Learning & Development

How to Create Effective Online Training Programs (6 Steps)

Online training programs are likely to only increase in popularity, with Forbes noting that the industry is expected to surpass $350 billion by 2025. These courses provide learners the opportunity to fill in knowledge and skills gaps and further strengthen their existing skills, all on their own time, and usually at less expense than in-person training. 

If you’re considering adding online training programs for your company, there’s no reason why you should feel intimidated by the process. Creating online training content is not only a cost-effective way to provide professional development, but it gives you total control over the content of your courses, allowing you to target the specific needs of your company.

How to Create an Online Training Program

Creating your own online training courses can seem baffling and overwhelming. But the process is actually fairly straightforward, especially with a guide to follow. Here are six steps you can use to put together your own online training programs.

1. Define Your Training Objectives

Before you dive into creating a training program, your first step should be to identify your training objectives as clearly as possible. For instance, your C-suite executives may have identified areas of growth that may require upskilling your staff or your evaluations might show you that your employees are deficient in skills like customer service or budget management. There are several ways to go about determining these needs.

First and foremost, your training program should focus on building skills that will best serve your company’s mission—and your bottom line. While it’s never a bad idea to involve your workforce in determining what skills they would be interested in developing further, those surveys must play a secondary role in the company’s best interest.

2. Choose the Right Platform

Once you’ve decided on your training objectives, the next task is to choose the best platform for your online training program. There are several different platforms available, each of which offers various packages and price points. While you could also build your own in-house education platform, this tends to be much more expensive, which is why most businesses tend to go with an established company.

When you’re choosing a learning platform, do your due diligence and investigate a range of companies, and you’ll be likely to find one that provides you with almost exactly what you need.

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3. Build Your Learning Content

After selecting a platform, it’s time to start building your learning content. These training materials should all relate to your overall training objectives, but you can break them down in whatever fashion you think will facilitate each trainee’s learning and retention. 

Ideally, you’ll want to vary your training techniques to address multiple forms of learning. You can mix in video lectures, reading assignments, interactive modules, and other tools to make sure you reach a wide range of learning styles while also keeping your trainees engaged. You should also draw materials from a variety of sources.

Nothing’s off-limits: Pop culture and games are just as valid as textbooks and lectures. 

The final piece of building this part of your online course is assessment. If possible, you should administer evaluations before and after the training. The first test will gauge each employee’s starting level, while the second will prove progress and retention.

4. Publish Your Training Modules

You’ve assembled your training material, you’ve tested the platform, and you’ve fixed every glitch and typo you could find. The next step is to go live!

In most cases, your material will actually be hosted by the training platform. When your online training courses are ready, simply provide employees a link, which allows them to access the material and complete the training on their own time. 

5. Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Training Program

Perhaps the most critical part of building an online training program is assessing its effectiveness. You can use online training tools like completion rates, trainee assessments, and post-training surveys to gauge how well you could present information to your workforce clearly and effectively. If you’re not satisfied with the results, there’s no shame in going back and revising your program to make it more effective.

6. Revise Your Content and Keep It Current

It’s almost inevitable that parts of your training content will become obsolete or that they may change as a result of a change in business practices. Whatever the case, you should periodically review your online training content to ensure that it’s still relevant. When you find items that need to be revised, taking care of them sooner rather than later will help your training tools remain effective.


When it comes to creating an online training program, there’s no “right way.” So the answer to “how to create an online training program” is “your way.” You’ll need to make decisions that help you target your training to your company’s specific needs. With the help of this guide, you can quickly build the framework for your online training courses.

One definite way to establish the best online training practices is to use learning platforms that would allow you to create, and track training all within one system. Learning platforms or learning management systems can help reduce redundant tasks and automate a lot of the processes.

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