If you are not proactive during a required professional development training session, there might be insufficient space for interaction and the associated reading materials may be mediocre. The training session may even cover material your audience already understands and has learned in a previous course, making the experience even more monotonous.
Fortunately, this nightmare need not become your reality or the reality of your organization’s members. The majority of today’s professional development courses are delivered online, which is particularly crucial considering our current social distancing. However, just because a course is delivered online does not guarantee that it will effectively engage your members.
Prioritize your employees’ needs from start to finish by using an iterative design process. With an LMS like LearnUpon, you can create a successful professional development course and make learning a key component of their growth plan. This way of course development helps provide a connected learning experience and continuous improvements based on feedback from users even after a course has gone live.
In this article, we’ll go over three important steps to making a professional development course the best it can be for your organization. Your professional development courses should be comprehensive and trustworthy. However, incorporating these three elements will allow you to provide the most value to your members.
Have you ever tried to advance professionally? It is expensive. When your members strive for professional development that isn’t covered by their company, they usually have to pay for it themselves. These extra resources must be factored into employees’ personal budgets, and if the cost is prohibitively expensive, they will opt out of the experience entirely.
Your course materials will be useless if people are unable to access them from the beginning. When selecting a solution for your employees, keep the cost of professional development in mind. Traditional materials, such as physical books and instructor-led training, are typically more expensive and may not be within budget.
Consider the following when selecting materials with affordability in mind:
Personalized Digital Course Materials:
Some providers create these materials at no cost to your company. When they are ready, people can purchase lifetime access for a low fixed amount.
OERs (Open Educational Resources):
OERs are free online materials that you can distribute to members of your organization. The advantage of this opportunity is that these resources are mostly open and editable by anyone, so you can get the most customized and highest quality of information.
Neither of these resources will cost your company anything. You could also buy company access to an online course and gift it to employees as a token of appreciation if you want to enhance their experience. But keep in mind that this could come at a significant cost to your organization. Make sure to plan ahead of time.
Even if the topic is evergreen, such as workplace communication, old content will not be useful to your members. A major share of crucial skills will be transformed in the next five years if the majority of workers plan to remain in their roles. Work is constantly changing, and as a membership organization, you need to ensure that the professional development options you provide are relevant not only in the current scenario but also in the future.
Evaluate whether there is any flexibility to upgrade professional development materials as learning needs change in the future as you research them. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to make changes with free and ready-made materials. If you do decide to invest in custom-created digital resources, look for a provider who employs a more flexible learning design concept.
The best learning grasps the attention of learners. Keep in mind that members finish these courses on their own time. If a course is interesting and engaging, they are more likely to complete it from beginning to end.
Change up the elements of the course to keep your team members interested. You can include:
- Assessments that are embedded
- Drag-and-drop elements
- Elements of audio and video
- Images and graphs
- Animated elements
What you can include will be determined by the course material provider with whom you collaborate. If you use digital course materials, you will have many more possibilities to make your learning experience more effective.
One of the most important principles of enrollment programs is to keep members engaged regularly, whether through events, newsletters, or community-developing activities. Seek out interesting and engaging professional development materials that can help you significantly with your member engagement efforts.
Using resources effectively and staying updated with trends will allow you to develop the best professional development course available for your employees. However, keep in mind that, due to the rapid progression of organizations today, you might need to make significant changes later on, or even scrap an old material and design a new one. Whatever happens during the course design process, keep in mind that the services of an instructional design team can assist you in resolving problems and answering any concerns that may arise.