BlogLearning & Development

9 Ways to Make Training Easier for Learners and Admins

Terri James
VP of Product

This blog presents strategies to simplify training, highlighting user-friendly LMS features, interactive content, and automated tasks to boost learning efficiency for both learners and admins.

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Running an effective learning and development program has many benefits, from improving employee retention to developing future leaders – but there's no denying that it's hard.

Learners are faced with unrealistic expectations. Administrators have a constant flow of problems to solve. Content developers need to keep pace with fast-moving fields.

But that doesn't mean that every part of training has to be hard. In fact, there are lots of things you can do to make training easier, both for learners and administrators. That can lead to more engagement, better knowledge retention, and more efficient administration.

What's not to love about that?

Here are nine things you can do to make training easier at your company:

1. Centralize your training in a modern LMS

Without a learning management system (LMS), keeping track of training materials can get tricky. You might have some videos stored on the company drive, a few links to Udemy, some documents in a team training folder, and others that your training coordinator emails out to participants.

A system like that takes a lot of time for learners and administrators to navigate. Especially when you need to update or change your materials. And with many steps for everyone involved, it's prone to error.

A modern LMS keeps all of your materials in one place, where it's easy to access and manage them. This is the single most effective method of making your training easier. If you'd like to see what a modern LMS looks like, be sure to get in touch for a free demo of Continu!

Continu makes centralizing training content easy for learners and admins

If you aren't currently using an LMS, the process of centralizing and streamlining your training might sound intimidating. You could have years worth of materials to find, prepare, and upload.

Trust us when we say that yes, it's effort-intensive, but it's absolutely worth it. We've seen it over and over again – you can read our case studies to learn about several companies that had decentralized materials and how much admin time they saved.

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2. Develop learning paths

In most cases, your training has structure. You might have a specific sequence of resources or different collections of materials that are relevant to different learners.

For example, you could have a folder of sales training materials, a folder of customer service training materials, and an online course for your tech team. Learning paths (or Journeys, as they're called in Continu) keep these materials organized in an LMS.

Create extensive learning paths with Journeys in Continu

A learning path is a series of structured training materials, including courses, resources, activities, and assessments, that help learners effectively gain knowledge. Most LMSes automate the delivery of learning paths – create one, enroll a learner, and whenever that learner needs to move on to the next piece of training content, they'll get a notification or be automatically enrolled.

Because your training probably already has some structure, it shouldn't be too hard to institute these learning paths. Once you've done that, admins won't have to constantly assign new materials, and learners will know exactly what they should be doing at any time.

3. Automate assessments

One of your learners finishes a learning path. They email your administrator to say "Hey, I'm done, I'm ready to take the assessment." The email waits in your admin's inbox for a couple of days (we're all busy, we get it). The admin sends the assessment to the learner, where it sits in an inbox for a while again. Eventually, the learner gets around to taking it and emailing the administrator to let them know it's done. Now the admin has to look at the assessment, give it a score, and . . . you get the idea.

This is a lot of steps for everyone involved.

High-quality training assessments are important – they help you determine what's working and what needs improvement in your training. If your administrators are still manually sending out assessments, though, everyone on your team is spending more time waiting than actually benefiting from assessments.

Why not automate the entire process? A modern LMS can give the right assessment to the right person at the right time, report and record the scores, and give you insights into how your learners as a whole are doing on their assessments. It's faster, easier, and more effective.

All of this also applies to post-training surveys, too.

4. Set up alerts and notifications

Training administrators have to keep an eye on many things. They monitor participants' progress, keep an eye on engagement statistics, see how many people are failing assessments, troubleshoot technical issues... and that's just a small sample.

One of the most effective ways to make this process easier is to set up alerts for when certain things happen. For example, a training administrator could get an email whenever someone fails an assessment so that the admin can follow up with them and suggest some practice. Or an admin could get a notification when participation drops below some number for the week.

Easily set up notifications for admins to stay up to date with their users.

Work with your admins to set up the most useful automated notifications to make their jobs easier and they'll have more time to focus on their high-priority tasks.

