E-learning content vendors are offering massive course libraries of content with thousands of lessons ranging from software to leadership skills. They’re granting access in expansive packages that tempt with fantasies of all the possibilities of what employees can learn. Skillsoft boasts 500,000+ pieces of content. OpenSesame offers a 20,000+ course library. But, these giant libraries have a few issues:
- Choice anxiety can prevent employees from diving in
- It can be hard to find the right course to take when users have to sift through thousands or hundreds of thousands of courses (not that you’d put all 500,000 in your LMS, but still)
- Owning the course library is not the same as being able to access it flexibly
So how do you prevent these issues from getting in the way of fostering an active learning culture?
Curate Relevant Learning Paths
Learning and development professionals can examine the course library and create learning paths relevant to their users. For example:
- If the company is introducing a new software, you can create a learning path with courses and materials about the software skills needed to market or understand the software.
- Personalize the learning paths to different roles – a manager can be offered a different path than an entry-level employee.
- Encourage users to take advantage of the courses available during lulls at work, or non-peak periods for particular industries such as holiday season for real estate professionals.
- Consider featuring a new course or learning path on a regular basis as a knowledge booster as well as to encourage users to continuously access training.
Relevant learning paths will help encourage users to complete training they may not have been aware of and be able to see the value of taking them. More often than not, people want to learn – and if they know where to quickly find relevant content, they will access it in their free time.
Use OTS Courses as Prerequisites
Sometimes it seems like off-the-shelf (OTS) content is too generic for you to use outside of generalized topics like sexual harassment, job safety, etc. However, you can save costs on course development by using more generic courses as prerequisites for original content. That way employees can get the basics down before delving into the specific tasks needed for their particular company and role.
TIP: Some OTS content providers offer editable content (like Vado) which can be modified to express with a company’s brand, jargon, and more. This makes OTS and custom-developed course content transitions more seamless.
Break It Down into Relevant Categories
Most OTS content is already broken down into a variety of categories or topics. Use these categories to group similar training together inside of an LMS and make it easily searchable for users.
These categories could be broken down by job function, topic, location, or any other break down that makes sense. This will help significantly cut down on choice anxiety and give users a better understanding of which content is most relevant to them.
Crowdsource Course Opinions to Increase Engagement
Allow your users to learn socially by course ratings and recommending the most useful and interesting content they discovered to each other.
Some LMS applications allow users to rate courses once they have been completed. Not only is this information beneficial for site administrators and managers to see which content is being deemed most or least effective/relevant, but these ratings also give other users a better indication of what is resonating with their peers.
Community forums also enable learners to swap information about and share content. Users can post questions about a particular training course and get feedback about other relevant courses, post polls, links to additional or supplemental information, etc. These forums can also help training departments see where gaps may exist in the available content.
Make Courses Accessible and Fun to Complete
Allow users to create their own professional development or training goals and pursue them on their own. There are various tools and methods you can use to encourage this.
- Implement gamification – utilizing leaderboards, points, and badges to motivate users to complete more courses
- Use an LMS with mobile learning to allow users to complete courses in their off time (27% of people rely on solely on their smartphones!)
- Let users swap courses via community discussion
A Large Course Library Can Help Foster an Active Learning Culture
A large course library can be a lot to manage – but it’s not impossible to utilize. Getting creative about how to efficiently make the most of it can be a boost for fostering a successful learning environment and getting users excited about delving into all the great content that you’ve made available to them.