There are so many different ways to teach a course for professional development, including live lectures, long online lectures, and the latest trend that’s definitely here to stay – eLearning. At this point, you’ve probably heard a lot about this model, but you may not be sure about the best ways to use eLearning to meet your company’s objectives and professional development goals.
It’s essential to deliver quality learning objectives that will motivate and grab your learners. First, you need to understand that no two learners are the same. By tailoring your lessons, you excite and inspire all learning styles. Here’s a guide to learning objectives and whether or not they’re compatible with eLearning.
What is eLearning?
E-learning is the latest in cutting edge strategies for knowledge dissemination. It’s commonly used by high schools, universities, and businesses as a way to increase flexibility and accessibility. These online courses can be accessed remotely by off-site employees and they can increase engagement by making use of multiple media formats. As a result, you’ll see higher levels of employee satisfaction and retention.
What Are Learning Objectives?
Learning objectives are a clear set of goals that shape how a learner engages with the material at hand. Once you’ve figured out what objectives your learners need to meet, create clear goals so your learners know exactly what is expected of them.
To know if your learners are engaged, ask yourself these questions: are my learners actively taking part in class? Are they asking questions to seek clarification? Are they delving into thought provoking conversations throughout the course?
If the answer is yes, that means your learning goals are clear. To motivate learners, you need to understand the diverse ways people learn. Learning goals aren’t just about what employees learn, but how they learn it.
Specific learning goals include developing professional and task-based skills, like learning how to use social media, understanding the functionalities of a new web platform, or learning how to perform a daily operation at your business.
General learning goals can be broadly applied to all or most eLearning platforms. For instance, all eLearning modules should strive to foster improved communication, better engagement, and a Personal Connection® to your brand. To make this happen, VP Legacies deploys a three-step process to eLearning. Through discovery, development, and deployment, we identify your company’s successes and pain points. Then, we use these for custom elearning development and help you implement it within your team.
How Learning Objectives Apply to Your Business
The challenge is creating clear learning objectives that all learners understand and are able to attain. It’s important to ask yourself some questions when creating these objectives. Create communication objectives for your custom eLearning program. This will allow your learners to understand the knowledge you wish to convey. They’ll recognize what fundamental information they should be absorbing. Your learners need to be connected to the training itself. This is where engagement objectives are especially handy. They aim to keep the learner invested in their training. Explain to your learners how they will benefit from this training.
When learners are engaged, they remember more. The more motivated and interested your learners are, the more inclined they will be to take additional courses. Your courses could include any number of professional skills. This includes listening skills and communicating with colleagues. You could also focus on management and computer literacy. Advanced program knowledge, interpersonal relationships, and adhering to timelines are all great topics.
How to Create Clear Learning Objectives
It is crucial that businesses understand what drives their employees. Ninety four percent of employees would stay with their current employer if there were continued learning opportunities. To provide successful learning opportunities, you need to clearly communicate the objectives of your professional development plan. Courses for professional development should be a mutual opportunity for you and your employees, helping you streamline your business while nurturing career-long skills for your co-workers. Learning objectives, then, should align with your company’s brand but also give employees an opportunity to acquire useful professional skills.
Elearning courses prove especially useful in making learning objectives clear because they break everything down into small steps. Elearning courses make use of microlearning, meaning that employees have the opportunity to complete small modules that are part of a bigger picture. With a clear goal for each step of the way, eLearning gives participants a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Your learners should know exactly what they will have achieved throughout the course.
Professional Skills and Short-Term Objectives
Opportunities for eLearning allow employees to expand on their knowledge base. It also allows them to feel like contributing members of a team. They’re able to relay new and exciting information to members of their team while putting into practice hard skills. Learners can choose to take short term eLearning classes in order to brush up on a skill or for learning something new. These employee training courses are cost and time effective, and often work around the employee’s schedule.
Long Term Goals
There’s a common misconception that eLearning is only good for short-term, task-based goals rather than long term goals. This is primarily because of the microlearning set up of many eLearning courses. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. First of all, you can use eLearning courses to supplement in-person professional development. eLearning can put reading material into practice, allowing employees to try out the skills that they’ve learned in training. eLearning gives the opportunity for repetition and incorporates quizzes to test knowledge, reinforcing what employees have learned to make sure they really know it.
