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If your job description includes “building a modern workforce,” you’ve come to the right place. Here, you’ll find articles, case studies, white papers, and webinars designed to help you stay up on the latest trends in corporate training and e-learning. (Because e-learning by osmosis isn’t a thing.)

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E-Learning Templates Can Improve the Course Design Process

With so many factors to consider when designing an effective e-learning course, it’s understandable if the early stages feel a little overwhelming. You may find it helpful to use templates to speed up some of the more redundant steps in your process. E-learning templates provide structure to the process of designing an online training course—but it’s important not to let your template become too rigid or bland.
Let’s take a look at some e-learning template best practices that can make your course both informative and engaging.
Stick to the Core Structure of an E-Learning Course
Regardless of their subject matter, e-learning courses typically follow a similar structure, which includes:
  • Introduction screen
  • Table of contents
  • Objectives and course goals
  • Directions and instructions
  • Course content
  • Quizzes, assessments, and surveys
  • Summary and final instructions
To begin building a basic e-learning template, identify the major components of your course that fit into each of the above sections. You don’t need to be concerned with the aesthetics or content just yet.
Create a Default Starter Template
Your starter template should have a designated screen for each core component of your course. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be ready to build your e-learning courses. Instead of using old courses as a guide, you’ll start from this e-learning template each time you build a new course.
However, make sure you’re using the template as a basic guide for course development, not a rigid framework around which you must design every course. Having flexible placeholder screens for each core element helps ensure that no pieces are forgotten and maintains a positive, user-friendly course design experience.
Each placeholder screen serves as a reminder to include the main elements during the creation of your e-learning course, and it helps with following your storyboard. Additionally, starting with blank placeholders requires you to think carefully about the specific course you’re designing, rather than copying an existing course. Starting your design from an e-learning template also forces you to consider how the course will be viewed from a user’s perspective and pinpoint potential questions the learner may have. Ultimately, creating and using online course templates helps you build a better, more structured, and visually appealing e-learning experience.
 

Why Developing a Customer Service Training Course is Easier Than You Think

E-learning is an effective, efficient and flexible solution for training both new and current employees. Unfortunately, the idea of creating courses and developing additional training materials seems overwhelming to many, and this misconception has prevented some companies from even considering a learning management system (LMS). What many of these companies don't know, however, is that designing E-learning courses is really not all that difficult. All you need is the right LMS. Bridge, an LMS built with ease of use in mind, and is the perfect solution for businesses that don't consider themselves tech savvy (as well as companies that do). Here's why.
1. You don't have to hire outside help
There's a good reason why companies are hesitant to start E-training. Many LMS options out there are complex and require the help of an instructional designer. Bridge, on the other hand, makes it easy for anyone to create courses, helping you develop materials quickly and without external resources.
2. Updates are hassle-free
Most industries experience constant change, and training materials need to reflect the most up-to-date information. While some learning management systems require programming knowledge and time in order to update courses, Bridge can be easily tweaked without disrupting the training process. And, once again, this system does not have to involve outside help in order to make updates or changes.
3. You'll have a tech support team
If any problems or questions should come up, Bridge offers a dedicated team of tech experts who can be reached any time during the day. Bridge believes creating courses shouldn't be stressful or time-consuming. Take a few minutes to learn more about E-training and how Bridge can help you engage employees by visiting our today.
 

