivery method would best suit that content.
As an example, modules in Tribal Habits can include triggered on-the-job activities, with their own due dates and notifications, including reminders. These activities can be used to step learners through implementation, set-up and submit workshop preparation materials, download templates or case studies for offline assessments (and then upload results) and more. Activities are a great example of how to transfer workshops into online training but retaining the offline component.
Having defined what will go into the online training, start with your existing workshop content and break it into chunks. Each chunk should end up representing around 5-15 minutes of content. If you have a workshop presentation or workbook, this can be as simple as defining which slides/pages should be grouped together into chunks.
Think of chunks as a table of contents. You are seeking well-defined pauses in your workshop content – moments when it is good for a learner to pause, reflect on what they have covered and then move onto the next chunk.
The chances are that most of your workshop materials will lack sufficient detail. For example, you may have a set of workshop slides, but the delivery notes for those slides are missing – they are simply ‘in the mind’ of the facilitator.
As a result, many workshop materials do not make sense on their own. They need someone explaining them. In this step, you need to add sufficient detail to make those materials stand-alone. This is the largest step, but since you have broken your materials into chunks, it can be addressed in stages.
With a modern online learning creation platform, there are also many ways to prepare – and then capture – this detail.
In all cases, the simple test is to ask: could someone understand this content if I was not here to explain it to them?
Now look at your workshop and highlight all the activities which the facilitator runs. Chances are, many workshop activities can be replicated in online training.
Ideally, you want to replicate as many of your workshop activities as possible. However, as you gain more experience with the process to transfer workshops into online training, there are also activities you can add which are not possible in workshops. Matching, sorting or ranking exercises are a good example.
At this point, you now have your workshop content with sufficient detail and a series of activities to encourage interaction. Now it is little effort to transfer workshops into online training modules.
Once again, if you are using a modern online training creation platform, this is now a simple matter. Let’s use Tribal Habits as an example.
In Tribal Habits, you use a building block editor to add content.
The process becomes one of simply selecting the appropriate building block and then copying/pasting the content you have prepared. Tribal Habits will automatically format and brand your content to your organisation standards. It will manage all navigation, estimate time for learners to complete each section, handle online assessment marking and more.
Once your first draft is finished, its time to get some feedback.
This can be as easy as asking a few colleagues to complete your module. In particular, ask them if the content was able to be understood on its own. This is often the main issue when you transform face-to-face workshops into online training – you just don’t provide enough detail. If not, go back and add additional content.
Then ask them if there was enough interaction. If not, then look at perhaps changing some of your text content into more interactive elements, or add in some additional online activities.
In Tribal Habits, you can obtain two additional forms of help.
At this point, its time to pilot your module with your first learners. Be sure to get feedback from them (you can automatically enable feedback questions in Tribal Habits modules too). No training module is ever really finished!
That’s the benefit when you transfer workshops into online training. You can easily take learner feedback and tweak the module – every new learner will immediately benefit from this. Fixing things in a workshop often requires far more work and won’t have any impact until the next time the workshop is run.
Now you are up and running. You can now deliver the same content as your workshop…
Plus, you can now do this with no additional time effort and minor costs to deliver per learner. If you are then continuing with your workshops, you can now reduce their length and improve their effectiveness by having learners who are prepared and ready to engage!
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