☝️ How to Create a Training Module — A Step-By-Step Guide

Want to showcase your company as a great place to work? Ditch the over-the-top amenities like game rooms and nap pods for something employees really want.

A Deloitte survey of young professionals found that “ opportunity to learn “ was one of the most desirable benefits an employer can offer. To make training effective, it’s crucial to provide learners with high-quality content. In this article, we’ll show you how to create a training module that will keep your employees motivated and engaged in the long run.

What Is a Training Module?

There are different types of training modules, such as an informational online course, quiz or assessment, video tutorial, point-and-click interaction, or demonstration. Offering a variety of content types allows you to create a richer and more robust training experience for all of your learners.

Let’s take a step-by-step look at how you can actually put this idea into practice. Be mindful that the first steps are more about the prep work rather than the process of creating training modules. However, they are the key to starting to move in the right direction. So, don’t pass them by.

Watch this video guide or skip to the article.

Step 1: Define the Problem

High-quality training starts with communication. To solve a business problem, you need to understand the issue and how it affects on-the-job performance. One of the first steps in creating a training module is to ask detailed and probing open-ended questions to find out:

  • What is the nature of the problem to be solved?
  • What knowledge or skill is needed to bridge this gap?
  • What is the level of knowledge or performance that your people actually do have?
  • What is the expected level of knowledge or performance your people should have on this topic?

The answers you’ll get will help you clearly define the business problem and move on to setting up training objectives.

Step 2: Write a SMART Objective

  • Specific — the learner knows exactly what they will learn or do as a result of the training;
  • Measurable — learners will use this knowledge consistently for each report;
  • Achievable — the learner will be able to do the tasks listed;
  • Relevant — the training will focus on job-essential skills and knowledge;
  • Timely — the learner will be able to complete the training in a timely manner.

A SMART goal will motivate the learner by showing them “what’s in it for me.”

Step 3: Create the Right Type of Training Module

The secret to building great training is to match the right kind of module to the learning task at hand. The chart below aligns different types of eLearning solutions to learning needs.

Let’s look at the different types of eLearning training modules in more detail to see which is the best choice for your particular needs. You will also see the examples of training modules that you can create with the iSpring Suite authoring toolkit.

Choice 1: Informational e-course

Best suited for

  • Job-essential skills and knowledge.
  • Time-sensitive learning, such as onboarding and compliance or safety training.
  • Providing information about a new product or policy update.

How to create

  • Create an eLearning course from scratch, or
  • Turn any PowerPoint presentation into a fully functional eLearning module.

iSpring keeps all the PowerPoint animations, their combinations, direction, timing, and triggers intact.

See a full demo of an eLearning course created with iSpring Suite:

You can enhance your course with tests, videos, interactions, and conversation simulations and consider it as one training module.

Choice 2: Interactive assessment

Best suited for

  • Creating tests with built-in coaching to help learners stay on track.
  • Certification or credentialing tasks.
  • Proof of completion of learning activities.
  • Identifying learners who may need additional support.
  • Identifying high performers who could be candidates for advancement.

How to create

  • Build robust graded assessments with a variety of question types, including multiple choice, fill in the blank, drag and drop, matching, and sequencing.
  • Add video and rich media to your questions.
  • Create question-level or answer-level feedback and branching to provide a customized experience for each learner.

See a full demo of a quiz created with iSpring Suite:

Choice 3: FAQ interaction

Best suited for

  • Glossaries, definitions, or other basic knowledge-level facts.
  • Reviewing subject matter details in a question-and-answer format.

How to create

See a full demo of an FAQ interaction created with iSpring Suite:

In addition to an FAQ template, iSpring Suite offers 11 more ready-made templates for creating interactions, including timelines, references, glossaries, and catalogs.

Choice 4: Video lecture and screencast

Best suited for

  • Standardizing a learning experience for a particular topic or event.

Best suited for

How to create

See a full demo of a video lecture created with iSpring Suite:

Choice 5: Dialogue simulation activity

Best suited for

  • Training leaders, HR personnel, or others who need to deliver sensitive information to subordinates or team members.
  • Educating coaches and instructors who have to communicate information systematically to individuals or audiences.

