Real feedback and real solutions to compliance elearning problems

Posted on Oct 28, 2015

Elearning

Some of the most interesting parts of Towards Maturity’s recent report on compliance training are the direct quotes from learners and L&D professionals talking about compliance elearning.

We’ll look at what we can learn from this genuine feedback and examine strategies to help overcome the problems that real learners are having with compliance training.

Excellence in Compliance Training is the latest report from Towards Maturity, an independent research organisation that provides benchmarking data to help L&D professionals improve their results.

Generic courses aren’t relevant

“The mandatory courses all feel too generic and often lack relevance to my working environment.”

It’s clear from this feedback that off-the-shelf compliance courses are failing some employees.

Often, a generic approach can’t offer the same engagement as a bespoke course designed for your organisation. One of the biggest themes of the report is the view of employees that compliance elearning is boring and irrelevant.

A well-designed compliance course will highlight the real world benefits to learners of being compliant. Knowing the specific details of an employee’s role within their organisation is critical in creating a course they can relate to.

“My experience of off-the-shelf training is that the majority of it is dull and usually filled with too much irrelevant information, due to the fact that the author doesn't know what audience they are writing for, so they have to cover all eventualities. They also tend to fill training with irrelevant gimmicks to make it seem more interesting.”

It’s important to ensure that any interaction adds to the objective of the course. It’s tempting to introduce elements that brighten up a dull subject but as we can see, learners value concise content that shows them the benefits.

Real learners can spot a generic course.  It can affect their performance and the likelihood that they will complete the training. A bespoke approach allows an instructional designer to create the most effective route to the learning objectives for your staff.

If you can hear your employees when you read these quotes, consider using a tailored solution for your next compliance elearning programme.

Multi-device learning

“We already have mobile-enabled applications for compliance training on certain devices but we are trying to get support for all devices since training platforms are not entirely supported. We hope to have easier access to training applications for all mobile devices in the near future.”

This experience is echoed by many other respondents to the Towards Maturity study, with only 23% using mobile phones and 42% using tablets to access online learning content. Making it easier for staff to access training is a priority for many L&D departments.

Creating platform specific training limits the benefits of the course to learners using that single device. You’re also limiting the lifespan of the training to the operating system or device that it’s designed for.

Elearning enables more people to take training, with geographically dispersed workforces able to experience the same course as their colleagues. Unfortunately they will often be using different types of devices to access these online courses.

One solution is to create responsive content that is designed to be accessed through a web browser on any device.

When a responsive course is accessed on a mobile the learner will be presented with a layout that’s suitable for a small touchscreen. If the same person arrives at their desk and would prefer to use a desktop with a large screen, mouse and keyboard, the content adapts to the new hardware and progress is resumed.

Building a responsive course will allow you to extend the life of your learning and make one set of content accessible to many more learners.  Responsive elearning therefore represents a cost effective way to reach as many people as possible with one course.

Adapt is a framework for creating responsive HTML5 elearning courses

Adapt - Responsive elearning framework

Creating responsive content is simplified by using a framework like Adapt. It makes it possible to create multi device learning that will work on all the devices your learners use.

Sponge were founder members of the Adapt Open Source project and continue to develop the framework whilst using it in many commercial projects.

Too much choice

“I would like a study plan, requiring time and support from my Line Manager. I'm not sure where to start; there's so much on our online learning portal, it's a bit overwhelming.”

Sometimes, presenting staff with too many options results in ‘analysis paralysis’, the abundance of choice making it difficult to select the best option.

The following quote is from a high performing company that is meeting the majority of its compliance training targets.

“We shifted from eight mandated courses on induction to a new approach aligned to what a new person needs to do in the organisation. Mandated training is aligned to individual job roles and placed in context.”

The different experiences make it clear, target your employees’ job roles and give them less elearning that is more relevant and you can achieve better performance.

This kind of targeting can be achieved in the LMS (Learning Management System) by using the information you have to identify which areas different types of staff need to access.

It’s possible to take this approach a step further when dealing with an elearning induction programme.

Using adaptive learning techniques like pre-assessment can steer staff to the relevant parts within a single course. Giving them one course that provides all the relevant information is better than offering many individual courses.

If you want to find out more, including the statistics that back up the quotes from the report, you can download it in full from Towards Maturity.

Keep this genuine feedback and these real solutions in mind when you take on your next elearning project.

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