When selecting the types of training activities to use for a given group of users, it is important to consider several factors. By assessing each training medium using the following list (and others if you feel it is appropriate) you can start to rule content types in or out of a solution.
As suggested above the following list is not exclusive or compulsory and you should include or exclude attributes as appropriate.
- Quality. This is subdivided into two parts; Quality of the material and Quality of the learning it provides. While the first is important and may add to the “kerb appeal” (see below) of an activity, without quality learning its usefulness is severely diminished.
- Interactivity. Often seen as the measure of the quality of eLearning material, interactivity forms a critical part of any training course. It should however be noted that some Interactive learning can be extremely time consuming to complete for end users. For example, a user with 80 – 100 processes to learn could be looking at up to 30 hours or more of learning and assessment. Any possible benefit gained from an interactive experience may well be negated by the training fatigue caused by its duration.
- “Kerb appeal”. Borrowed from the housing market, this term has a parallel meaning. It describes an item’s immediate appeal to an end-user. While the activity should also have a quality learning component, Kerb appeal is useful to develop early buy-in to the training and improve user engagement.
- Ease/Cost of development and delivery. There is often a direct correlation between ease of development and the ease of update, but these two factors must be considered in relation to the final criterion below.
- Ease/Cost of Update. As stated above this may rule out very complex, interactive media. It is important therefore that any activity that is at risk of even semi-regular change should be constructed in such a way that it can be readily updated. This may impact on the complexity and kerb appeal of an item but should never impact on the quality of the learning it provides.
- Cost-effectiveness. While quality must always be at the forefront of any decision, there are times when the number of end-users in any functional area means that very high development/delivery costs cannot be entertained. In these circumstances we need to develop smart solutions that retain the high quality of learning while working within the constraints of acceptable spend.
The ease or Cost of the update is slightly subjective and will depend greatly on the internal skill set of the organisation. Some examples of differing levels of cost of updates for specific training activities is given below.
|Low cost of Update||Medium cost of Update||High cost of update|
|QRG||Training environment exercises||Simulation|
|System process guide||Classroom/VC session||Animations|
|Job Aid||Process video without sound||Video with sound|
|Peer support||Mentoring||Interactive eLearning|
|Troubleshooting sessions/Masterclass||Podcast||In app support|
The other factor to consider is the “volatility” of the processes covered by a piece of training. This will impact on the effort required to keep training in step with the system. While it is impossible to accurately judge the level of change within a particular area of functionality over a 6-12 month period, some areas may be less susceptible and therefore lend themselves to content that has a higher update cost.