Course conversions can mean many things, whether it’s converting your Flash-based courses to mobile-friendly designs, or updating your “cool” disco-themed training videos to something relevant in this century. We can do it all, but the most common conversion we get requests for is taking existing ILT classes and transforming them into eLearning.
As workforces become more decentralized and employ more remote workers, eLearning makes it possible to deliver the same standard of training to your whole team with significantly lower delivery costs. Converting your existing coursework to eLearning is a fantastic way to achieve the benefits of eLearning and get new results from proven training.
Sadly, what we hear way too often is: “Everybody loves our course; let’s just put it in PowerPoint and they’ll love it.”
Um, no! They’ll hate it.
Without a proper course conversion, that accounts for the design differences between instructor lead training (ILT) and eLearning, you won’t translate the magic of your best classroom training to this new format. You’ll just make a mess. “Attention: cleanup in the training isle.”
What You Can Expect
The first thing you need to realize is that not all training is the same. Some formats excel in some areas, and some in others. This is certainly the case with eLearning versus classroom training.
Unlike eLearning, a classroom course is dynamic because the instructor can react and engage in real time with participants. Additionally, the gaps between learner activities in a classroom can be much longer because the instructor can fill those gaps with war stories, discussions, or presentation of new content.
The most import difference between ILT and eLearning is also the most basic – human interaction and engagement. Think about it, during a live class, you’re in the real world, and believe it or not, the world is more interesting than a screen. If your attention drifts in a live class, an instructor can see that and use a variety of techniques—from eye contact to verbal commands—to bring you back.
eLearning has no instructor, at least not a real one that’s there with you. However, engagement is just as important as it is offline. But, in the case of eLearning, engagement must happen without human interaction. If learners looks away from their screen, they’re gone. If they switch to their email, you’ve lost them. That’s one challenge of converting a course. How do you create and sustain engagement in an inherently distracting medium?
At ThinkingKap, we isolate the narrative and engagement strategies at the heart of your training and adapt them as needed for delivery in a new technology. The way an instructor presents is not inherently designed for online learning, so there is definitely some conversion required to retain the effect.
Wedging your classroom course as-is into an online format is not enough. Using the same learning techniques for classroom as online doesn’t always work. For example, how do you do a small group activity online? Or, how do you hold a discussion? For training to succeed, the structure and content must fit the medium in which they’re delivered. Making that transition is what course conversion is all about.
You can’t take the script for an ILT course and merely build an eLearning around it. It might be the starting point for some of the audio narration, but it can’t just be used as-is. The presentation must change to work where all learner interactions involve interfacing with a screen.
Service in Action
When we started working with one of our clients on their Six Sigma Yellow Belt curriculum, they already had a three-day ILT that would certify people as Yellow Belts. But they were limited by the number of seats, and the number of times the course was offered per year.
We designed an eLearning series based on their existing ILT, but designed specifically for self-paced learning. As a result, their remote employees could get certified without the expense of a trip. With unlimited distribution, more internal people could take the course too. The original three-day course now takes three or four hours. It’s available any time, and nobody has to fly in.
While many feel this would decrease the effectiveness or the satisfaction rates, it didn’t. In fact, nearly 100% of people who completed the online training were able to successfully complete the capstone project that was required to earn the certification. AND, the course has been earning a solid 4.8 out of 5 from learner satisfaction ratings. Sounds like a win across the board!