You or your boss have come up with a great plan: “let’s make an e-learning training ourselves!” Enthusiasm is high and the do-it-yourself mindset is very empowering. But how do you get started if this is your first time creating e-learning from scratch? Here are 3 steps that will help you make your e-learning a reality.
1. Create a training needs analysis.
Before you get started creating an e-learning program, you may need to create a training needs analysis. This analysis is a way to determine if training will solve your business problem.
The simplest way to get started with a training needs analysis is to outline and investigate:
- the business goal not being met
- the current practices and performance issues among your employees
- the desired outcome from your employees
- the cause of your performance issues
Once you’ve determined that training is a proper solution, you can move on to setting a goal for your e-learning training project.
2. Set a goal for your e-learning project.
Ask yourself what the goal of your e-learning will be. What exact problem or gap will your e-learning help with? Often training will solve a facet of a larger business problem. The simpler and more tangible your learning goal is, the more likely you’ll succeed.
At The Call Center School, we like to use SMART goals. To set a SMART goal, you can define and evaluate your learning objectives in the following way:
- Be Specific.
Who will this be for? What do you want your team to accomplish with your e-learning? Try to formulate your goal with an if-then statement: if members of X team learn Y from my e-learning training, they will achieve Z.
- Make it Measurable.
What is the current state of your team today? Can you measure their improvement after they’ve completed your e-learning? If you are unable to measure the progress your e-learning will make, you may need to rethink your goal or find a new way to validate your impact.
- Let it be Achievable.
Apart from making sure your objectives are measurable, they should also be achievable. Ask yourself if the goals you set are realistic of your employees and your resources. Setting up a smaller expected outcome is better than creating a big goal that will never be reached.
- Be Relevant.
Make sure the learning objectives you make are relevant to your audience. Collaborate with the employees you are making your e-learning for. Understand what they hope to accomplish from your program and reference your training needs analysis.
- Be Time-sensitive.
By what date do you expect your team to accomplish your learning goals? How much time will they need to invest in e-learning? You also need to give yourself a deadline and timelines for creating your program. Consider what you can do now and make your project manageable to meet time constraints.
3. Determine what content you have and prepare what you need.
Once you have created a goal, you’ll have a clear idea of the topic and content you’ll need to offer. Next, you’ll need to determine which resources are already available to you.
Tap into your internal resources
Ask yourself if you really need to reinvent the wheel. You may already have existing e-learning training material available in your company that needs to be reworked. Improving and updating existing content to meet your goals is easier than starting anew.
Interact with subject matter experts within your company. If you or your learning department do not have the resources already, a coworker or in-house expert can help advise you. These colleagues can also help you gather the relevant information or material you need to get started.
Research external resources
Another approach you may want to take is to research existing e-learning courses or subject matter online. Looking at existing content will help you understand what you may need to create and how to structure your e-learning.
While you may want to create your e-learning in-house, you don’t have to create every content piece yourself. If you find content online that is well suited to your needs, you may curate this content to fit your program.
For example, there is a lot of course content available through The Call Center School. If our material on “Power Phrasing” fits your learning goal, you may want to use it. Content can be adapted and customized to fit your learning goal through our Professional Services.
Create a (rough) structure or outline
When you’ve determined the resources, the next step is to organize your content into a structure. Start with what is relevant to your goals and think about a meaningful structure for your learners.
Pro tip: When creating your outline, work alone. Collaborating with others on the content structure will slow down the creation process. It takes longer to have a common understanding than to get a rough structure in place.
In your outline, focus on what’s important and consider content that is absolutely relevant for the overarching topic. This will result in a beneficial learning experience for your audience. Keep in mind: less is more.
Pro tip: It is important to realize that facts, concepts, processes, procedures, and principles are well-suited for e-learning. However, interpersonal skills and attitudes are best learned from practice.
After you’ve prepared what you need, it’s time to start creating your e-learning. During the creation phase, it is important to keep your content structure flexible to change. You’ll want to check in from time to time to see whether your structure still makes sense. You may have to rearrange your outline or leave content out completely.
Stay on track with The Call Center School
Creating your own e-learning training in-house can have its ups and downs. If you need an extra boost or have questions along the way, The Call Center School is here to help you succeed. Our Professional Services can offer you support when and if you need it.