Why Sales Managers Should Consider E-learning to Train Staff

When it comes to sales, even the naturals need a little training to hone their skills. However, not all training methods are effective, and what training you choose can determine whether you see a boost in sales or a decline. For example, it can be very helpful to train sales staff "in the field." But, before employees get this hands-on experience, they first need to learn certain skills to make field training effective. This is where e-learning comes into play. E-learning can provide the high-quality training your team needs to enhance overall performance, and it’s affordable. Here are five more reasons why sales managers should consider e-learning when training their team.
1. E-learning can be tailored to your team's specific needs
Instead of sending your staff to a large, general seminar for training, you can design a more personalized experience. E-learning allows you to have full control over the materials presented, meaning you can create courses that apply directly to your business and employees.
1. E-learning can be tailored to your team's specific needs
Instead of sending your staff to a large, general seminar for training, you can design a more personalized experience. E-learning allows you to have full control over the materials presented, meaning you can create courses that apply directly to your business and employees.
2. Anyone can create courses
While some online training can be difficult to work with, many e-learning solutions don't even require outside help. You can create courses for staff without the help of an instructional designer, which helps you save both time and money.
3. E-learning is flexible
Was there a recent change in your product line or policy? With the right learning management software (LMS), you can easily and quickly make changes to your materials. There's no need to know how to code or program either.
4. E-learning shows progress and problems
How do you know whether your sales staff is actually understanding the material? An LMS can track how users are doing and send you the results. This helps you pinpoint the areas where employees not only excel, but where they struggle as well.
5. You can present bite-sized information to employees
3-hour seminars or even hour-long training sessions make it difficult for employees to stay engaged. With e-learning, you can design courses that present information in bite-sized pieces. The flexibility of online learning also allows learners to take a break and continue their session as needed.
E-learning isn't the only effective way to train your employees, but it is a method that can complement other types of training very well. Take advantage of easy-to-use LMS options to create online courses that provide sales staff with the skills they need to improve.
 

Using Videos in E-learning Courses

Believe it or not, YouTube is filled with more than just videos of funny cats and laughing babies. If you’re interested in learning specific tasks, the site also features a wide variety of informative how-to videos. From DIY decor to learning a new language, chances are you can find a video online for just about anything you may want to learn about. And when you think about it, it makes sense: people learn better by example. Videos are a great way to present visual examples and enhance the learning experience, so it’s only reasonable that this should carry over into the corporate training world.
Videos are a great tool for teaching job tasks and behavioral skills used in the workplace. Behavioral skills, also known as "soft skills," are the skills employees use for interacting successfully in the workplace, such as asking for help or giving instruction. While text, images, and animation will likely make up the majority of your e-training content, videos are a smart addition that you will often find can paint a better picture for some of your course material.
Screens filled with only text and graphics can be monotonous to learners. Videos provide a nice break in between text to keep the course engaging. Videos also bring a human element to your training – which can be especially important for those users who are taking an online learning course for the very first time. If done effectively, a video will greatly improve your e-learning course and help you reach your objectives.
Whether your video is a success largely depends on the video itself. Keep these tips in mind when creating training videos in order to provide the best experience possible for learners.
Short and sweet
Similar to the way you want to pace the rest of your course, instructors should be aware of length when making training videos. A 10 minute video is on the long end of the spectrum, and any longer risks the user losing focus. Instead, learners work well with videos around five minutes each. Your e-learning videos should offer bite-sized chunks of information that users can quickly consume.
Consider quality
A low-quality video, whether it involves bad acting or jerky motion, will do more harm than good. Course users aren’t expecting a Hollywood-style film here; they understand that video e-learning is an inherently challenging task. That said, learners will have a hard time focusing on the information you are trying to present if they are instead noticing major flaws that detract from the message. Find a good balance that works for your course and budget. Even minor steps can make a huge difference – like investing in a tripod or a good microphone.
Include a transcript
When it comes time to post the completed video to your course, be sure to include a transcript for users to follow along with. This will be helpful for learners who may want to reference back to this content later on. Closed captions should also be considered, as it will assist users with hearing disabilities, as well as allow all viewers to follow along with what they are watching.
Be prepared
The actual day of production can be tricky for many first-time video producers. Make sure you plan ahead and take care of as much as possible before the shoot. This includes creating a storyboard and a script, and making sure you have all of the equipment necessary. Take some time before production to learn some beginner tips for setting up lighting and capturing sound. Know how many people will need to be there, and make sure you have a schedule in mind for everybody involved. Also, be prepared to make mistakes. Allow for more time than you may expect to give the team a little bit more breathing room. Multiple takes will certainly be required for some shots, but resist the urge to rush production. And lastly, remember to breathe. Video production can be tricky, but it can also be incredibly rewarding and valuable. It’s ok if the shoot isn’t professional-grade, but if your team is as prepared as possible, everything will be fine.
There's a reason people turn to YouTube videos for how-to content. Visualizing a task being performed often enhances the learning experience – often more so than simply reading about how it should be done. Use this to your advantage and help employees learn by incorporating videos into your e-learning courses.
 
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