Gone are the days of power point, paper handouts and attending all day training seminars. Well not entirely, however online training or eLearning is quickly becoming the best and easiest way to provide training as a product and training to your staff.
This is the year of online training. It’s easier than ever to develop training courses and online tests to help train your employees, and customers over the internet.
WHAT YOU SAY!?!?! You can use the internet for more than sharing funny cat videos on facebook?
YES YOU CAN!
Consider how many government produced courses and tests that have gone online. Not that the government is a technology leader, but if they’re going digital, you should too. They have driving tests and booklets, boater safety, hunter safety, construction safety, hazardous materials and many other certifications that you can now take online. Saving both paper and money.
In 2014 the online training industry started to explode and it’s still exploding. It’s expected to be a $100 billion dollar industry by the end of the year… Those are some fancy numbers, but what does that mean for you?
That means that you and your company can create online training and courses to use internally and train your staff or as products to sell as a part of your business.
At Think Big Studios we’re consistently taking online courses. Right now I’m taking a course on coaching, one on content marketing and one focused on mastering our entrepreneurial mindset. I’ve also taken online courses about writing sales copy, and of all things creating online courses… Who Knew?!. Our staff also have access to our Lynda.com account which they use to take program and software training for any new software we come across which helps them to hone their knowledge on software we already use.
The potential for online training in your business and for your business is huge. While we routinely help our customers create online training modules through our content management system, there are ways of creating online courses that you can access that are available online.
The list of free and paid vendors in the online training market has also exploded. There are free open source options, hosted options and full courseware solutions that you can access in order to manage your online courses.
Here are a few that you may be interested in accessing.
Kajabi.com just released the newest version of their courseware, it’s a pay per month solution, but allows you to create online courses relatively easy. It’s a very popular option and we’ve taken a few courses hosted on this platform.
Google has a courseware solution, which requires deployment on an apache server, we haven’t used this solution specifically, but they seem to have a platform on development to help business and universities deploy online courses. This probably isn’t the solutions for the everyday business owner, and is geared more toward large corporations with an IT department.
Moodle is a free open source solution that allows you to create training programs and host online courses through their online interface. I believe this solution is targeted at those interested in teaching classes and providing resources to their students.
Edx.org is another solution that you would deploy to your companies own web server and is built by an amazing team at Harvard and MIT, along with numerous other institutions. It’s open sources and provides a way for a business or school deploy courses online whether you’re using the SCORM method or building a course from scratch. Again this is probably a more advanced solution, but they also provide a free hosted solution for posting courses online.
Openlearning.com is a free solution for creating and posting courses online. It’s a simplified interface, but allows you to create courses that you can sell. If you create a course to sell, I believe they take 10% of the profits.
Fedora is another online training site, where you can create free or paid courses using their online course software. They help you build and deploy courses that you can then host on your own website, make public or keep private for you staff.
Here is another list of online training we sometimes reference when helping a client out with their online training needs. It a blog post from www.bestuniversities.com, but they’ve curated a lot of information about online training programs and services.
Remember that while finding a platform to host your online course is important to how you launch. The content and the creation of your course material, videos, blogs, articles and tests are the core of your online course.
By creating quality course material and tests you will give value and benefits to your students. If you’re creating corporate training or converting paper tests to a digital environment providing a way to track and scores and test results are important. Less so if you’re creating an online course for the public where certifications aren’t required. However you may want to find a platform that will track student progress, allow you to create tests and track scores by student.
If you’re starting from scratch and need to create a certificate training program for your company, hiring an educational designer is probably a step you don’t want to skip. This person will help you develop an effective lesson plan that will give your students the best learning experience.
Creating online courses can be a bit of a challenge, but everyone has knowledge they can share. There are a multitude of platforms available for creating and hosting your online course material. The trick is taking the time to create a quality course that you can sell. A rule I’d like you to remember when creating your online course is to provide 1000% value for the material you’re charging for. The amazing thing about online courses is that you only need to create the course once, then through marketing you can sell it 10,000 times without having to lift another finger. If you follow the 1000% rule your course will practically sell itself through word of mouth.
Although a little marketing always helps drive those sales.