In the rapidly-changing business environments many of us find ourselves in today, there are those moments when a policy or procedure changes, a product update is released, or there is a need to figure out the new software update that went into effect that morning, and employees need the information now, not later. Business-critical information is what employees need to function at their highest level — it is the information that is vital to the good operations of an organization and the data necessary for full functionality. Therefore, rapidly deploying and dispersing the necessary information is critical. And, in a rapidly changing business environment, many of us need information now. we need to know what is important and, most importantly, how to do our jobs.
One of the best things about utilizing a Learning Management System (LMS) that is fully integratable and Cloud-based, is that information can be deployed to any mobile device that learners have on hand, and they can receive information immediately. This type of LMS allows content creators, managers, frontline trainers to rapidly deploy information as needed, and a few of the key terms or modalities when thinking of rapid deployment in eLearning are: Mobile Learning and Micro Learning, and Rapid Authoring Strategy.
Mobile Learning is training delivered to portable electronic mobile devices, and according to eLearning Industry’s post on eLearning Trends And Predictions For 2017, it is on the rise as the preeminent and popular way in which training will be delivered. Mobile learning can be pushed out to smartphones, tablets, notebooks, MP3 players, and even wireless gaming consoles. This type of learning is especially interesting and attractive to younger generations and those on-the-go.
Micro Learning, another top trend for 2017, consists of small sections and snippets of learning content instead of the half hour or hour long sessions. They are burst of anywhere from 2 to 8 minutes of content that is easily digestible, memorable, and operable. This technique makes it a great way to get content out fast.
When creating a Rapid Authoring Strategy (RAS), creating content quickly, think templates, links to existing or easily re-purposed content, and, simply, a video camera. The outline or structure of an RAS should begin with a short intro and description as to why learning this information immediately is important to the learner, customer, and the organization. The delivery step should be to:
- Present the content in a clear and concise fashion
- Follow-up with a succinct review
- Conclude with an assessment or feedback option.
Content packaged this way allows the user to understand the importance of the business-critical blast, have the content reinforced, and offers a way in which to demonstrate competency and connect with the content experts if and as needed. The follow-up and assessment portion also allows Learning Directors to track, view, and assess who has complete the required mini-course, who might need assistance, and who needs prompting. A final consideration when creating as RAS, is to explain to employees that it is like an emergency alert of sorts, so that when they receive notification about an update or training, they know and be able to respond accordingly.
Even though the business-critical content is vital to the success of the organization, learners are busy working and may not have time to stop and engage, even if the need is urgent. Therefore, here are some ways in which to make the lesson as easily accessible as possible:
- Send an email or text message with the link to the training with a short explanation as to why it is important to complete as soon as possible
- Announce a deadline for completion
- Create a coding system for identifying lessons that need to be taken immediately versus lessons that can be taken when convenient
Rapid deployment of business-critical eLearning is an important tool to have in any type of organization. If done correctly, it can provide a powerful competitive advantage. Be sue to have your RAS ready, and you will be sure to outpace your competition and your team will be ready for training and performance support wherever and whenever they need it.