Creating training isn’t only about creating training. It’s about creating the right type of training and also making sure that training is kept up-to-date.
As employees suggest changes, new things are learned, or software changes, those updates must be made to training to keep it relevant. Nowhere is that truer than in corporate technical training. Software changes faster than almost anything.
So, if training isn’t updated regularly to keep pace with technology changes, then employees could be learning incorrect information. Or what they’re learning doesn’t match what they see on the job which also isn’t helpful.
It’s important to update old eLearning that has been sitting for a while. That means it must be evaluated regularly and deemed accurate or not. As more eLearning is created, an organization will need to spend more and more time evaluating old content.
Revitalizing workplace training is not just about creating new content from scratch; it’s about breathing new life into existing content. Nothing is ever about creating it and then forgetting about it.
This post covers the reasons, strategies, and techniques that can help businesses master the art of updating old eLearning.
One of the first steps in this process is to assess the current state of your eLearning materials. Are they still accurate and aligned with your organization’s goals? Or do they require a thorough review and update?
We’ll explore the importance of content evaluation and discuss practical tips for identifying outdated information. By doing so, you’ll be able to pinpoint areas that need improvement and focus your efforts on enhancing the overall learning experience. However, updating old eLearning doesn’t stop at content evaluation.
It also involves leveraging new technologies and approaches to make training more effective and relevant. Sometimes eLearning was developed in a rush and upon evaluation could be better presented in a different format. Some of those formats could be microlearning, performance support, and mobile formats that are easier to access.
If you have old eLearning lying around collecting dust in your learning management system (LMS) then it’s time to put an evaluation process into play.
Discover how small tweaks and strategic updates can make a world of difference in revitalizing old eLearning. This will be a transformative endeavor that will increase the value of all training your organization offers. Updating old eLearning will unlock the full potential of your eLearning materials.
The Harm Old eLearning Does
Surprisingly the harm of old eLearning is quite high. If you let content go and continue to age then you’re going to notice some of these harmful impacts of it.
- Waste employee’s time taking useless content.
- Make it more difficult to find the right content that isn’t outdated.
- If it is poorly made and text-heavy, then it will likely be ineffective.
- Employees will lose trust in other training.
- Spread inaccurate or harmful old ways of doing things.
- Non-accessible content which is harmful to some and can be a legal issue too. Be sure to always make eLearning content accessible.
These are some of the harms we experience in outdated content. Overall, one of the most important for the creators is that it simply makes you look bad. If you’re simply putting out new content but your old content gives you a bad name, then the new content won’t be as effective or trusted.
You must start by evaluating the current state before you can move forward with improving it.
Evaluating the Current State of Your eLearning Materials
Before you get into the process, make sure there is time allotted in people’s schedules to review and update training. It’s unreasonable to ask for a normal workload and then add review/revisions to that.
So, make sure your company’s leadership understands the need for updating content and that they’re on board with giving employees time in their schedule for reviews. With the time available then carry on with this process.
When it comes to updating old eLearning, the first step is to assess the current state of your materials. This is crucial in determining whether courses are still accurate and aligned with your organization’s goals.
For new content, it’s important to understand if the content is really needed and if so to analyze the needs thoroughly. For old content, it’s important to conduct a thorough evaluation. These are all parts of the normal ADDIE process, and it is an iterative process if practiced properly which is why it’s such a great process for creating training.
This will help you identify areas that need improvement and guide your efforts in enhancing the relevance of training first and foremost and then secondarily the learning experience.
Start by taking the course. Review each module or course in your eLearning program. Look for any outdated or inaccurate information. If you’re reviewing a technical course (our specialty) pay attention to the process and parts that could be missing or may have changed.
If there are references to specific software or technology that may no longer be relevant, then that’s a red flag. It’s probably time to revamp that entire course.
It’s also important to consider whether the content aligns with current best practices and instructional design principles. Creating training requires a lot of practice to do quality work. That means there will likely be improvements that can be made from someone new at creating training vs. an expert.
Another aspect to evaluate is the effectiveness of your assessments and quizzes. Are they still measuring the desired outcomes? Do they provide valuable feedback to employees and the organization?
Additionally, take into account user feedback and performance data. Are there any common complaints or issues raised? Analyzing this feedback can provide valuable insights into areas where improvements are needed. Look for patterns or trends that indicate a need for updates or revisions.
Those are all good places to start when assessing if an old eLearning course should be updated.
Practical Tips for Identifying & Updating Outdated eLearning
With a lot of content in your LMS (or maybe you have content that’s not on an LMS) there’s a need to evaluate it at regular intervals. That ensures employees are getting accurate and relevant information. It also ensures that employees aren’t overwhelmed with old information that’s not important.
