Since IT specialists already wear many hats, you likely won't have time to build an entire training platform from scratch yourself. While it's not impossible to create a virtual-training system internally, you can also reach out to a software vendor for prepared videos or work with a company that specializes in creating custom training modules geared toward a particular objective. Whichever way you choose, we've culled some tips to help you keep your colleagues in mind.
Here are four tips for customizing your virtual-training strategy
1. Consider primary learning objectives and analyze your audience
At its core, customization requires you to pair your initiative with the specific needs of your employees. Before setting up a knowledge base or providing employees with a dashboard, take the time to meet with the manager in charge to understand where your clients should begin, and what the overall objective of the training really is. eLearning Industry highlights the importance of this step, noting, "...if your audience must learn specific job based skill sets during the virtual training event, then you can incorporate exercises, discussion topics, and real world examples that help to develop those particular skills."
Beyond setting up the most suitable types of learning content, you may be able to provide insight into additional subject matter to include. For example, the manager in charge may not know about certain tools within a software platform that can help his or her employees reach that learning objective more quickly.
2. Use granular videos
When you are organizing training for a large group of people, you will inevitably fall into a situation where some people are simply more advanced in a particular subject than others. Using shorter videos that cover one topic at a time allows the learners to start at a place that is suitable for each individual. This also gives them a chance to take the initiative for self-training, as you're setting them up with the process by which they can move on to the next step and learn additional skills once they have mastered the necessary ones.
3. Create an assessment plan
Once you have established your granular, custom method for learning, make sure that you've worked with managers to create an assessment plan. While everyone may not be learning at precisely the same time, you can still implement ways to ensure everyone is taking in the material. Remember that "assessment" doesn't necessarily mean "test" or "quiz." In this case, it can simply mean that he or she has completed a practice task properly. Training magazine recommends, "...for each performance objective (and enabling objectives, if you have identified them), brainstorm multiple options for assessment." Use breakout sessions, group projects and one-on-one coaching to your advantage.
4. Acknowledge the employees' efforts
If your employees' training is being monitored with tracking software, let them know. In the IT department, create reports so that your supervisors can see that you not only set up a useful training tool, but also developed a system that is actually working. While it is probably up to the learners' manager(s) to reward training efforts, you can help them out by setting up a badge system or other gamification approaches.