January 24, 2015 at 1:33 pm #238192
Cynthia Farrell ReynoldsParticipant
You’re rushing to complete a presentation for a noon meeting when a third and final reminder arrives in your inbox. You must stop and complete yet ANOTHER ANNUAL MANDATORY online training. You open it secretly hoping you can hit next, next, next, print the certificate and get back to your presentation. What are some effective ways you have either delivered or received this type of training…and/or what are your creative ideas to make training more effective and engaging so people actually want to take it and walk away with new knowledge?
January 25, 2015 at 4:53 pm #238196
I use to work in the headquarters office for the Department’s training office. We did a few things to make life easier.
1) We removed the next, next, print feature. Sorry… but you must complete the training. We also built in check points so you have to answer to proceed.
2) We published the FULL mandatory training list on our internal portal. We also set the requirements in our learning management system (LMS) for all employees, so any time they go into the system they are reminded of what courses they need to complete.
3) For the whole Department we set the mandatory training as “per calendar” year. We had some offices that did it based on calendar year and some based on fiscal year. By establishing it on a calendar year (there are a few with special deadlines that are set by policy – like our IT course), but we have seen a dramatic increase in completion.
4) We made MOST of our courses online and where possible we combined topics were possible. For example, our EEO, Diversity and Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) are all covered in one course. This reduces the number of courses employees need to complete.
5) We have written (still in the process of having it signed out, but several of the offices have already adopted similar language at their level) that telework can be used for mandatory training. This has helped to raise completion of mandatory trainings as employees with ad hoc/situational telework and has promoted telework across the Department.
January 26, 2015 at 3:19 pm #238226
Hi Cynthia – You’re not alone! 🙂 We’ve talked to a bunch of agencies over the last couple years and have heard the same thing. We’ve been helping agencies to try fresh approaches like “flipped classroom” and “social learning.”
With flipped classroom, we worked with DOT to take a cohort approach where participants engaged in both self-paced and group-based interaction. We recorded a short video (10 minutes tops) that participants watched on their own before participating in an online discussion together. We also invited them to come together live online for a real-time conversation with experts and colleagues.
Using a social learning approach, we worked with OPM to convert a 2-day, in-person course to be delivered over the course of 6 weeks. We broke out the pieces into smaller parts – attend a one-hour webinar (which we made really interactive), then read some blogs and engage in an online discussion and get paired with a peer mentor to talk about what you learned that you’d apply right away to your job.
These are a couple different alternatives to those page turners that you cited – and we’re doing a bunch more with interactive, self-paced videos. It’s a fun time in learning and we’re trying to be innovative and help agencies solve the problem you’ve expressed here.
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