5. Schedule custom admin reports

In addition to getting notifications for specific events, you can also automate more routine tasks, like scheduled LMS reports. You might want weekly progress reports, monthly engagement reports, and quarterly completion reports, for example.

It doesn't take much time to run a single report every once in a while, but when you're scaling your learning and development program, you might end up spending a lot of time digging into the data.

Instead of doing it manually, set up automated reporting to get exactly the information you want at the time you need it. You can also set up custom reports using a tool like Continu's Custom Report Builder to get exactly the information you're looking for.

6. Offer bite-sized learning

Your learners are already busy. Requiring that they spend hours at a time on their training can lead to frustration and difficulty with time management. And many companies haven't adopted a way to solve this problem: according to a 2022 SHRM survey, 25% of employees don't have the time to complete their assigned training.

Why not make it easier by letting learners go through their training in five-minute increments?

Bite-sized learning, or microlearning, breaks training content into smaller chunks that can be consumed in five or ten minutes (there's no specific time limit to be considered "bite-sized," the emphasis is just on small sections).

When you make this available on multiple devices, including employees' phones, it becomes especially powerful. Now learners don't need to block out half a day on their calendar; they can get five minutes of training between meetings or while they're waiting for an oil change.

7. Provide self-directed learning

Self-directed learning lets employees choose their own goals, paths, and training experiences.

One of the ways this makes training easier is by sharing the burden of designing training requirements. Who should take your product training? Certainly your sales team... but what about marketing? Or your developers? How about executives?

With self-directed learning, you don't have to manage as much; the people who need or want to take this training will do so.

An employee taking advantage of self-directed learning opportunities on their phone.

It also keeps learners engaged, as they're likely to choose things that are relevant and interesting to them. This is good for everyone, as engaged learners retain more information.

While it may take some time and effort to establish an effective self-directed learning culture and the capabilities required to run it, the long-term effects will make training easier and more effective.

8. Create training materials efficiently

The process of creating training materials is time-intensive. It involves research, comparison with other training programs, design, testing, more design, assessment planning, and more.

Making this process more efficient will make training easier for your subject matter experts and administrators. But how can you make sure you're being as efficient as possible when designing your materials?

Before you start designing any materials, take some time to find out if you have to build something new. Maybe another department in your company has run a similar training. Or maybe there are materials available on LinkedIn Learning that will work. You might be surprised at how much of your training content can be repurposed or copied directly from another source (of course, be sure to check on copyright permissions if you want to adapt or use someone else's content).

Whenever you're thinking about adding new content to your training program, take some time to think about how you might take advantage of materials that are already out there.

9. Foster information sharing

The points above generally apply to formal training delivered through a learning management system. But that's not the only kind of training or learning that happens at your company. There's a common saying that 70% of learning happens outside of formal training.

Making learning easier at your company should also take into consideration these more informal opportunities. And information sharing (also called "peer learning") is one of the best ways to foster a community that engages in training and learning outside of the classroom.

There are countless ways of encouraging peer learning at your company. Here are just a few:

  • Establish a Slack or Teams channel for asking and answering work-related questions.
  • Offer signups for study groups or book clubs.
  • Institute a coaching or mentorship program.
  • Use peer performance reviews in addition to your normal manager-run ones.
  • Host lunch-and-learns.

The method that works best will depend on your company, employees, and your learning goals. Ask your employees how they would like to institute peer learning and you'll have a great start on coming up with ideas.

Training doesn't have to be hard

Developing training materials, spending hours learning new material, and managing an entire company's worth of learning and development are all effort-intensive activities. But that doesn't mean there aren't ways to make the process easier.

With the right mindset and modern workplace tools, you can make your training easier for learners and administrators. You don't even need to overhaul your entire training regimen – just look for areas where you can make a small change that will compound over time.

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About the Author
Terri James, VP of Product at Continu
Terri James
VP of Product

Terri is the VP of Product at Continu, a modern Learning Management System built to help companies train employees, customers and partners using one platform. For over a decade, Terri has led Continu as a product and is passionate about helping companies build a culture of learning.

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