May 12, 2022

5 instructional design tips for creating distance learning courses

Remote work has gone overnight from an occasional benefit to a (potentially) permanent necessity. We can’t predict what the business world will look like in a few months, but what is certain is that digital transformation, which was well underway before the pandemic, has just received a huge boost and is not getting any better. will not reverse. Therefore, it is important to develop good digital training and skills development strategies for remote employees and team leaders when preparing for the near future.

Home offices will be more and more popular in the future and the number of employees working remotely will only increase. As the logistics for performing professional tasks effectively have begun to fall into place, business leaders and L&D specialists need to focus on one critical aspect: how people will continue to learn and grow professionally. Taking a break from the office is not the same as taking a break from ongoing skill development.

Designing training modules for remote employees to keep their skills current and develop new skills doesn’t come with textbook rules. Every organization is different and every learner is different. Training and development professionals must balance many aspects when creating online training courses to meet the needs of today’s remote workforce.

Here are some tips and tricks that instructors should consider:

  • Take advantage of asynchrony. The most important thing to keep in mind when adapting an activity for online training (or creating something from scratch) is that online learning doesn’t have to be produce simultaneously with online instruction. You should avoid the tendency to adapt in-person behaviors and activities to a remote learning environment and adopt the asynchronous mindset. This is a fundamental shift from face-to-face, instructor-led training.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. The online learning environment offers many opportunities to create the best learning experiences. you must be curious and try various tools and strategies that can only happen online, such as simulations, webinars, e-books, online workshops, and even virtual or mixed reality. Some of these won’t turn out to be perfect solutions, but you may find something your learner will appreciate.
  • Keep L&D efforts short. Not all employees have a home office (with a door) to work in or can take training without interruption. Most of the time, there are other important people who also have online video meetings and children who need help with their homework. Your online training module competes with all of this for their attention. Try micro-learning and micro-assessments, which will allow employees to follow a complete learning journey in small steps at a time that suits them best.
  • Choose easy-to-use technology. Your best bet is a learning management system (LMS). It is a complete solution for all online training related activities and comes with a comprehensive set of features that allow you to create engaging learning experiences. The LMS acts as the training foundation by integrating all the training modules and gradually motor by providing the environment in which learners can access it. Also, the LMS offers various topics based on curriculum and personal interests.
  • Sprinkle with fun. One of the things that surprised me the most as an educator and trainer was that adults tend to be more addicted to gamification elements than kids. Feel free to use humor if the subject allows, include interactive elements here and there, design digital badges and trophies, and create automated rules for learners to earn. The best thing about fun learning experiences is that you can also have fun creating them.

While remote working has become the new norm, the shift to home offices has come with some challenges. The most important are related to the unique characteristics and needs of each individual. When creating training modules for remote workers, it is essential to take them into account. At the same time, there’s no right or wrong way to do things, so a bit of experimentation is required.