Learning & Development

How to Create an Online Training Program (6 Steps)

Summary: Creating an online training program 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 employees and company.

Here are six steps you can use to successfully develop an online training program:

  1. Use the right learning platform
  2. Define your training objectives
  3. Create effective training materials
  4. Deliver the training online
  5. Evaluate your online training's effectiveness
  6. Revise and improve online training courses

1. Choose the right learning platform

The first step in developing an online training program is selecting the right platform. There are several different platforms available, each of which offers various packages and price points.

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.

Remember, an online training program is designed for both a hybrid workforce and remote employees. So, your learning management system should make it easy to create, deliver, track, and measure the online training initiatives assigned to remote workers.

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2. Define your training objectives

Next, your online training program should focus on building the skills that will help develop employees and align with company goals. Take the time to write training objectives that lay out the framework and expectations of your learning initiatives.

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.

3. Create effective training materials

After defining online training objectives, 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 training videos, reading assignments, interactive modules, and other tools to make sure you reach a wide range of learning styles while also keeping your trainees engaged.

The final piece of building this part of your online course is assessments. 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. Deliver the training online

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 your online training's effectiveness

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 and improve online training courses

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.

Continu makes it easy to create online training programs

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. 

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