Taking Your Learning Strategy Digital: Transforming Content

In this blog series we have been sharing recommendations and tips on how to prepare for the new normal and take your learning strategy digital with a 3 phased approach:

Phase 1 – Move your Existing Training to Virtual Delivery

Phase 2 – Transforming your Content (focus for this blog)

Phase 3Marketing Your Digital Learning Program

Through our years of experience, we at LearnExperts have found that this approach allows you to pivot quickly and buys you the time needed to build a great modern, digital, and scalable learning program. In our last blog Taunya shared insights into the first phase of moving your existing training to virtual delivery. In this post we will focus on the second phase of the process: transforming your content.

Organizations that are heavily invested in instructor-led in-person delivery of learning content are surely struggling with the dilemma of having to move to a digital-only delivery model right now. Are you asking yourself, “How do I transform content that works really well for in-person delivery to digital?” While moving your existing instructor-led content to virtual delivery (as we discussed in our last blog) is the right first step, to create an engaging and effective program requires a larger effort and we will look at some of the things you should consider for this next phase of transformation.

Content Considerations

As I mentioned, you will want to do a deep dive look at your content to transition it to digital learning (Virtual Instructor-led (VILT) and Self-directed (eLearning)). Having in person training sessions help to prevent the audience from becoming distracted by outside influences like email, the goal when making the conversion to a digital format is to convey the same information to your audience and keep them engaged. Think about the following:

1. Examine the content to see how you can transition the right pieces to digital.

Break the existing content into chunks.

  • Instructions text can be converted into text with a lot of graphical interest with a talk track on top

  • Demonstrations can be the same, just recorded or completed live through screen sharing (in the case of VILT) and there are several technologies that are easy to use to do this

  • Self-paced exercises can be re-used, but add survey questions to test understanding

2. Consider what content and delivery technologies work well to facilitate exercises and activities in a digital format.

Determine if there are effective digital techniques that can be implemented to further engage learners.

For example, you can still do a “live demonstration / exercise” by taking the same content and recording you doing it. The learner will be engaged watching you show them what they need to do.

Another example, when you are teaching through VILT, use technology that exists in the live meeting platforms, like polling questions or break out rooms, to add variety and help you to encourage discussion and group work to learn.

3. Apply the same instructional design methodology to the development process as you would for in-person content.

All learning happens the same way, regardless of how its delivered (in person or self-paced).

You need the following elements: instruction and definition, show me how, let me try on my own, questions and answer to reinforce the learning.

So, when transitioning to digital, make sure you have these same elements even if you do them in a different way, and you’ll have awesome training!

Modality Considerations

You may think the transformation to digital means that you remove the need for instructors, but this is certainly not the case. You will want to analyze your content to determine how to best present it to your audience. Think of the following:

1. Attempt to keep the content and delivery techniques that are successful in your current program.

Classroom activities can be transformed into a wide range of digital inter-activities as discussed above.

2. Identify if you can convert all in-person content, or if you need to consider a blended approach (blended means a combination of remote live instruction or “ask me anything sessions” plus digital self-directed training).

Certain pieces of content may be best delivered by an instructor, in which case you would deliver via virtual instructor-led training.

You also have the option to create your learning content in a format that would allow for both self-paced and instructor-led delivery. Especially when some of the learning content is repetitive (often a good candidate to make self-paced) and then add discussion about it after to ensure everyone has completed it.

The Right People Make the Transformation a Success

While it is important to have the right tools to make your digital transformation successful, your training content development team’s knowledge and experience plays a key role in guiding and navigating you through this transformation.

Need assistance going digital? We bring over 100+ years of combined knowledge, hands-on experience, and best practices in the learning industry, driving adoption and customer success strategies that can help you grow and scale your organization.

Taunya MacDonald

Director, Customer Success

For more information contact us at LearnExperts Info or visit us at www.learnexperts.ca.