Nov 16, 2010

Self-Paced Success Factors

This fall I launched a series of self-paced online courses. This was the company's first attempt at self-paced online training. Courses were served entirely online and learner results were tracked.  I used a combination of in house custom developed content and 3rd party content. The courses developed in house were based on simulations and interactions. The 3rd party courses were based on video presentations.

The courses went well and good positive feedback was received. Here are some of the reasons I credit with success:
  • Quality simulations and videos - The software simulations created in house were created in Captivate and were high quality with good graphics and animations. The simulations matched exactly what the users see when they log-in to their own accounts. The 3rd party videos were very clear and smooth.
  • Good instructors and SMEs - The 3rd party instructors were well qualified and easy to understand. The SMEs I used for the in house courses had already taught the face-to-face courses and were very knowledgable about the subject matter. I had several experts review the course and were able to incorporate their feedback.
  • Limited technological barriers - It was challenging to find the best way to deploy the content. Originally an LMS was planned to be used but the LMS was behind schedule and unavailable. I choose a web service that was capable of delivering and tracking SCORM based content. The learner simply receives and e-mail and clicks on the link to start the training. There was no LMS to log into. This is not an ideal long term strategy but it works well as a stopgap until the LMS is up and running.
More to come. I will share some of the feedback I received from a survey and from talking with the learners. Also, there were some technical issues that occured as well that I'll share.

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