These practical tips will help you identify outdated eLearning information and stay on top of the process in the future too. Success lies in having a process that you can repeat at regular intervals to make sure old content isn’t out there too long.
Identifying outdated information in your eLearning materials is crucial for maintaining their relevance and effectiveness.
- Document Content: Don’t just create it and upload it into your LMS. Document in one place everything you have available and tie each item to a review cycle.
- Schedule regular reviews: This is one of the most important things you can do. Make sure every eLearning course (or even piece of content) is attached to a schedule that will regularly alert you when it’s time to review it.
- Conduct regular reviews: Just scheduling reviews isn’t enough. Employees need to have enough time in their schedule to conduct the reviews rather than simply creating new content.
- Seek feedback: Every course should have the ability for employees to provide feedback. Don’t tie it to an NPS score (those are useless for eLearning) but rather craft the survey with care. There are many resources out there for crafting good learning surveys. Always allow employees to write open-ended feedback.
- Use analytics tools: Take advantage of analytics tools that track the overall sentiment and value of a course. Before creating a course make sure there’s a KPI tied to it that tells your company if employees are getting value out of a course. If you can’t tie a KPI to it then it’s not valuable.
- Use Your Resources: If you’re not sure about something, ask. It always helps to work closely with subject matter experts used to create the course to ensure that the content remains accurate and up to date. They were a valuable resource the first time around and will be for reviews too.
- Document The Process: It’s not enough to document the content, you also must document the process and history. You need to document when the content was created, was last checked, and when it needs to be checked next.
These tips will ensure you create a well-oiled process that ensures old eLearning remains updated and gets updated promptly. The eLearning content your organization creates is only as valuable if it remains updated.
These tips are especially important for custom technical eLearning. That’s because technology changes the fastest and it likely needs a faster view and update cycle.
When it’s time to update old eLearning that’s also a good opportunity to upgrade it to be even better too. That could be repurposing it in a different format or modifying the content to be more interactive and relevant.
Leveraging New Strategies to Update Old eLearning
Updating content to be accurate is one thing but what about updating it to be better? That does require more time, but the goal should always be to achieve better results.
A good opportunity to make old eLearning content better is when you update it. A course may have been built well the first time around but there’s always room for improvement.
Sometimes new scenarios can be integrated into a course to improve it. Perhaps something major has changed in the organization due to a lesson learned, that’s a good opportunity for an update.
Sometimes courses are great to get employees up to speed but then they aren’t as necessary as a long course. Once employees are for the most part up to speed then the content might serve better as performance support.
There are great opportunities for training employees with performance support because it’s such a powerful form of improving employee performance. If you can replace a course with 2-5 job aids, then that’s a huge win. Then employees can get only what they need when they need it.
Performance support is a popular form of microlearning but there are other methods of making a course smaller and more performance-driven. Microlearning can work well for corporate technical training for those short tasks that employees need help with.
When a course is necessary then there could also be an opportunity to make it more interactive. That could be introducing a new scenario, or it could be an interactive activity that is highly relevant.
Challenges Of Updating Old eLearning
There are always challenges involved with both creating and updating eLearning content. These are some of the challenges you’ll likely experience and have to overcome to update old eLearning.
- Buy In: It takes time and financial resources to update eLearning. Leaders will have to buy into that and see the value of investing that time and money.
- Internal Skills: Sometimes the reason eLearning needs to be updated is because the know-how wasn’t available to do it right the first time. That could still be a challenge for updating eLearning. It’s sometimes helpful to work with an instructional design consultant to gain the necessary skills quickly.
- Extremely Old Content: It might be that content needs to be completely recreated because it’s so old. If a course was created before rapid development tools in a tool such as Flash, then a complete recreation might be necessary. That’s going to require even more resources.
- Busy SME: The one person you need to update content is swamped for the next six plus months. That’s very common and a huge challenge. Sometimes you may have to find another expert.
Anybody who creates eLearning is familiar with all the challenges that can go along with it. Many of those challenges continue to remain when they get old and must be updated.
Updating old eLearning is an essential process for organizations that take their employee’s development seriously. By assessing the current state of your materials, evaluating content for accuracy and relevance, and overcoming challenges you can revitalize workplace eLearning.
Remember that updating old eLearning is an ongoing process. Regularly evaluate your content, seek feedback, collaborate with subject matter experts, and having a well-oiled process will ensure you can make updates happen regularly.
By doing so, you can ensure that your training materials remain effective and impactful. It will also ensure your content remains a trusted source of knowledge and skills for your organization.
So don’t let outdated eLearning hold back your organization’s growth and make you look bad. Embrace a process and make sure you stick to it. Making time to update content is just as (if not more) important as creating new content.
Schedule a free consultation to discuss your process for updating old eLearning content and how we can help. The right process can make your time go further in ensuring content is relevant and valuable to your organization.