More students are taking online classes, but what do teachers need to know to make sure that they are teaching to the correct level?
What Should A Manager Do To Help Ensure That Online Learning Is Effective
After my friend and fellow manager told me that she couldn’t handle the challenges of managing her employees during a course on sales, I asked her if she had given them enough information to complete the course. Since one of the basic lessons on sales is “be a good listener”, she just didn’t know what to do, so she just told her employees, “You can’t talk anymore!” She wasn’t even sure that they understood the basic skills.
As one of my professional colleagues stated, “Most managers don’t understand why employees are taking a course. After all, at some point during the course, there is an exercise that requires them to work without talking.”
If you are a manager, then I would recommend that you spend some time with your managers to help them understand how online courses work and how much information you need them to have in order to complete them. Then, as soon as they complete it, share it with them so that they get all the information they need to continue to grow in their career.
Online courses are a critical part of the workforce development landscape. Ninety percent of employers hire people from the job training market. Online courses provide a broader selection of courses of interest to candidates than training programs that require a teacher. Online courses also help with perceived time constraints, since the entire course takes only a day or two. Online courses also help maximize the educational time spent with employees, since the entire course can be completed in a week or two, rather than a week or two plus training.
In addition, studies show that employees who take online courses become more effective in their jobs, so they are doing their jobs better.
But without significant manager-management input and action, online courses will not be a successful employee development course.
Here are some suggestions for managing online course completion in the workplace:
Establish clear expectations early on. Understanding expectations enables employees to make smart choices with respect to course content, amount of time they need to devote to the training, and course choice. This ensures that everyone is on the same page in regards to what they need to accomplish to complete the course.
Make it fun. Satisfaction with the course is influenced by participation. Create an environment that is pleasant for everyone. Employees may find learning more interesting if there is a sense of shared enjoyment and accomplishment. Provide some incentive, such as a certificate, like those provided by the National Society of Professional Trainers, to reward outstanding participation.
Provide continual updates.
When online course materials are prepared, they should be completed constantly throughout the course, as well as at the beginning and end of a required module. Just as effective as information completion, you can provide continuous updates about the lessons, requirements and growth in common areas. Like completion, content updates will keep people motivated.
Do the training yourselves. Some instructors do not think this is feasible for their workers, but it often is. In addition, it will help you provide the correct instructional materials and ideas for your employees. If you don’t perform this step, you are allowing the instructor to confuse your employees. It could also let the trainer circumvent your role, by teaching the duties without providing appropriate lessons or explanations.
Expose your staff to other educational providers. If it is not a matter of your career progression or occupation, then consider giving your employees a chance to participate in other online courses as well. Many employers don’t have a problem with this, and they even help those employees train on their own time. Work with the employer to develop an effective course schedule so that all employees can participate. By doing this, the employee can continue to develop during his or her career.
Monitor performance. So that you can continue to provide training effectively, you have to monitor how well your employees are completing the courses. Remember, you cannot continually motivate people if they are not seeing results in their job. Track the completion rate for each course, and if you aren’t seeing results, then your encouragement won’t be effective.
Of course, the closer the average learning completion rate for the courses goes, the closer you are to completing all the training requirements for the grade. The closer it is, the more employee training your employees will take on their own.
Most importantly, when you are a manager, it is important that you get into the training game! Find a way to incorporate it into your day-to-day management so that you keep getting smarter and better with every new piece of information you can acquire. Your employees will have far more success in their career when you are able to effectively help them. That means getting in the way of their learning and enabling them to grow professionally.