It’s no secret that just about everything has become customised. From shopping to entertainment, our preferences are being targeted. The effectiveness of customisation lies in its ability to speak to our deeply rooted psychology; the part of our brain that likes to hear our own name. Among the many trends in eLearning is the idea that training can also be customised, and for good reason.
When something is customised to our liking, it leads us to believe that we’re in control. Whether or not it’s a false sense of control, it minimally gives us the feeling that we are in the driver’s seat because the information, products, and services we’re interfacing with are curated to our preferences and interests, and that familiarity automatically makes us more comfortable.
The other important thing customisation does is reduce information overload. When unnecessary information is eliminated, we can hone in and focus on only that which is critical. This is a game changer as it relates to training curriculums. When courses can be streamlined to focus only on those areas that pertain to an individual or team, they’re learning only what relates to them, and they can not only learn it faster but can go more in depth.
Before you begin creating a training curriculum, be sure that you’re clear on your company’s goals and objectives. Always keep this in mind so that you ensure that your training ultimately reflects those goals. From there, consider the goals and objectives of the person or team receiving the training. How do their goals fit within the overarching goals of the organisation?
This is an area where an “out of the box” solution cannot compete with customisation. Try to get to know who your learners are.
A common frustration with learners, regardless of the learning environment, is the pace at which they’re allowed to go. Everyone learns in different ways, and everyone is looking to gain something a bit different from their training. Consider providing the opportunity for each learner to create their own learning path that matches their own objectives. Allow them to set their own goals and determine how they’re going to reach them through choosing the modules and activities they’d like to complete. Be sure that adequate support is available for all learners, regardless of their path.
Just as Netflix knows when we’ve finished every season of our favourite show and is able to recommend similar programs, so can we incorporate even more customisation into training curriculums. Do some research in advance to find out what your learners enjoy such as hobbies or interests. Use that information and integrate it into the course, or plan entire curriculums in a project management tool for individual learners. For example, if most of the group is made up of outdoor enthusiasts, use images and references throughout the training that will speak to those interests.
One of the best ways to help learners engage in your curriculum is to empower them. Give them a bit of control over the process such as allowing them to move at their own pace, choosing which activities they want to participate in, learning when and where it’s most convenient for them. This way, they’re learning at a pace and a comfort level that helps them feel in control of their own development. Be sure to check in with them through things like self-assessments to see how they feel they’re doing and to ensure they’re on track with their goals.
Another way to customise your training curriculum is to include branded imagery of your organisation. When people see something they identify with personally, they feel a connection. This connection to the material is important as it feels relevant to their personal goals and objectives. You can also do this by integrating personalised storytelling within your curriculum.
Gamifying learning is one way that learners feel completely immersed in the material. Consider providing the opportunity for learners to earn things like badges and points, or to progress to the next level so that they feel a sense of achievement. You can also provide the opportunity for them to share their progress with other learners to stir up some friendly competition.
As you consider the critical aspects of your training environment, keep in mind that customised curriculums provide learners with more control over how they’ll achieve their developmental goals and objectives, while supporting the overall goals and objectives of the organisation.
About Jessica Barrett Halcom
Jessica Barrett Halcom is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specialisations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.
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