Training managers often get tired of having to “re-invent the wheel” and refashion documents into relevant online courses. However, involving employees, partners and resellers in rich, meaningful information circles is beneficial to the entire company. E-learning tools help to adapt specific departmental knowledge into useful, company-wide learning. Let us show you 3 easy ways to effectively convert offline company knowledge into interactive training.
Companies already have a great deal of in-house material that is suitable for online trainings. Many training officers and departmental managers create their own presentations in PowerPoint or PDF. After a classroom setting training, these documents are often sent out via e-Mail to trainees and shared publicly on the company intranet. Without knowing, this often times results to companies storing a lot of valuable department-specific knowledge and information, which are sitting idle in network drives and intranet folders. They are overlooked, left alone and will eventually become outdated. What is more, a new set of public could benefit from this knowledge too, such as partners and resellers, newly hired colleagues, and even other departments.
The problem with sending PDF documents or PowerPoint presentations to people who are not directly involved in the training or department concerned is that, in order for them to understand and digest the static information they received, more details need to be added, or rather, explained. Moreover, it would be ideal to give them the opportunity to interact in the form of asking questions and getting their feedback. For trainees who have attended the training session, testing their knowledge right away would have helped immensely, and being able to follow and monitor their learning progress would be ideal. Just giving out static documents will not do justice to the effort you have invested on this knowledge. Share it smartly!
There is indeed a better solution to converting static documents such as PDF, PowerPoint, and Word into interactive online trainings. Files can be automatically converted, which allows trainers to focus more on what is important at hand—adding relevant content, enriching it with questions and building collaboration opportunities around it.
Convert training materials in PowerPoint and PDF.
Use existing training material to create a complete online course. In an online training platform like Coursepath you can start course creation by simply uploading a PowerPoint presentation or a PDF document. The system automatically converts every slide into a step (a page). Editing pages can be done on a fly and reordering them is just a matter of dragging and dropping across chapters. To make the training interactive and to make sure that your target group is stimulated, you can further add media content and questions.
Tips for PowerPoint: Make the most of your PowerPoint files and use the “notes” feature. By ticking the notes box, you convert the notes together with your PowerPoint slides into a course. They appear in the editor and can be further edited.
Tips for PDF: Before converting, we recommend changing the PDF layout to “landscape”, reducing the text to 12 lines per page and keeping the number of pages under 30. This way the content will be easy to read and helps give trainees the opportunity to focus on the key elements in your document.
Upload documents for central storing and knowledge sharing.
If you have content not suitable for conversion, such as files with large texts, forms, checklists, and Word documents, don’t keep them on the side. Storing this information in your training courses allows trainees easy access to additional learning content. For everyone’s benefit, upload the documents into short courses and ask colleagues for feedback. The best thing is, you have all your learning materials stored centrally in one single platform where you can easily update and upload newer versions when they are outdated. Trainees and other colleagues can further download the documents when they need it and at their own time.
Collaborate with your trainees for information.
Your training is truly collaborative when you empower trainees to interact and speak. Let them be heard! Get their opinions and feedback and let them share valuable and relevant information about the course you are training them on. Or design it allowing trainees to comment, upload files, and discuss with one other. On the other hand, you may want to use the training platform similar to a project or workshop environment where trainees can submit documents – from personal information to scanned documents, as well as tasks completed forms and assignments, and other file types such as MP3 for voice-overs or recorded calls for review purposes for example. This way you are making sure all relevant information are gathered and stored in one place where people can access, use and review together.
The trick in converting training materials for online training is making it concise. The Microlearning strategy encourages emphases on short and bite-sized online content. By focusing on selected key elements of your training as the major subject matter and using the rest of the content as supplementary through rich text format or downloadable documents, allows better impact and acceptance with your trainees. They are able to easily follow the training and better retain what has been learned as well.
Making the most of existing in-company material and an individual’s knowledge is a good way to value your employees’ efforts. Through sharing this via an interactive platform, in-company knowledge gets spread out quickly and effectively. Not only that, they also get enriched by other employees through opinion sharing and feedback discussion. Your online training therefore becomes a collaborative space filled with relevant information and serving as a database for specific company knowledge.
This article was first published at eLearning Industry, one of the world’s leading eLearning networks.