How to Ensure Consistency in Online Training
Delivering a consistent training experience to the learners is important for a range of reasons that include enhancing the learner experience and ensuring you achieve your training objectives. Maintaining consistency in online training doesn’t happen by chance. You need a strategy and focused effort.
The following tips will help ensure consistency in online training and the e-learning courses you develop.
Incorporate Company Branding
Online training consistency includes design consistency, and that should start with your company’s branding. The style, colour palette, and typography used on other materials, platforms, and documents should be matched in your e-learning courses.
It is beneficial to take the use of your company branding a step further by developing/using the organisation’s style guide. You can even enhance the style guide to make it specific for your e-learning courses by, for example, describing how buttons and other navigational elements are designed and displayed on the screen.
Establish the Right Tone
It is easy for two different e-learning courses developed at different times in the cycle to have completely different tones. One might be very formal and to the point, while another might be more conversational and engaging. Differences in tone between your online training materials contribute to overall inconsistency, so it is beneficial to establish a tone that is consistent.
Another way for inconsistency to creep into your online training is when initiatives pull in different directions without a clear strategy or common objective. Defining your training objectives is the solution. Furthermore, having clear training objectives improves the quality of the training materials you create, enhances the learner experience, and helps maximise return on investment.
Produce Standardised Content
You can enhance consistency in your online training courses by establishing content standards that align with several of the points mentioned above – your company’s brand, style guide, and training objectives.
Creating standardised content ensures the look and feel of your training materials are consistent. For example, having a standard intro screen for videos or a standard way to present text on the screen in videos.
Use a Robust Learning Management System (LMS)
It is important to use a reliable and proven LMS that can deliver content uniformly across the organisation. This particularly applies if you have employees in different locations. Your LMS should also be user-friendly and accessible on any device, including mobile devices.
Develop Reliable Quality Assurance Processes
Quality assurance is a crucial component of online training consistency, so you should implement robust and reliable quality assurance processes. This should include conducting regular reviews of the e-learning courses you produce, as well as thorough inspections and assessments during design and development projects.
Your quality assurance processes should ensure content updates are completed without delay to maintain accuracy and relevance.
Following on from the previous point about ensuring your e-learning courses are accessible on all devices, your quality assurance processes should also include testing your courses on different platforms to ensure they work smoothly for all users.
Create Accessible Designs
Accessibility is important in e-learning design consistency as it ensures all learners, regardless of ability, receive a consistent experience. Therefore, it’s important to ensure your e-learning courses include accessibility features and are designed according to accessibility standards.
Provide Instructors with Training
Some online training courses benefit from the involvement of an instructor. This could be in a blended learning approach where part of the course is delivered via e-learning content and part is through instructor-led sessions. Instructors can also be involved in online training through support roles, where they are available for learners to ask questions and seek clarification.
Including instructors can bring inconsistency to the delivery of training in your organisation, as instructors will have differing levels of ability and different approaches. Providing training to instructors can help improve consistency in this area, as can setting clear standards and expectations.
Ask for Feedback
There might be areas of inconsistency that you miss because you are so involved in creating and maintaining the online training material. Asking for feedback can help plug those gaps, and learners and others can give you a unique perspective.
Recognising the Importance of Consistency
Consistency is important in many areas of business; from the sales approach you adopt to the marketing materials that are produced. Consistency is equally important in the successful implementation of your training strategy, especially in relation to online training and e-learning courses. As a result, consistency should be a continuous focus as you develop, assess, update, and maintain your online training materials.