Offering employees the opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge can help your business succeed. New technology is making it easier than ever for businesses to offer online training programs as a way to boost employee skills and performance. A survey by Bersin and Associates found that 66% of companies planned to implement some form of e-learning in 2016, up from 61% in 2015. The same survey found that 42% of companies were also implementing virtual or augmented reality training. There are many different ways your company can use online training as part of your broader employee development strategy. This article will explain what web based training is, how it differs from other types of employee training, the advantages of offering online courses, and what you need to know about creating an effective program.
What Is Web Based Training?
Web based training (WBT) is a type of online learning in which people can access course materials and participate in discussions online through computer-assisted learning platforms. WBT courses are self-directed, so you don’t have to be present at a specific time or location to participate. Instead, you can log into your account at any time and from any location with an internet connection and start working through the materials. WBT is typically asynchronous, which means that participants can work through the course materials at their own pace. This is different from synchronous online training, which requires participants to be online at the same time. Together, these two types of online learning are often referred to as e-learning to indicate that the course materials are delivered online through a computer-based learning platform.
Types of Web Based Training
Traditional – Traditional web based training is a one-way experience. The content is downloaded onto your computer, laptop, or mobile device; and you can read through it at your leisure. The host may include quizzes or exercises, but the content is almost always free-flow.
Blended – Blended training is a combination of traditional web based training and instructor-led training (which we’ll discuss next). You may access the course materials online, while a facilitator leads you through a guided experience. Blended training is a great method to help employees learn the basics, but also incorporates the human element of instructor-led training to help employees apply their skills in the real world.
Instructor-led – Instructor-led training is like traditional web-based training, but with a major difference: there’s an instructor guiding you through the material. The instructor may be remote, or they may be in the same room as you.
Advantages of Web Based Training
Easy to Access – One of the biggest advantages of online training is the fact that employees can log in and out according to their own schedule. This makes it easy to fit coursework around work and family commitments and is a great option for employees with busy schedules who can’t attend traditional training sessions.
Flexibility – Since web based training is asynchronous, participants can progress through the course at their own pace. This means that people with different skill levels can take the same course and still remain at the appropriate level.
Affordable – Providing online training has lower start-up costs and ongoing costs than instructor-led training. It’s also cheaper than other online learning methods such as e-learning. This makes online training a great option for small businesses with limited budgets.
Learner-Centric – Web based learning reduces employee training time by as much as 40-60% and increases retention rates by 25-60%, increasing your cost-benefit. Web based training also uses a learner-centric approach to bridge employee knowledge gaps by offering on-demand and self-paced learning to employees. Learners feel empowered as they can choose from the various multimodal learning content – allowing them to learn based on the style that best suits them.
For example, an IBM study shows that for every dollar invested in online training, IBM earns $30 in higher levels of employee productivity. Employees are able to immediately and obviously apply their learnings and continue their work faster.
Asynchronous Web Based Training
Asynchronous learning means that there is no fixed time when students and instructors come together to interact. It contrasts with synchronous learning, in which learning activities take place at a fixed time, such as in a face-to-face classroom or a seminar. Web based learning, where students study materials on computers and then take assessments or participate in discussions on the same computer, is an example of asynchronous learning. So are computer-assisted instruction (CAI) programs, which are computer programs that provide instruction to help learners solve problems or construct ideas. Similar to a distance-based education, asynchronous learning is appropriate for learners who have busy lives and jobs that do not allow them to attend a regular class. Many online courses, such as those offered by MOOCs (massive open online courses), are asynchronous because distance learners can participate at times that are convenient for them.
Blended learning is an approach to course design that combines online course elements such as online discussion boards, videos and self-directed course content with hands-on activities such as field trips, guest speakers or lab work. In most cases, students spend most of the time in the online environment and then meet with their instructor for a few hours each week for hands-on lessons. The idea behind blended learning is that a combination of technology and face-to-face interaction is the best way to create an engaging learning environment that is also efficient. The term “blended learning” was coined in the 1990s to describe a growing trend among educators to combine online learning with face-to-face teaching methods.
How to Create Web Based Training Content
Before you start creating web based training content, you need to determine which format is best for your course. If you’re creating a course for employees who are brand new to the company, an instructor-led course may be the best option. If you want to encourage collaboration among teams, an online discussion board may be the best format for you. If you want to show employees how to use a specific application, videos may be the best format. If you have specific skills that you want employees to have, self-directed content may be the best option. When you’ve decided on a format, then it’s time to create the content. Consider your audience when you’re creating content. What are their interests? What do they find interesting? What do they know? What do they need to know? Once you’ve established these areas, you’ll have a good idea of what you need to create.
Web Based Training Best Practices
– Find the right platform for your employees. There are many different web based training platforms available, so you’ll want to choose the one that’s best for your employees. Pick a platform that is intuitive, easy to use, and has the features that you and your employees need.
– Build your brand. We’ve covered branding at length in other articles, but it’s especially important when you’re creating web based training content. Your branding should reflect your company’s mission and values, and it should be reflected in your web based training as well.
– Offer multiple formats. If you’re creating traditional web based training, you may want to consider offering a blended or instructor-led version as well. This will make it easier for employees to access the course and build their skills.
– Make it social. If you want to encourage collaboration among your employees, make it social. This can be done through discussion boards, live chats, and other group activities.
– Offer incentives. You should offer incentives for employees who complete web based training. This can be as simple as company recognition, or it can be something as substantial as a bonus.
Web based training is an affordable, flexible way to train your employees. Whether you’re creating online courses or using video to train employees in the field, WBT can help your team obtain new skills and knowledge. To create effective web-based training, you’ll want to first decide which format is best for your course. Then, create the content and make sure to follow these best practices to help your employees succeed.
We offer 24/7 live support
Our web based training labs are often equipped with live customer service representatives that can help out with any issues. You can expect to have 24/7 support with a lab platform like ReadyTech, with availability on all major holidays. And if you have a high-volume business with a large number of learners, you might want to look into managed services. A managed service provider (MSP) can help manage your entire learning lab, including implementation, ongoing maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.
ReadyTech is Here
Web based training is the new frontier of teaching and learning, as the need to keep up with the growing remote learning industry is stronger than ever. If you are still interested in what SaaS is, you can read more about SaaS here. ReadyTech provides you with everything you need, and we offer a full-service setup process and 24/7 live support. Do you have questions? Contact us today.