Talent Development

8 Ways To Simplify Complex Concepts In Online Training

Are your online training courses easy to digest or hard to decipher? In this article, we’ll share 8 ways to simplify complex concepts in online training. This will help you improve knowledge retention and your corporate eLearning ROI.

How To Simplify Complex Concepts In Online Training

Comprehension is key to online training success. You can provide your employees with all the information they need but are they really absorbing and assimilating the main takeaways? Can they use the ideas and concepts in the real world to increase productivity and fulfill their job responsibilities?

Here are 8 straightforward ways to simplify complex concepts in online training and make them easier to understand.

1. Avoid Bulky Text Blocks

Employees usually react to bulky text blocks in one of two ways: They either click away as soon as they spot the daunting wall of text or they try to absorb as much information as possible, which in turn results in cognitive overload. In either case, they are unable to build their knowledge and remember the takeaways.

For this reason, you should break text blocks into bullet lists, subheaders or timelines. As an example, create a clickable list that features the main ideas or concepts. Corporate learners have the ability to access one topic at a time. They have the opportunity to reflect on the subject matter individually before moving onto the next section.

2. Provide Practical Information On A “Need To Know” Basis

Online training is all about practical knowledge application. Employees need specific information to improve their task proficiency and hone their skills. As such, you must impart the facts, tips, and techniques they require as quickly as possible.

Concentrate on the essentials and forgo the rest. This applies to text, images, and interactive online training content. Give your employees the information strictly on a “need to know” basis. Omit any finer details that will just add to their confusion.

3. De-Clutter Your Online Training Course Design

A chaotic online training course design contributes to chaotic thought processes. For this reason, you need to de-clutter your online training course and keep things simple. Don’t be afraid of white space, especially when you need to distinguish one topic from another.

The learner’s mind automatically forms an association if two objects are close together, it’s the “law of proximity.” You should also leave out images, graphics, and other visuals that don’t support the learning objectives of your online training course.

4. Include Visual Representations

The human brain assimilates information more effectively when it’s in a visual format. For example, statistics are easier to digest and comprehend when they are depicted in a graph, or important historical dates on a timeline. These visual representations simplify complex concepts in online training and improve knowledge retention.

Infographics are one of the most powerful visual learning tools, as they blend text with images to reinforce key ideas. Ideally, you should provide your employees with a broad range of visual representations and learning aids for different preferences, even non-visual ones.

For instance, some corporate learners might benefit from podcasts, while others get more from serious games and interactive exercises. This is yet another reason why audience research is an important part of the process.

5. Focus On The Gaps

Conduct pre-assessments and surveys to determine what employees know and where they need to improve. Then use this data to create targeted online training resources based on their individual requirements. This also allows you to get a better return on your investment, as you’re able to concentrate on training pain points.

These will become the learning objectives that you can use to frame your entire online training program. For example, you discover that you need to improve customer service task proficiency. As a result, you develop interactive online training activities that provide real-world experience. Employees have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned and refresh their skills.

6. Break It Down!

Complex online training concepts are usually more difficult to comprehend because they involve multiple components. However, you can make them easier to understand by chunking your online training content into smaller elements. For example, a half-hour lecture about compliance protocols becomes 5 micro-modules with several different online training activities and presentations.

This also makes training more convenient for your employees and fuels their engagement and participation. They may not have time to sit through a half-hour online training course, but they can easily complete a 3-minute online training simulation or demo.

7. Foster Real-World Associations

In some cases, employees may not grasp the online training concepts because there is no real world connection. They are unable to see how the information, skills, or tasks can benefit their real lives. You can prevent this from happening by fostering real-world associations. For example, case studies stress the importance of learning a vital skill, while a story can create emotional resonance with your employees and reiterate the benefits of active participation.

Online training is more relatable and personal when it centers on practical applications and realistic challenges. Branching scenarios, online training simulations, and serious games are also ideal real-world training tools.

8. Provide Supplemental Online Training Resources

Employees may need to refresh their knowledge or skills in the workplace. This is why supplemental online training resources are an integral part of your online training strategy. These impromptu online training opportunities help your employees bridge gaps and overcome common challenges right away, instead of waiting until the next online training session.

You could consider a “moment of need” online repository that features mobile-friendly online resources, such as task tutorials, branching scenarios, and product demos. Employees have the power to address performance issues and knowledge gaps early on, while there is still time to improve. They can also use these online training materials to upskill and explore sub-topics which further enhance their understanding.

Use these 8 tips and techniques to avoid corporate learner confusion and simplify complex concepts in online training. Even the most complicated subject matter can be transformed into easily digestible online training materials. It’s all a matter of breaking it down to its most basic components and determining the best delivery format.

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