Easily Create an Online Course to Train Your Employees in Almost Anything

In previous blog posts we have talked about what training games are and how they can help your business, but another effective option is to create an online course. This may sound like it would require a lot of technical knowledge or instructional design skills, but by following a few simple tips (and using a content management system such as Microsoft’s SharePoint), anyone can do this. 

Why Create an Online Course?

Gone are the days when you could just present a large manual to an employee or client and say “Here, read this.” Some have even lamented that professionals whose job is to read don’t even read anymore. People have so much “content” competing for their time and attention, especially at work, and often you will achieve more success in having someone actually read something if you set it up as a course with modules and achievable smaller goals rather than one large goal of reading an entire policy manual, code of conduct, company background, or benefits guide from human resources. Rather than hiring someone to train employees on new software, an online training course can provide them with the ability to schedule in time to complete it when it works for them, and to return to it if they need to review something.

Follow the steps for creating your course

1. Select a content management system. Anybody can create an online course using a content management system such as Microsoft SharePoint. If your company or organization uses a different CMS, you should be able to organize your course content in it as long as you are able to create folders and pages. 

2. Organize your content into units or modules. Let’s say you want to create an online course to introduce new employees to your company. You might already have HR onboarding materials or a manual that can be used for the overall content, but you’ll have to break it down into manageable sections. If the material has already been laid out in chapters, it might work well to use the same divisions when creating modules for an online course, but not always: if the material would take more than about an hour to work through, or take up more than about 10 separate pages or sections in a module, then it might work better to reorganize it into two separate modules or units. 

3. Create quizzes and other assessments or learning activities for each module. After each module, there should be some sort of way in which the learner can review his or her knowledge of the material, such as a multiple-choice quiz with around 10-20 questions. In addition, throughout the module you can add activities that the learner can use to apply the content. For example, if the module focuses on the structure of the organization, you could have the learner draw up an organizational chart and then compare it to the company’s organizational chart. Organizing your material into modules with quizzes at the end, and then smaller chunks of text or “pages” within those modules with activities for each of these sections, will help your learner to remember the information. 

4. Use a points or rewards system. If you have a few similar courses, you could create competitions or a rewards system for employees to complete all the courses. Some organizations use a series of “badges” that learners can achieve after completing different courses or sections of a course. You could also have an “employee development month” and give prizes to those who achieve the highest scores on the course quizzes, or to those who complete the most courses. The possibilities are endless! 

5. Provide a way for learners to evaluate your course. You can create an additional quiz at the end of the course for learners to provide feedback so you can improve it. It is best if feedback can be submitted anonymously so that they will be more likely to provide constructive feedback about what worked well and what didn’t, rather than just positive comments. 

Turning your content into an online course is a fantastic way to change your material into a challenge with measurable learning outcomes and rewards. We hope you’ll consider using an online course the next time you need to train or educate your employees or clients.