Once upon a time, there was a company named XYZ Inc. that was facing the challenge of onboarding new hires effectively. The management of XYZ Inc. realised that their traditional training methods, including in-person sessions and online modules, were not engaging enough and they were struggling to retain the knowledge of new hires. That’s when they decided to flip the classroom.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, “flipping the classroom” refers to reversing the traditional way of teaching, where students learn the material at home and then apply it in the classroom. In the context of onboarding, this meant that new hires would be given access to online modules and resources before the in-person training sessions. The in-person sessions would then be used to reinforce the material learned online and provide opportunities for hands-on application.
To make sure that the eLearning component of the flipped classroom approach was meaningful and effective, the management of XYZ Inc. enlisted the help of an eLearning consultant. Here are five eLearning design principles that the eLearning consultant recommended to make the onboarding programme a success:
Five eLearning Design Principles
I. Define Learning Objectives and Outcomes
The first step to creating an effective eLearning program is to define the learning objectives and outcomes. This includes:
- Clearly defined goals for the onboarding program
- Understanding of what new hires should be able to do after completing the programme
- Alignment of learning objectives with company goals and objectives
Having clear learning objectives and outcomes helps to guide the design and development of the eLearning program and ensures that it is aligned with the needs of the organisation and the learners. It also helps to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and make ongoing improvements.
II. Determine the Right Content and Delivery Methods
The next step is to determine the right content and delivery methods for your eLearning programme. This includes:
- Selection of relevant and engaging eLearning content
- Incorporation of interactive elements such as quizzes, simulations, and case studies
- Use of multimedia elements such as video, audio, and graphics
- Consideration of the most effective delivery methods, such as self-paced or facilitated learning
The content and delivery methods should be selected based on the learning objectives and outcomes and the preferences of the learners. For example, if the goal is to provide hands-on experience, then incorporating interactive elements such as simulations and case studies may be more effective than a traditional lecture-style presentation.
III. Personalise the Learning Experience
Personalisation is key to creating a meaningful and effective eLearning experience. This includes:
- Tailored learning paths based on individual needs and preferences
- Incorporation of personalised feedback and support
- Opportunities for learners to apply what they have learned through real-world scenarios
Personalising the learning experience helps to ensure that the eLearning programme meets the needs and preferences of individual learners. For example, learners with different learning styles may benefit from different types of content and delivery methods. Personalised feedback and support can also help to motivate learners and keep them engaged.
IV. Incorporate Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment and evaluation are essential components of any eLearning program. This includes:
- Regular assessments to gauge the effectiveness of the onboarding program
- Opportunities for learners to reflect on their learning and identify areas for improvement
- Incorporation of feedback from trainers and peers to inform ongoing improvement
Assessment and evaluation help to ensure that the eLearning program is effective and meets the learning objectives and outcomes. Regular assessments can provide valuable feedback on the progress of the learners and identify areas for improvement. Opportunities for reflection and feedback can also help to improve the learning experience and ensure that the knowledge is retained.
V. Encourage Collaboration and Community Building
Finally, collaboration and community building are crucial elements of a successful eLearning program. This includes:
- Opportunities for learners to connect with trainers, peers, and mentors
- Encouragement of group discussions, projects, and peer evaluations
- Provision of resources and support for ongoing learning and collaboration
Collaboration and community building can help to create a supportive and engaging learning environment. By connecting with trainers, peers, and mentors, learners can receive additional support and guidance as they progress through the program. Group discussions and projects can also help to reinforce the material and foster a sense of community among learners.
So, these were the five eLearning design principles that the eLearning expert recommended to make the onboarding process a success. But what about the retention strategy?
Knowledge Retention Strategy
Retention is a critical aspect of any training program, and it’s essential to ensure that the knowledge gained during the onboarding process is retained. Here’s a possible strategy for retention:
I. Reinforcement through Practice and Application
The first step to retaining the knowledge gained during the onboarding process is to reinforce it through practice and application. This can be done by:
- Providing opportunities for learners to apply what they have learned through real-world scenarios and projects
- Encouraging learners to engage in hands-on activities and exercises that reinforce the material
- Providing ongoing support and feedback from trainers and peers to reinforce the material
Practice and application are essential for retaining the knowledge gained during the onboarding process. By providing opportunities for learners to apply what they have learned, they can solidify their understanding and retain the material over time.
II. Regular Follow-Up and Refresher Courses
Regular follow-up and refresher courses are also important for retention. This can be done by:
- Providing regular follow-up courses to reinforce the material
- Offering refresher courses/quizzes to help learners retain the material over the long term
- Encouraging learners to stay connected and engaged with the material through online communities and discussion forums
Regular follow-up and refresher courses can help to ensure that the knowledge gained during the onboarding process is retained over the long term. By providing ongoing support and opportunities for reinforcement, learners can continue to build on their knowledge and retain it over time.
III. Encouragement of Self-Directed Learning
Finally, self-directed learning is an essential component of a retention strategy. This can be done by:
- Encouraging learners to take an active role in their learning and to seek out additional resources and support
- Providing resources and support for ongoing learning and development
- Creating an environment that supports and fosters self-directed learning
Self-directed learning can help to ensure that the knowledge gained during the onboarding process is retained over the long term. By encouraging learners to take an active role in their learning and to seek out additional resources and support, they can continue to build on their knowledge and retain it over time.
In conclusion, by following these eLearning design principles and retention strategies, XYZ Inc. was able to create a meaningful and effective onboarding process. The flipped classroom approach, combined with engaging and interactive eLearning content and opportunities for collaboration and community building, ensured that new hires were able to retain the knowledge they gained and become valuable contributors to the organisation.
In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, an effective onboarding process is more important than ever. By following these eLearning design principles and retention strategies, organisations can create an onboarding process that is engaging, effective, and successful. This can lead to improved productivity, better performance, and higher levels of employee satisfaction, ultimately contributing to the overall success of the organisation.