There are hundreds of online training platforms on the market, all with different features, benefits, and courses. Choosing the wrong one could mean a loss of time, energy, productivity and—most importantly—money.
To ensure you get it right the first time, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide of 10 major questions. This will help you choose between the different online training platforms to find the one that will best fit your specific needs.
- How many people will use the platform?
First think about the sheer magnitude of your needed platform. Are you training one person or hundreds? How many people will need to access the system at one time? Who will be using the system? Will you need a multi-language online training platform?
This will help you determine the online training platform’s capacity and size.
- For what will you use the platform?
How will you be using online training platforms? Are you training your employees on one specific skill or multiple areas of business? Will you be using it primarily for a specific skillset, like forklift operating? Will you be introducing leadership and management courses? Will you need to offer industry-specific courses?
It’s important to determine what kinds of trainings your company will need to provide in order to choose your eLearning system. Different online training platforms offer different course types, so you will want to ensure that the platform you choose has an extensive catalog of relevant courses.
eLeaP breaks down these online training platforms purposes into eight key categories: business skills, HR compliance, information technology, industry specific, leadership and management, sales and service, software, workplace safety.
- Will you be using this training for compliance?
Does your industry have special health or hazard concerns? Do you want to disseminate information about safety features? Do you have legal concerns and other national compliance trainings to comply with?
One of the most common functions of online training platforms is for safety and compliance instruction. These videos can ensure that everyone in your company knows proper procedures in case of emergency, as well as other aspects of wellness in your industry. These trainings can also keep you free from legal trouble.
In this way, you want to find the LMS that has the appropriate compliance videos as well as effective compliance data reporting.
- What kind of online trainings will you provide?
Once you know which trainings you want your employees to have access to, you need to determine the learning style. Will you use videos, games, presentations, or fast-fact blurbs? Will you have assessments and quizzes?
Think about the types of learning that will be the most appropriate and will most benefit the students in your organization’s culture. For example, games are a great way to learn a new skill, but they may not be appropriate when discussing workplace harassment. Furthermore, C-suite executives may want timesaving presentations with key skill building blurbs as opposed to an extensive scene-based training video.
- Will you use a blended learning platform?
Do you want a LMS that promotes blended learning? Will you mix online instruction with classroom and teacher based learning? Will you integrate your online training platforms with on-job training and skill learning?
Blended learning is one of the best ways to ensure that your employees’ diversity of learning is accounted for. It enables students to learn in different ways that is engaging, interactive, and promotes retention.
- Do you want a community feature?
Some online training platforms offer a space where people can gather to discuss trainings, projects, and ideas. It encourages innovation on a technological platform, where new thoughts (often spurred through training) are invigorated.
Pathways can be setup for a given group or task, for students and teachers, or for be the entire company. How do you want your organization’s members to interact with one another and participate with the training?
- How will your students access learning?
Will training be confined to a given computer in a specific room or will you have access to training throughout the building? Will you have access to your eLearning courses on any device, anywhere, at any time?
Most companies want online training platforms that are delivered remotely with a secure server in the cloud. This enables employees to access training anywhere, which gives them the tools they need to be successful at all times—and not just in the training room. In this case, you want to choose a cloud-based or web-based LMS.
You will also want to determine if your learning management system is compatible with mobile devices. As business is growing increasingly mobile, your training usually should as well.
- Will you assign groupings, tasks, and milestones?
Are you going to assign everyone the same training courses or will you define courses based on department or job function? Will your students be required to reach milestones by a given deadline? If you have a lot of departments, you will want to assign pathways and groupings so members do not get overwhelmed or confused.
A thorough outline of how you will disseminate training to different individuals can determine the kinds of online training platforms that will work best for your staff.
- Do you want to create your own courses?
Many online training platforms offer the capacity to brand their courses or to create your own online courses using their tools. This ensures that you have brand-specific trainings, where learning and skills are directly related to your company’s needs.
This can improve engagement of employees and increase retention rates, but it can be time-consuming. Some LMS are ecommerce-enabled with custom templates that makes creating courses streamlined. Many companies with great HR teams also want to create their own courses because they can then sell these courses and generate another stream of revenue.
- How will you track training and success?
What kind of reports and data do you need to obtain from these trainings? Do you want to see data based on position, individual, or company? Do you want to track globally or locally? How are you going to measure your ROI? How will you measure training success? What markers will you utilize to determine where training needs to be improved?
Even more important than training is assessing the results of your training. You need to determine how these courses are influencing individuals and profits. Understanding how you will measure success and track results can help determine the necessary complexity of the online training platforms.
Asking these ten questions will help decide between some of the best online training platforms on the market. It will also enhance understanding of your company’s training needs. This guide will help you answer the question: what kind of online training platform will support your business’ development?