Perhaps ‘soft skills training’ is the one program which almost every company has been undertaking for decades. Companies look at soft skills training as an exercise which is much beneficial both to its employees as well as for the organization. In fact, soft skills training program has proved so effective and useful for the employees to handle clients in a professional way while representing the organization. Some of the Soft skills courses which are very effective in handling projects are:
- Effective communication,
- Problem solving,
- Critical thinking,
- Conflict management, and
The soft skill training programs help them immensely in their long-term personal career. So, it has become almost customary for all companies to have soft skills classroom training program. Once on-boarding is completed for the newly-joined employees, the next thing they would embark on is the soft skills classroom training program.
With the changing trends and technical advancements, training activities have taken new forms. Classroom training programs are being replaced with online training sessions. Compared to the traditional way of classroom training, the online training has shown more benefits in terms of resource management, managing time and efficiency of imparting training.
Online training handled the practical problems of classroom training, such as dearth of efficient trainers, infrastructure problems and scheduling training programs. The problem of scheduling training sessions for thousands of employees in a specific classroom in lesser time has been effectively addressed.
Online training has proved to be a gun-shot answer for various classroom training problems like time slot adjustments as the employees can take the online classes according to their schedule. Now, they don’t need to disturb their regular tasks. Moreover, online training can reach the employees through multiple devices. From a desktop computer to a smart phone, they can opt for any device to undergo the training session.
In addition, updating the online training material is comparatively easy and less time-taking. With rapid authoring tools, creating a new training program or updating the existing content is quick and easy. For all these reasons, more and more companies are embarking on the task of converting their soft skills classroom training to eLearning programs. Let us see what all it takes in converting classroom training to eLearning.
1. Understand what is involved in developing an eLearning course:
For developing an eLearning course for soft skills training or any other courses, there are certain things one needs to understand before developing the course:
- To finalize the objectives for the course: The course objectives determine what the trainee is going to learn at the end of the course. In fact, the whole course should be developed and to function to meet these objectives.
- To develop instructional design for the course: It involves the outlook how the course is to be developed. The instructional designers understand the needs of the learners and go in tune with the objectives in developing the course. In a way, the whole training program (that is yet to be built) is based on this blue print, called instructional design.
- Creating the storyboard: Once the instructional design is finalized, accordingly, the storyboard will be created topic-wise.
- Design development: Once the storyboarding is completed and thoroughly reviewed and finalized, the design development takes place. The course will be designed as it is perceived by the instructional designers and storyboard writers. The design team in fact enhances the course with their creative ability and innovative ideas. What the storyboard writer imagined can further be well developed by the design team.
- Course review: Once the training course is built, it needs to be reviewed by the quality checking team to ensure that the course is meeting all the quality standards.
- Launch the course: Once the course review is completed, it is now ready to be published for the learners. In this way, the training program will be ready for launch.
2. Decide if you want to update the storyboarding or not
If the classroom training program was created long ago and it needs to be updated with latest information, then the storyboard needs to be updated accordingly. This decision needs to be taken at this juncture, because after the course is built, making content changes would add much re-work. If you are happy with the existing classroom training material, then, there is no need to update the content.
3. Finalize the authoring tool to build the course
Once the storyboard is ready for the course to be built, now, it is the time to decide a suitable authoring tool for your course. There are many rapid authoring tools available in the market, including Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, Lectora Inspire, iSpring Suit, etc. You can choose any tool according to your needs and start building the course.
4. Pay attention how you want the design to be
In the instructor-led classroom training program, the trainer would use a PPT and white board to explain the concepts. But, when converting instructor-led training (ILT) to eLearning, there can be visually attractive changes in the course in terms of animations, videos, graphic effects. Concepts can be best explained using scenarios, data interpretation, effective graphics so that it is more engaging and interactive to the learner.
5. Make the best use of assessments in an eLearning course
While conducting the classroom training sessions, a test would be conducted at the end of the training program. The trainees would be given exam papers to answer the questions based on their understanding. In the eLearning course, this assessment activity can be best included in the form of three types of assessments:
- Diagnostic assessment (questions placed at the beginning of the course),
- Formative assessment (questions placed after completion of each topic) and
- Summative assessment (questions placed at the end of the course to evaluate the whole learning).
That way, by the end of the course, the learners would know how many marks they have gained after attempting the summative assessment. If they couldn’t perform well, the course suggests them to revisit the course.