9 Reasons to Use Elearning for Systems Training
Did you know that research by Brandon Hall has shown that employees can learn 40-60% faster through elearning than through classroom training?
It’s a big reason why systems training elearning is so popular for companies planning a software rollout. Whether undertaking an upgrade or an entirely new system altogether, one of the biggest challenges they face is getting the training right. It’s important that employees are able to use new or upgraded systems from the get-go in order to maximise the efficiency that the new software should bring. I have worked on many software rollout projects, from Microsoft Office upgrades to Agresso rollouts to new CRM implementations, and I have seen what works and what doesn’t when it comes to training staff.
A blended training approach combines the best of elearning and classroom training to deliver results. If your organisation has talented trainers at its disposal, my advice is always: use them. But elearning can enhance, and in some cases replace classroom training. However, off-the-shelf elearning is much less effective than bespoke elearning. Bespoke elearning will always be much more relevant for your staff, and ultimately lead to a better-trained workforce. So, I’ve put together a list of 9 reasons why elearning is great for systems training to highlight how elearning can help.
1. A consistent Approach
When it comes to training users how to use new software, you need to ensure that users receive a consistent training message. This includes the correct way to carry out tasks or how to complete particular steps in the new application. Using elearning, you can design training to consistently deliver the best practice message on how to use the new system.
2. Reach Everybody
Delivering classroom training to an entire organisation is challenging. Scheduling sessions for people who were on holiday, or maternity leave, or who work out of satellite office is demanding. It can cost more money and take up more of your users’ time. And scheduling mop-up sessions for people who couldn’t make the original sessions is a pain. With elearning, your learners can take the training at a time that is convenient for them.
3. Save Money
Elearning will nearly always save money compared to classroom training. You save money on employees’ time as research has shown that learners can learn 40-60% faster through elearning than through classroom training. When scheduling multiple sessions and mop-up sessions, using a variety of trainers, booking classrooms, etc, the costs add up. And when you need refresher training, you need to pay for the training all over again. With bespoke elearning, the costs are generally one-off, and that helps keep your budget down.
4. Tell Me, Show Me, Try Me
Great systems training elearning contains a Tell Me, Show Me and a Try Me section. The Tell Me section describes how to use the new application. It may be a written step-by-step guide, and will usually include screenshots. The Show Me section is usually an annotated video, showing learners how to complete specific tasks in the new software. The Try Me section is more engaging: learners can perform defined tasks in a simulation of the new system.
5. Use a Simulated Environment
The Try Me is the most powerful aspect of systems training elearning since it allows learners to discover how the new platform works. Whether you are training learners on Office 365, or Salesforce, or Agresso, great systems training elearning allows learners to complete tasks within a simulated environment. This allows learners to gain hands on experience of the new system, before they use it for real.
6. Reusable Resource
Unlike classroom sessions, employees can go back and reuse elearning again and again. And so the best systems training elearning solutions use microlearning to allow employees to focus on what they need to know. Elearning allows users to revisit areas they have forgotten right when they need to know the answer. This sort of just in time training improves efficiency within any organisation.
7. Cater for Different Learning Styles
Yes, that’s right – elearning is great at catering for different learning styles. Honey and Mumford defined four learning styles and all are catered for using the Tell Me, Show Me and Try Me methodology.
8. Accurately assess your users
It’s possible for learners to sit at the back of classroom session and not take anything in. So if you want to ensure that your users understand how to use the new system before you let them loose, elearning can hold the key. A scored assessment works best as part of the Try Me section in a course. Learners work their way through a scenario and the elearning scores them on how well they remember the process. For example, an elearning course might contain a simulation of Word 2016, and the learner follows the steps to create a mail merge. The elearning can score the user depending on how accurately they remembered the steps and how many/few hints and reminders they needed. This score can then be reported to your Learning Management System.
9. Boost Confidence
Not everybody is comfortable learning new software. It’s important to be mindful of those who find new systems training an ordeal. By allowing learners to work through a simulated environment as part of an elearning course, you allow less confident users to practise before they use the live system. This can help with confidence as learners recognise that the new system is not too complicated.
Using Elearning for Systems Training
As with all forms of training, there is great elearning, and bad elearning. Don’t be put off by bad elearning you may have seen or taken in the past. To get the best results, consider using bespoke elearning for software training. You can build the courses internally, using an elearning authoring tool such as Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline, or you can use a company that specialises in bespoke elearning to create it for you. Whatever your approach, it is important to put your learners’ needs first so that they feel confident using the new software.