We are pleased to bring you a guest blog post today from one of our customers, Sarah Cooper, LMS analyst for Waste Management, Inc. Sarah uses SkillSoft’s KnowledgeCenters to help engage learners at Waste Management with a different approach to learning. Through the KnowledgeCenters, Sarah is able to offer an expanded learning environment with integrated online books from Books24x7, with titles recommended by SkillSoft subject matter experts; current, pertinent articles; listings of relevant SkillSoft courses; job aids, SkillBriefs and other reference material.
By Sarah Cooper, LMS Analyst, Waste Management, Inc.
What’s in it for me? (WIIFM) That is the most sought after answer in training. All learners want to know how relevant the training is, and how will it benefit them in the long run. In our organization we strive to develop content that is clearly defined by objectives that explain why the learner is being asked to take training.
Employees seek to understand what benefit the training has toward their job because everyone is busy with the day-to-day tasks of their job. As content developers, if we are unable to answer the WIFFM then we have completely disengaged from our learning audience. Employees are consumed by their busy work lives, and as learning professionals, we need to remain cognizant of that fact. Employees will remain eager to learn as long as it is short, engaging, and related to their job. Without keeping those three ideas or initiatives in mind, we as learning professionals put the value of training at risk.
Our goal as learning professionals is to develop a strategy that positively affects the organization. E-learning content is not only cost effective; it also allows the learner to take training at his or her own pace. Training can be broken up depending on their availability rather that being required to complete all at once. Our custom content is developed using engaging and interactive tools to ensure that the learner is captivated throughout training. This interactive experience allows the learning audience to be actively engaged in training, and provides an overall positive outcome. E-learning is a very powerful tool when it is used effectively. The effectiveness of E-learning relies heavily upon how the content is embedded in the training. That is why it is advantageous to the developer to include interactivity within the module. Without interactivity the training, it creates an environment that may cause the learner to lose interest.
So how do you turn content into an interactive E-learning module? First, look at the content for the module and determine if a game can be created. Learners enjoy games, beating high scores and passing levels. Our developers take Knowledge Checks and turn them into games to test the learners knowledge on what has been covered. Simulations are also a great way to produce online modules. “Show me” and “Try me” sections can be included to have the learner become involved with the process they are being taught. One particular course that we have at Waste Management, targets our Sales employees. It is a module on how to sell a certain product within the company. This product can only hold certain material, so instead of just telling the learner what can be put into the product, the module has a handful of items scattered on the page around the product. The goal is to put all of the approved items into the product to equal the amount of weight the product supports. An interactive example like this allows the learner to not only read and retain the knowledge of what the product can hold, it also allows them to visually see the items that are allowed to go into the product.
What innovative ideas are you using to create the WIFFM in your learning programs?