4 Tips To Impart On-The-Job Training With Learning Technologies
Technology is heavily influencing the way we live and work. But in certain situations, technology can be a barrier to learning. It might be that your trainees are underexposed to tech, especially if their daily jobs don’t involve desk work or computers. Or it might be that the focus on screens gets in the way of knowledge transfer. How can you blend contextual on-the-job training and your LMS to produce an effective course? Here are some tips to offer them the best of both worlds and minimize risk with the help of learning technologies.
1. Build A Virtual Training Roster
One of the best ways to learn something new is to try it out yourself. Some trainees prefer direct untainted experiences, so they want to jump right in. Others want to at least read instructions or watch a demo, but it’s still a learning-by-doing scenario. It can therefore be helpful to have workers take a turn doing someone else’s job. But because this is an online course, your trainees won’t physically sit at someone else’s workstation. However, you can build a training module with a section for each job title.
Trainees can log into the platform and pick a specific role, or you could assign them a rotation. It ensures they get a turn doing every job. So, by the end of the course, they should have practiced in each position. On the platform, each job description will involve simulations or task-based exercises; pop-ups, guidance notes, or demos can help them work through the task. It’s a useful tool for fostering collaboration because team members understand their colleagues’ jobs. They can then develop more empathy and respect for each other, which leads to a more cohesive team overall.
2. Create A Mentorship Portal
Job-trading sessions are especially useful for new hires because they get an overview of the workspace. It’s also ideal for internship programs. Another way to approach it is to pair your trainees with older colleagues. The collaboration can take place both via social media and on the training platform itself. For example, a mentor could have a task on their desk. They could then pass it along to their mentee, walking them through it. This way, the trainee gets direct, contextual learning opportunities without too much tech.
Or the course developer could review typical office tasks, checking in with assigned mentors. This can happen on a daily or weekly basis. The developer can craft that task into an on-the-job training simulation. This simulation will be assigned to the trainee, and their mentor will be tagged as a training guide. The trainee can now communicate directly with their mentor, asking for pointers as needed. In this sense, the training happens online, but it uses an offline premise and maintains its relatively low-tech format.
3. Focus On The Human Element
Some training programs are too tech-driven. They have fancy features and touch tools. And sometimes, learners are so dazzled by these “digital toys” that there’s minimal knowledge transfer. This happens a lot with gamified modules and RPG experiences. You can still use these techniques, but dwell more deeply on the human element. For example, spending weeks designing the perfect avatar for your branching scenario is fine. But the exercise can be just as effective if the branching scenario is presented as text.
Instead of having the trainee’s character walking through a gamer-scape, they can read sets of animated words. The guidelines will instruct them on what’s happening, laying out the narrative and points of conflict. They’ll then receive (typed) options or have a slot to type in their answers. The session will proceed based on their responses, and they can always retrain with different answers. This low-tech solution uses minimal graphics and tech tools—just colorful dancing words. But it’s as effective as virtual training worlds.
4. Invite Τhem Τo Diagnose Their Own Trouble Spots
The beauty of learning technologies is that employees don’t have to wait until a face-to-face training session to improve. The tools are there for them whenever they’re ready to expand their horizons. But that also means a bit of cathartic self-diagnosis; for example, self-assessments that allow them to identify personal areas for improvement, so they can bridge the gaps. You can even use on-the-job training simulations, scenarios, and serious games to offer constructive criticism in a subtler format, such as providing immediate feedback after a compliance simulation. Or quick pop quizzes that help them zero in on knowledge gaps that may lead to compliance violations. The employee finds out where they went wrong and how to address the issue with the available resources. They learn from their mistakes to avoid repeating them in the workplace, thereby reducing risks and improving on-the-job productivity.
Virtual training generally involves black screens. But that doesn’t mean they have to feel like rocket science, or that they can only be used by video-gaming virtuosos. A good digital course appeals and communicates with trainees of all tech levels. So how can you give hands-on training using digital platforms? Build a job rotation module where trainees spend some time “doing” every job on their virtual roster. Assign them a mentor that can give them tips and tricks as they practice online. Give more emphasis to the human elements than to the techie portions of the course. Less swiping, more chatting. Virtual reality tools can spice up the training experience, but when you want low-tech training, take the organic approach.
Simulations are a great resource to include in your on-the-job training to impart practical skills and experience. However, you need to avoid the most common mistakes to ensure that everyone stays in compliance. This post explores the top pitfalls to steer clear of when developing compliance online training simulations for your organization.