Online Training Seat Time: How To Find Out When Your Time Is Up With Modern Employees
Employed adults may still want to advance their education. Especially the kind of tasks that can help their careers progress. But between office tasks, family responsibilities, and the occasional leisure activity, they just don’t have the time. It’s why so many opt for online training. The idea is short, bite-sized lessons they can sneak into their day. It’s something they can do after running office errands or meeting with clients. This means the typical online lesson is 5 to 15 minutes. But outside of a stopwatch, how can you tell your online training sessions are running too long? Here are 5 red flags that your online training seat time is testing their patience (and attention span).
1. Low Competition Rates
Lots of online courses incorporate some kind of gamification metrics. They often include points-based activities and a leaderboard. If the top scorer isn’t that high, and their competitors aren’t at their heels, it’s a bad sign. It could mean any number of things. Competition rules may be too stringent, or too complex. The contest portions may be dull or boring, so corporate learners aren’t motivated to participate. Or maybe training units require lengthy eLearning seat time and corporate learners drop out before they get to the testing portions. Consider asking corporate learners if there’s any problem with the online training course. Study course metrics to see at what point they drop off. Work out the averages and you’ll have a clearer idea of how long their attention spans are.
2. Poor Assessment Scores
Corporate learners are unlikely to share bad test scores. Fortunately, the average employee training software has deep analytics. Not only can you view their test scores, you can see how long the test took. You can even tell how much time they took per question, showing you which topics gave them the most trouble. Maybe those particular questions were poorly framed.
Or maybe corporate learners didn’t make it to the part of the online training course that covered said topic. Your analytics can tell you the exact spot where corporate learners stopped studying. So, you can correlate their training selections to their test results. Once you identify the drop-off point, you can reformat online training content to keep it within their attention window. Aim to make it shorter and more interactive. Keep in mind that excessive online training seat time typically translates into low knowledge retention.
3. Exhaustion From Cognitive Overload
Back in your school days, you probably had all-night cramming sessions before exams. At some point, your head simply couldn’t absorb further information. The next day, during the exam, the topics you studied may not have appeared in the paper. And even when they did, you were so tired and unfocused from lack of sleep that you still performed badly. Online training can have the same result. When your data shows corporate learners did finish the unit… but still failed the test… the problem lies elsewhere. You may simply have given them too much information. So, their minds couldn’t sift what was crucial and what wasn’t. Meaning the details they stored in their memory banks aren’t the ones that came up in the exam. Summarize and simplify your online training content. If they need additional knowledge, offer it as supplementary reading. You can also launch a microlearning library to offer them follow-up support tools. For example, bite-size tutorials they can access when the need arises. Which makes them more likely to remember the information in the long run, avoiding the tiring online training seat time.
4. Desk-Top Based Course Restrictions
This one seems roundabout, and it’s a sign from both corporate learners and online training course designers. When you’re building for mobile, you’re conscious of reduced screen size. You’ll automatically limit screen text and make online training units smaller. You’ll also be conscious of everything else on the phone, and how it competes for learners’ attention. Text messages, memes, social media, email, actual phone calls. Mobile optimized design is… optimized… for brevity.
As such, if the online training course only has a desk-top module, chances are the pages are wordy and the modules are extensive. Simply by informing your course creators that your online training course will have mobile components, everything gets reflexively tighter. From compressed images to condensed content.
5. Missed Certifications
Another sure sign that your online training seat time is too long for modern employees is missing certifications. They aren’t meeting the training standards because the certification courses are too long, complex, or both. Thus, they put off the modules and activities until the last minute because they are dreading it. If you notice that a high number of employees are falling behind, conduct surveys to figure out why. Use targeted questions to determine if it’s caused by the online training seat time, cognitive overload, and/or lack of motivation. Then use the data to improve your certification strategy and break it down into convenient sub-topics. For example, your comprehensive sales training certification course becomes a 5-part series. Wherein employees can earn badges along the way to track their progress.
One of the best things about online learning is analytics. When your metrics show corporate learners spending more time in their indices than their actual online training course, it says a lot. Over-reliance on appendices and JIT resources suggest online training course units are unworkably long, so corporate learners are opting for shortcuts. How else can you tell they’re spending too much online training seat time? Low leaderboard scores, lower test results, perpetually fatigued corporate learners, and software with no mobile options. If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, it’s time to audit – and edit – your employee training course.
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