How to create

  • Create dialogue scenes with branching scenarios.
  • Add backgrounds and characters from the iSpring Content Library to develop realistic dialogue simulations.
  • Add voice-overs to character speech to fully simulate a real-life dialogue.
  • Evaluate simulation results.

See a full demo of a dialogue simulation created with iSpring Suite:

Choice 6: Microlearning module

  • Taking courses on the go on a smartphone or tablet
  • Delivering information about a new product or policy update super quick
  • Providing the basics of a topic prior to a face-to-face training session

A microlearning module is a bite-size lesson that provides a focused answer to a single problem or question. Such a module can usually be completed in about five minutes at the point of need.

Best suited for

  • Add knowledge checks by using three types of questions: multiple-choice, multiple response, and short answer
  • Cowork on microcourses online with your team

How to create

  • Create adaptive microcourses online almost the same way you write a post on social media
  • Add knowledge checks by using three types of questions: multiple-choice, multiple response, and short answer
  • Cowork on microcourses online with your teamCreate adaptive microcourses online almost the same way you write a post on social media
  • Add knowledge checks by using three types of questions: multiple-choice, multiple response, and short answer
  • Cowork on microcourses online with your team

See a full demo of a microlearning module created with iSpring Suite:

Choice 7: Digital job aid

  • Manuals, guides, instructions, how-to articles, processes, or procedures that people may need to access in order to do their job.

A digital job aid is a document or presentation that is accessible virtually and can be played, downloaded, saved, or printed by the learner.

Best suited for

  • Manuals, guides, instructions, how-to articles, processes, or procedures that people may need to access in order to do their job.

How to create

See a full demo of an e-book created with iSpring Suite:

Step 4: Feedback and Revision

  • The revised second version is known as the beta draft. If you’ve gotten good quality feedback from your SMEs during the first round, your beta version should be about 95–98% accurate, so you should have far fewer revisions at this point.
  • The final training draft is called the gold version. Unless your SMEs have missed vital information in the previous rounds of review, the gold version should be 99–100% correct. SME and Stakeholder review of the gold draft should happen quickly. When your partners sign off on the gold version, you have content that is ready for learners.

After a bit of work on your part, the first version of your eLearning module is ready! Now, it’s time to forward your first draft to your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Stakeholders for feedback and approval. Don’t be surprised if your partners offer a LOT of feedback on your first efforts! Even if you’ve been diligent about following every piece of advice from your SMEs and Stakeholders, you may find that they still have more information to share with you after viewing the first draft.

To avoid falling into an endless feedback loop, most training teams will follow a three-step design protocol, known as alpha/beta/gold:

Step 5: Run a Pilot with a Test Audience

Select a test audience that will consist of a small group of employees within your company. For best results, your test audience should not have a high level of expertise on your training topic. You need to choose individuals who don’t have a high level of expertise on your training topic and can experience the training without pre-existing notions of what it should be like.

Gather feedback from your test audience both during and after the training. Find out what they thought worked best about the training, and what could be improved. If the test audience is not able to reach the expected performance goals after training, review the assessment results to see what gaps may exist. Work with your SMEs and Stakeholders to come up with ways to fill in gaps and improve the overall training experience.

Step 6: Create a Final Version, Upload, and Launch

  • The first rule of training success is: Solve the right business problem!
  • SMART training objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
  • The secret to building great training is to match the right kind of module to the learning task. Avoid the tendency to make all of your online training modules look, sound, or feel the same.
  • Use an authoring tool such as iSpring Suite to create a learning experience that includes a variety of robust, interesting, and engaging eLearning content types.
  • Feedback and revision is an important part of the process of creating training.
  • Set up a pilot program to “test drive” new training to a select audience before making it available organization-wide.
  • Be sure to review all training on an annual basis. Update modules that contain old or outdated information and permanently retire any obsolete training.

You may also want to provide detailed reporting data about learning consumption and results 30, 60, and 90 days after your program launches. Tracking data for on-the-job performance metrics is a great way to show the training’s impact on actual work performance.

Takeaways

Originally published at https://www.ispringsolutions.com on July 28, 2021.

Digital Marketing Specialist at iSpring Solutions www.ispringsolutions.com

Digital Marketing Specialist at iSpring Solutions www.ispringsolutions.com