What do we mean by training delivery methods?
When we think about ‘training delivery’ we probably imagine an instructor in a classroom, but more modern methods of training naturally tend toward more modern delivery methods. Methods that make better use of current technology to make training more effective.
Traditional training methods
For decades now, corporate training programs have been delivered as live training events that are structured and scheduled.
Traditionally, training events were scheduled to take place at a training center or a training room, and have a seat time anywhere from half a day, to a full week, with each day lasting around eight hours.
Computer-based training, where participants use a computer to access training systems in an instructor-led classroom setting, began to be used in the 1980s to 1990s. This was followed by eLearning in the mid to late 1990s which allowed participants to engage in self-paced learning.
Virtual Classrooms further disrupted this paradigm, with technologies such as Webex allowing instructors to deliver a live training experience using a digital platform whilst training participants accessed the session remotely.
Training delivery challenges
There are some challenges with traditional training delivery methods, including:
- High implementation costs, both in terms of time and money.
- The differing teaching style of instructors can lead to inconsistent coverage.
- May necessitate an employee being away from work and interruption to daily tasks.
Modern training delivery methods offer solutions to these challenges.
On job training methods
Increasingly, both employers and individuals are using digital learning platforms and purchasing digital course subscriptions that enable them to learn what they want, when they want; via website content, video training, eLearning, micro-learning and content-rich mobile learning apps.
So, let’s explore some of these modern training delivery methods, see what each one is suitable for, and when and how you can use them to make your training more effective.
eLearning may not be a new concept, in fact, it has been around for well over 30 years now, but it is constantly evolving as a training delivery method and consistently provides learning delivery advantages for organizations. Research indicates that more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies use eLearning, and 72% of organizations claim that eLearning provides them with a distinct competitive advantage.
Some key benefits of eLearning as a learning delivery method are:
- Consistency: eLearning as a standalone delivery method, or in combination with live elements provides a greater guarantee for a standardized process and consistency in the delivery of training content.
- Improved learning outcomes: eLearning’s combination of multimedia and instructional design can offer a very rich learning delivery experience that is repeatable, and allows for the clever combination of digital and in-class elements to build a blended solution to deliver learning.
When to use eLearning
eLearning is a great delivery method to choose for longer format courses that will be consumed on larger format devices like laptops or PC workstations. As we mentioned before, eLearning is also a great choice when combined with instructor-led training to deliver as a blended solution.
eLearning is not perfect in every situation though. The fact is traditional eLearning courses of up to an hour in length do not engage well on smaller devices.
Whilst there are strong instructional design frameworks developed over many years that address the development of eLearning, mobile learning works rather differently.
For this reason, a ‘mobile-first’ approach is key if you intend your training content to be consumed on mobile devices.
Increasingly, learning delivery has been trending towards mobile devices and platforms and Learning Management Systems that are not only mobile-friendly, but mobile optimized.
As device ownership reaches peak saturation and continues to grow into 2020, it’s natural that a shift has occurred whereby many people prefer to consume and engage with content via their mobile devices.
Many digital learning delivery development tools and platforms are now trying to optimize for mobile output in one way or another. However, this does not mean the mobile learning experience has parity with its larger format eLearning counterpart.
There are a few reasons for this, the most obvious being screen size – content developed for a widescreen display often loses impact when translated to a much smaller screen, even if it is 100% responsive on all devices.
When to use mobile learning
Some examples of types of training where a mobile-first approach to learning delivery really shines include:
Employee onboarding: With intuitive, easy-to-use learning tools, new employees can quickly learn what they need to know to get started in their jobs regardless of location.
Remote worker training: Many organizations have multiple locations and remote workers, some of whom work full-time from home. Mobile learning delivery helps keep employees who work outside the main office current.
Customer service training: Customer service employees are often key to turning a negative customer experience into a positive one. Mobile earning easily delivers the ongoing training customer service representatives need to excel in their jobs.
The next evolution is mobile learning is micro-learning, which takes the mobile-first approach and runs with it by tailoring the training experience and content to short-form, bite-size training.
Microlearning often features elements of gamification that reward the user as they progress through a course. The collection of badges or other tokens as learning progress can be a nice incentive to ensure engagement is maintained until course completion.
But optimal learning delivery doesn’t have to be reliant on the type of content.
Sometimes a microlearning nugget that’s text-based – easily scannable and quick to consume – is easier to get through than a three-minute video. What trainees really want is choice, quality, and relevance based on best practice training methodologies.
Using a dedicated microlearning platform like EddApp provides many benefits:
- Supports formal training: Microlearning can be used to supplement your formal training.
- Engages learners: A key feature of Microlearning is that it is short and learners will usually finish going through a Microlearning ‘nugget’ within a one to five-minute window. This offset the attention span challenge. Short training also means faster completions, improving completion rates.
- Keeps knowledge front and center: Cognitive studies support microlearning in improving knowledge recall, and increasing knowledge retention from three months to two years.
- Continuous Improvement: Microlearning only takes up a few minutes of each day but also occurs regularly, the concept of spaced repetition. Therefore, learners can implement the knowledge gained almost immediately into their workday, establishing a culture of continual learning and improvement.
- Supports BYOD (Bring your own device): Allows employees to access training content on any device they currently own, security is built into the microlearning platform.
Although micro-learning is not by definition screen size, content or device-dependent – it does tend to fit better with mobile devices using bite-size content and learning techniques like spaced repetition.
Mobile Learning + MicroLearning + Spaced Repetition
How you choose to deliver training to your employees can have a big impact on the effectiveness.
The three modern training delivery methods discussed can be used individually to great effect, but an even better way to build effective training strategies is to combine these delivery methods along with spaced repetition.
By taking a mobile-first approach, using micro-learning principles and a dedicated Microlearning platform like Edapp, plus employing spaced repetition you will have a very effective training strategy.