Second of all, eLearning courses may be shorter in form, but they can be implemented over a longer period of time to chip away at long term goals. Short eLearning sessions doesn’t mean you can only use them for task-based skills. It means you can break down information into bite-sized pieces so employees can learn little by little and slowly implement key takeaways into their work. This includes value-based learning objectives like the next two we’ll discuss – communication and engagement. Long term eLearning classes are available for those who wish to receive certificates or degrees. Major benefits include flexibility in a schedule and the ability to learn remotely, from virtually anywhere.
As previously mentioned, better communication is a goal that all learning courses share. Whether it’s a specific course on communication or on something else entirely, professional development courses give you the opportunity to connect with your employees and find out what they’re thinking. When it comes to courses about communication, eLearning courses give employees the unique opportunity to test out methods of communication over different platforms. Verbal and written communication are important, and eLearning courses can be used to start conversations at professional development sessions. Since they’re online, you can also incorporate social media and other forms of digital communication. Our course, Personal Connection® 101, includes a section on verbal small talk as well as a section on instant digital communication.
Any good learning course helps employees find ways to engage better. Engaging courses not only help them learn better, but they take this attitude with them into their work. Our courses at VP Legacies incorporate multiple media formats, including videos, text, and quizzes. We know that it’s important to engage employees on multiple levels. This helps you reach your goal as a company for improving workplace culture. Engaging courses will show employees that you’re willing to put in the effort to keep them happy and help them learn. This will motivate them and inspire a healthy workplace culture.
Collaboration opportunities provide a sense of community and Personal Connection® within the workplace. This is something that employees crave. Employees that form bonds with colleagues will collaborate more comfortably. They will express their thoughts and ideas in an environment where they feel heard and respected.
In addition, advancement opportunities should be available to all employees. This is where internal promotions play a huge part in keeping top level employees, and keeping them happy. Internal promotions work hand in hand with professional development. They both push the employee to acquire new skills and to continuously strive for excellence on a higher level. Provide opportunities for both, and you’ll have employees looking to stay for the long-haul. New employees seek a hiring process that makes the transition to their new role seamless. Communicating efficiently with new hires is important to establish effective internal corporate communications.
Providing Constructive Criticism
Adopt a plan for streamlined onboarding that makes new employees feel like valued members of a team. Assign them responsibilities from the get go. Encourage them to ask colleagues questions, and to open the lines of internal communication. Remind new employees of the importance of their thoughts and ideas. Offer constructive criticism and praise, but be careful how you present this information. Employees may misconstrue this criticism, especially during yearly reviews. Take time to discuss with your employees their strengths. Be patient, and work with them on any weaknesses.
Engaging communication, especially internal, ensures employees understand your company’s expectations. Communicate in a way that is appropriate and effective. All employees should understand their value to the company. There are other ways companies can provide ongoing learning. Achieve this through weekly lunches, sort of as an informal free talk. Provide opportunities for employees to discuss things they’ve recently learned.
Utilizing New Technology
In today’s digital world, new, exciting technology can get employees jazzed about a special project and can help boost morale. Using the latest technology is a worthwhile learning objective that can help streamline the workplace and increase Personal Connection®. This in turn can provide opportunities for collaboration. eLearning tells employees that your company is aware of trends in technology and has an interest in adopting these new tools. Will this keep employees with the company for years to come? Absolutely.
What’s It All Mean?
Employees want to learn. They want to feel like valued members of a team. They want to work collaboratively. They want to turnkey new information to colleagues. They strive for professional development. VP Legacies can provide opportunities for eLearning so employees can better themselves personally and professionally. Engage and motivate learners to create learners for life, eagerly awaiting their next eLearning course. Create clear learning objectives that set measurable goals. Have realistic expectations, and provide pertinent content that your learners will benefit from. Remember to be engaging and know your audience when creating learning goals. A valued employee is a long-term employee.
Find out more about retaining high-level employees and providing quality eLearning opportunities.