Why Your Employees Cannot Apply Online Learning in the Real World
So, you have developed an online course that you think is going to give your employees the skills they need to become more effective. As a result, you think this will help your company grow. However, one year after this massive training initiative, your employee’s skill sets have barely budged. What gives?
The answer is that your employees cannot apply the skills they gain through online learning in the real world. Typically, this problem has less to do with online learning and more with how it is designed and delivered. Online learning is not a magic bullet that solves all issues. It is a learning methodology that will not work if it has not been developed and executed properly. In this article, I will discuss five reasons your employees are unable to apply online learning in the real world.
1. Your classes are impractical
This happens more than we realize. A lot of instructional designers tend to focus on theory and leave out what the employees need to learn—the practical aspects. For instance, employees not only want to know and understand the dangers of faulty machinery, but they also want to know how to respond to it. The former improves their memory and helps them remain safe, but the latter helps them troubleshoot problems. When you don’t provide employees with the knowledge they can apply in the real world, you shouldn’t be surprised when they can’t.
2. Your classes lack hands-on demonstrations
It is really hard to explain to someone how to do a thing if you’re just using text. Sometimes, it’s hard even if you utilize images along with the text. Until a learner has an opportunity to learn a skill step-by-step, they may find it hard to apply the skill in real life. Videos are essential in online learning because they allow learners to view and understand how a task is done; it’s the closest they can come to a live demonstration. You can also utilize animation, but make sure the entire process is demonstrated step-by-step.
3. Your classes lack the necessary details
Often, when online learning classes are designed to tell employees what they should or shouldn’t do, they are not designed to tell them why they should or shouldn’t do those things. Details are essential when you’re trying to educate your employees on performing better. Still, a lot of corporate online learning classes are just there for the sake of having an employee development program. If organizations need employees to apply knowledge in the real world, they must ensure that online learning classes arm employees with every little detail of the skill they’re supposed to master.
4. Your classes are not chunked appropriately
Another reason that employees fail to apply online learning knowledge in the real world is improper chunking of the content. When online learning content isn’t chunked correctly, it confuses the learners, and when they’re confused, they do not understand the content. Workers must first comprehend the information at hand for them to be able to apply it. An easy way to chunk content, which is extremely popular these days, is microlearning. Microlearning isn’t just a popular method of chunking content; it breaks class content down into easily digestible modules that employees can complete in under 10minutes. Incorporating microlearning ensures that the content is presented in a way that’s easy for employees to understand, and they can take classes whenever convenient, as classes relatively short.
5. Your classes lack variety
Companies across the world are fast-paced, and their workers have to put in a lot of hours to keep up. When you make learning a chore, it won’t be retained and when it isn’t retained, it won’t be applied when the time comes to do so. To prevent employees from seeing online learning classes as a load, you need to give them variety. What kind of variety, you ask? Don’t just give them one type of online learning class. Give them gamified classes sometimes, other times a video-based online learning class, and at other times, give them simulations when the class content allows.
If an online learning class doesn’t lead to employees applying learned knowledge, you need to assess your online learning approach. Online learning, like everything else, needs timely assessments as well as trial and error to be perfected. If it doesn’t work, then keep plugging away until it does.
So, there you have it, five reasons why your employees can’t transfer online learning to the real-world. Do you have any additional tips, techniques, or strategies that you would like to share with our readers? If so, leave them in the comment section below.