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Getting the best out of online learning – our 5 top tips

by Julia Livesley

In an increasingly more remote work environment, here we discuss how you and your colleagues can get the most out of interactive, engaging and informative online learning.

Many organisations who believe in training and supporting their teams are investing a considerable amount of time, effort and money in online learning in the current climate. As an alternative way to continue to develop and motivate teams and as business owners and managers, we all have a responsibility to ensure that the training is seen as an investment in the learning journey for everyone involved.

Here at The Smart Training Company, we believe that both the learning organiser and delegate have key responsibilities to get the most out of the training from both a personal development and business perspective.

Here are our top 5 tips:


TIP 1: Be Prepared!

Remember to run through a 1:1/full briefing on the benefits of the online learning for the delegate prior to attending the session. Discuss the session overview so that everyone is prepared.

  • What preparation work needs to be completed before they attend?
  • What are their objectives for attending and what would they like to get out of the session?
  • Is there anything their manager would like them to learn?
  • How does the online learning fit into their job role and what preparation will they need to complete? 
  • How do they complete the learning and what resources will they need? 
  • How long will the modules/ session last?

Not only will team members get the most out of the session, they will be motivated to learn, use what they’ve learnt as part of their personal development to the benefit of themselves and the business and they will see that their employer believes in training and investing in them.


TIP 2: Consider the working environment  

Online learning is amazing because it can be done anywhere with internet access and with many of us now working from home it couldn’t be easier, but what type of available space supports online learning?  Multi-tasking whilst completing a module or even worse, talking/engaging with others nearby when the delegates undivided attention is required, will not get the best out of the session.  Ideally, check delegates have access to a quiet, distraction free space so they can focus and get the most out of the learning opportunity.


TIP 3: Planning Ahead 

Take time to consider the logistical and practical requirements of the training.

  • Do delegates need access to a phone, tablet or PC or all three?
  • Is there Internet access? How good is the signal if on WiFi? What is the speed like?
  • What other technical challenges might there be eg. software, hardware?
  • Are earphones needed?
  • What size screen is going to work best?

Delegates should have pre-course work and objectives to hand to help focus their learning. Have a note pad and coffee ready, and ensure they have had a comfort break!  Are they sitting comfortably?


TIP 4: Time Management

Make sure that the delegate knows how much time is needed to complete the online learning. They should check their diary and block out the time needed so that the whole session can be completed. This should include time prior to the session to allow for logging in and making sure they are feeling relaxed. Ensure that they are not on a guest-facing shift at the time and any phones are on silent so that they can focus on their learning.

Allow them time at the end to think about what has been learnt and make an action plan to discuss with the line manager.

TIP 5: Take the time to review and reflect

Having completed the online learning, set aside time afterwards to review, reflect and think back to the questions that were asked during the 1:1 preparation before the learning.

  • Did they meet their desired personal and business objectives?
  • If there was anything their manager wanted them to learn, has this been achieved?
  • How does the online learning fit into their job role and what do they now need to do to implement the learning?
  • What further work is needed to complete the learning and are there any resources that will they need?
  • What action plan was created and what is the timeline for completing it?
  • What is the next step?

Complete action plans over the coming few weeks or months as agreed and ensure that the learner and the business benefit from the learning experience. Encourage the learner to share what they have learnt and agree best practice with their colleagues.