How do employees learn best? In most cases, deep study over time with many opportunities for practice and application is the way to go. However, this leisurely pace isn’t always possible (or even ideal). Rapid eLearning solutions are critical when you need to roll out training quickly or need employees to level up fast to stay at the forefront of your industry. In this guide, we cover how to develop this type of training without sacrificing quality.
🔍 What you’ll find in this post
What is rapid eLearning?
Rapid eLearning is the express highway of employee development and upskilling. It leverages your existing materials, streamlining information delivery to implement fast training when you need it most.
Rapid eLearning has a variety of applications and comes in different forms. What it looks like for your situation may differ. At its heart, though, rapid eLearning looks like:
- Utilizing what you already have: Think previous courses, training materials, videos, and more
- Leaning on templates and other authoring tools: Focus effort on customizing materials, not the delivery system
- Leveraging expert help: When you need training done quickly, it pays to outsource portions of development out to experts or dig into an eLearning boot camp to level up on best practices fast
- Replicating success: Repeat a process that works across training subjects
This form of accelerated training also makes recruiting your subject matter experts (SMEs) easier because the design process protects their time and lets you map out exactly when you’ll need their input (and for how long). This is a critical piece of the puzzle, especially if you have training material that an expert must deliver.
👉 Discover more: Find out how EdgePoint can teach you how to build engaging and effective eLearning courses with our eLearning boot camp!
Benefits of rapid eLearning development
Many employees would prefer a more leisurely pace for professional development if given the choice. This time for deep work is essential when the content is complex and challenging.
However, there are some cases when rapid eLearning is not only better but is actually necessary. Consider the following scenarios:
- New laws are enacted that dramatically (and instantly) change regulations in your industry
- A big hiring push means there are large groups of trainees who need to onboard quickly
- You need training for topics that are frequently updated or changed
- Employees in multiple locations across the globe need fast access to any of the above scenarios in multiple languages
Rapid eLearning solutions are perfect for any of the above situations. The benefits of this type of training are myriad. In particular, trainings are developed and delivered in a more timely fashion to stay up with the latest and greatest needs. Also, your workforce is always up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations.
How to roll out rapid eLearning courses without sacrificing quality
There’s an old saying: “You can have it fast, done well, or cheap. Pick two.”
When it comes to rapid eLearning development, you don’t have to pick two. Sacrificing the quality of your professional development in the name of speed (or affordability) should never be an option.
You can have all three, but it does require careful planning and deliberate implementation. It starts with the right tools and moves throughout the following development process.
1. Start with your goals
As with every training, you'll need to start with goals. Are you looking to keep employees on top of regulations and compliance, or are you retraining an entire workforce on a different system? The goals you select will guide most of your decisions moving forward.
2. Identify your SMEs
Are SMEs responsible for providing their expertise to your company’s rapid eLearning developers? If so, identify who you’ll call on for help and get them on board. This is crucial when it comes to the next step.
3. Bring in the experts
eLearning consultants can help with the lift by offering co-development support or expert guidance in the form of eLearning bootcamps. These bootcamp-style consulting programs give you access to templates, instruction on using industry-standard toolsets, and coaching on best practices.
4. Choose the best tools
Rapid eLearning development relies heavily on authoring tools and templates. You’ll need to select the best ones for the job, and this means:
- Figuring out which templates and tools your development team is already familiar with
- Identifying the best multimedia and authoring tools for the subject
Don’t waste time teaching a developer a new authoring tool when they already know a similar tool that works for what you need. An agile plan for rapid eLearning development relies on making the most of existing expertise.
If you’re using a template for the first time in hopes of replicating it for future rapid eLearning solutions, make sure it’s the best one for the job.
5. Inventory what you already have
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. When applied to rapid eLearning development, insanity means ignoring all the work you've already put into traditional professional development in favor of writing all new courses.
Take inventory of what you already have, and use that to streamline your development. You may need to pare down or update the information, but rewriting everything is impractical and defeats the purpose.
6. Design wisely
Just because it’s agile doesn’t mean it should be boring. Because 68% of employees prefer their training on the job, design rapid eLearning that, at the very least, replicates what employees are being asked to do.
Don’t just set up a Powerpoint deck and assign times for completion (and a multiple-choice quiz at the end). Consider blending this with eLearning design that includes:
These learning styles are more engaging and keep employees focused on learning.
7. Create modules (and prioritize)
Rapid eLearning is similar to microlearning in that it's best delivered in small modules prioritized from most important to least. Short modules are also more manageable and can be rolled out in waves so that the entire company is learning simultaneously but without the frantic feeling that nobody knows anything.
8. Roll out
In some cases, you may roll out the first module without the next one ready to go. Ensure employees know this professional development is in progress and there may be delays from one module to the next. The best-case scenario? Using templates and engaging SMEs early and bringing in outside professionals will help eliminate delays.
9. Adapt and update
Once you have the basics of your rapid eLearning in place, it’s often just a matter of updating information and adapting some aspects of the template. From here on out, the main work of setting up the course framework is complete. You just need to keep it current.
10. Ask for feedback and adjust
The best judge of how successful your rapid eLearning development is? Your employees. Ask for feedback on everything, from the templates to the information presented, and take it seriously. In some cases, rapid eLearning is utilized for training on life-saving workplace protections or meeting safety standards on the job. Get feedback on what’s working, and change what’s not.
Help at the speed you need
You want just-in-time rapid eLearning solutions, and EdgePoint Learning can help. We specialize in developing using the same tools as your team.. Whether you are looking for help adapting what you already have, access to eLearning bootcamp programs, or need rapid eLearning development from the ground up, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch today!