COVID-19 and training – the impact and opportunities (Research)

Shifting from face-to-face training to online delivery has presented many challenges in the wake of COVID-19. But, there are also opportunities to increase speed to train, reduce costs and enable more people to share and access knowledge. From the Digital Learning Skill-Up program, we’ve gathered some fascinating data. Here we look at our findings and what that means for HR, training and learning teams right now.

No one learning team looks the same

Learning teams come in all shapes and sizes. Some are super confident. Others feel like they lack the skills in the digital first world we find ourselves in.

What roles do you have in your learning team?

What roles do you have in your learning team? Graph

It’s true – no one team looks the same! The mix of roles differs significantly across different teams. Most included trainers, facilitators, Learning Managers and Digital Learning Designers. If you have a Graphic designer on hand, then you’re in the fortunate minority.

We also found that:

  • 64% of teams included trainers and facilitators
  • 84% had digital learning developers/authors or learning technology administrators
  • 67% of participants had been focused all or mostly on face-to-face training until now

How confident is your team with producing elearning?

How confident is your team with producing elearning? Graph

It’s heartening to see that most people have at least some confidence in producing elearning.

What does this mean for training and learning teams shifting to digital?

1. Build on your existing skills

The good news is that trainers and facilitators already have many of the skills needed for great digital learning design. Good trainers are able to explain complex things in simple ways. They know how to help people connect with new information and can make dull topics engaging. To make the shift to online training, it’s about understanding the digital options and the benefits they can bring.

2. Think about project roles, not job roles.

This will give you the flexibility to match people and their skills to the projects you need to deliver. You can also consider bringing in people from outside of your core team to plug any skills gaps. For example, if you don’t have a graphic designer – you could look to the marketing team for support or use a freelancer.

We’ve seen every team configuration you can imagine – and there’s no one perfect set-up!

Download our guide to building an elearning dream team.

3. Offer support and reduce friction in the process

Find out how confident your team feels about shifting to digital – what are their big questions and concerns? If they’re unsure then look for ways to support them quickly.

One way to do this is to make it easier for people in your organization to produce online training.  We’ve spent months researching this very challenge. We found that setting people up with a process they can follow and templates they can start from makes a huge difference. It gives the learning team confidence in the quality of output, and sets trainers, facilitators and SMEs up for success.

We’ve taken this further in Elucidat with a tool called Learning Accelerator, which recommends pre-built blueprints, based on your goals. Each blueprint comes with expert learning design guidance baked in and a downloadable storyboard. All you need to do is apply your brand style and add content. Get in touch and we’ll make three free blueprints available in your Elucidat account right now.

The Digital Learning Skill-Up program is for people who need to shift from face-to-face to online training. It’s free and available to anyone – share it with your team and sign up now.

Most have an appetite for technology

Good news – the majority of organizations are positive about technology and have a range of tools at their disposal.

Does your organization embrace new technologies?

Does your organization embrace new technologies? Graph

Technology is generally embraced by organizations in our survey. They recognize the benefits it brings from better tracking of training to cost efficiencies and scale.

When you look at the technology landscape, how confident are you that you know what you need? 

When you look at the technology landscape, how confident are you that you know what you need? Graph

N.B. this data includes teams of all sizes, not just those of 6+ people

The learning technology landscape appears to be a mystery to many. With businesses needing to move fast to adapt to the new normal of online training, this could leave some floundering.

Ask your learning technology administrators and digital learning designers (if you have them) to support the face-to-face training teams and SMEs.

What does this mean for training and learning teams shifting to digital?

Make sure people know what tools are available

The participants in our survey were looking for help to shift face-to-face training online. Given that their primary focus had been in-person training, they may not be aware of the tools and technologies available. This is worth checking.

Don’t let the L&D team be a bottleneck

More people across businesses will be looking to create elearning – not just the L&D team. You’ll need to find ways to open this up to trainers and subject matter experts. That means making it quick and easy for them to create elearning, whilst being able to control quality and consistency.

To tackle this, Elucidat has had a huge update to make it easier for anyone to produce quality elearning – 4x faster than before. Watch out for updates to user permissions over the next couple of months too!

Find out about Elucidat’s Learning Accelerator

About the data

We surveyed the participants of the Digital Learning Skill-Up at the start of the program to understand the challenges that might be facing them. People signed up to the program to get help shifting from face-to-face to online learning in the wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. Over 1,200 people took part in the program and most of the data outlined here uses a sample of 140 responses from teams of 6+ people. We have also drawn data from polls in the live webinars and from within the program content itself.

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