Who Should Develop Your Online Training Program?
If you are tasked with delivery of a business-critical eLearning project, you are going to need help getting it delivered On-Time, without disrupting your Real Job and precious work/life balance.  This article is based on recent conversations with new clients. Here’s their top three questions:

Question 1: My company HR department does not have the staffing or bandwidth to build my new eLearning program.  They mentioned that we could use our company trainers as a  good resource. Is this true? 
Answer:  We say NO, here’s why. We love trainers, but their best role to serve in building new training programs is to be subject matter experts (SMEs). They  provide valuable case studies to make the training “real” especially for your field-based staff.  But their purpose is to deliver NOT develop training. We recognize they trainers can add great value to the training materials and should be on the stakeholder team.

So who makes the best training developer?  Actually it takes a professional skilled team to create a training program that fits your complete company needs. Team members have specific roles and responsibilities, they include:

  • Project Content Lead:  Co-Manages with YOU, to follow a proven process that develops the project plan and timeline
  • Senior Instructional Designer: Builds out the overall design of lessons and activities based on your project plan goals.
  • Course Designer: Builds courses, lessons, activities, knowledge checks, quizzes based on the project plan
  • Multimedia Developer: Builds videos, audio, and interactive elements based on the project plan
  • LMS Administrator: Manages upload of course file uploads, company network deployment, & student records 
  • Trainer: Delivers prepared training programs in LIVE events (In-person and online webinars)

With the Design2Train team, your dedicated Program Content Lead (PCL) is an eLearning expert who works with you from concept to launch to handle the time consuming management of ALL content-development training activities and the production staff, leaving you to focus on allocating company resources and your REAL JOB.  



Question 2: Do I have to purchase special courseware development tools, which costs several thousand dollars for each license? 
Answer: We say NO , here’s why.  For the majority of training lessons, it’s just an added cost because you need current licenses and a trained staff on-hand to create them. Then when you need to update the lessons (which always happens), you need that trained staff member to completed updates.

We say NO to expensive additional development tools, because we’ve delivered 100’s of hours of highly effective training using the Microsoft Office Tools. Your company like most others already has enterprise licenses and your employees are active users of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint. We produce high professional quality training that can be delivered in various ways like: facilitated, live webinar, and self-paced eLearning modules from one PowerPoint source document. 

Here’s why we recommend using PowerPoint to design training modules. 
1. Standardization is the key to delivering effective company training. This means that everyone sees and hears the same information.  PowerPoint is time-saving because it delivers standardized training for self-paced and live training events. 
2. Company employees are already familiar with using PowerPoint in the workplace.  It comes in most handy in the review / approval process since review team members quickly view and provide feedback on the visual (graphic) and  speaker notes. 
3. Easily add video and interactivity elements into PowerPoint for engaging learners.
4. PowerPoint is easily converted into a video format. If you need to re-work or add new modules, just add the new information and convert to video. Saves time and money on future updates.   
5. PowerPoint videos meet SCORM requirements of learning management systems (LMS) using Camtasia editing software.  

Question 3: How does a Learning Community differ from a Learning Management System (LMS)?  Are they more expensive?
Answer: Good Question!  Both options are organized methods for delivering instruction to learners, but they differ in what you are trying to accomplish with your training program. And NO, a Learning Community is not more expensive.

LMS driven training is very linear.  It forces all leaners to go through all training sessions in order.  Sometimes this is important, other times it is irrelevant and just boring!

A Learning Community has multiple pathways of learning, that includes LMS courses for demonstrating competency and earning certificates, but it’s also enhanced with “free range access” to online libraries, video shorts, and all types of  references in different formats (documents, audio, graphics). 

Here’s how Design2Train builds Learning Communities. Instead of requiring people log into an LMS, your audiences login into the learning community portal accessed from a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device. We create a welcome video to get the audience acquainted with the many resources.  The online training library is well organized and serves as the “go-to reference” and is easily refreshed and updated by designated staff with the latest new information. Learners are encouraged to participate in ongoing discussions, take polls and surveys, and give feedback on needed new training  or special resources. When it’s time to test for competency, the learner signs into the LMS to take the required course(s) and earn their certificate of completion. Our learning communities can integrate with your existing LMS or other online company resources.  

Does your company already use Microsoft Office? We partner with a premier SharePoint team who creates custom Learning Communities to meet your internal and external training needs.  If you would like experience a Learning Community in action, please contact Valerie K Miller, Design2Train CEO.  She’s happy to share our own online coaching community portal for you to see a Learning Community in action. 

Summary eLearning and Learning Communities are valuable resource to help build your company internal product bench-strength as well as inform, educate, and communicate facts to your clients.  Design2Train is an award-winning instructional design agency, founded in 2001. We specialize in managing and creating custom technical training programs. Our core staff is US-based but we partner with highly skilled teams in Mexico and Brazil to deliver authentic multi-lingual training.  

Interested in learning more?  Book an appointment and Let’s Talk.