Best Practices for Effective Online Education

By Chris Duehrsen
August 3, 2015
4 min read
online education

Before I began my journey with Intranet Connections, I was a teacher. Teaching ignited my passion for helping others learn and my love for technology fueled my desire to use technology to assist with teaching. That is what sparked me to write this blog about online education.

Your intranet is an indispensable tool for educating your employees. There are a number of features built-in to your intranet that can assist with the overall education of employees, whether they be new hires or seasoned employees wishing to broaden their horizons. The following points are a few best practices for effective online education:

Keep it Simple

A best practice for effective online education is putting your employees in control of their learning. You can achieve this by providing staff with the materials they need in one central location that is easy to navigate through. You want to make it as easy for them as possible so they can choose the approach to learning that works best for them. A great feature on your intranet to assist with this is Document Management.

Presenting all your educational resources in various documents makes it easy for your employees to study and learn at their own pace.

Make it Engaging

Online education should be engaging. Select someone interesting to run the training and promote that this person will be facilitating the education on your intranet. You can post this right to the intranet home page where everyone can see it, using the Company News application. Include their photo and a description of them to get employees engaged and excited.

Share the Knowledge

Growing your employee knowledge base is an important piece of the pie when it comes to effective online education. Each employee has a different area of expertise that could potentially help another colleague. Allow employees to share this knowledge through intranet blogging, and have other employees comment their thoughts on the blog.

This encourages employees to tap into their colleagues’ experiences and learn something new. The rapid growth of wikis shows just how popular peer content creation has become. An added benefit of employee knowledge sharing through intranet blogging is that the content will be there for the next group of new recruits to learn from and build upon.

Make it Interactive

An important aspect of effective online education is allowing employees to discuss it after. It is valuable to promote peer conversations after the learning is done. Your intranet is a great tool to facilitate this, with several features dedicated to employee communication. For example, Live Chat, Discussion Forums, and Message Boards.

Having an interactive discussion after the online education takes place helps ensure that important concepts were understood, as well, and gives employees the opportunity to expand upon them. It is also a good way to promote idea sharing and further knowledge sharing.

Offer Feedback

Perhaps one of the most important components of effective online education is feedback. It is very gratifying for an employee to know that they actually understand and can apply what they’ve just studied. Conversely, it is also good for an employee to know early on if they’ve gone off track and need to go back and review earlier concepts.

A good way to identify this using your intranet is by incorporating small Online Tests throughout online education.

Keep it Short

Your employees will be more willing to commit to online education and work through the training if they can see the finish line. Keep your online learning on a shorter time duration. This will ensure employees retain more information and don’t start to fade during the training. Keep each online education session fairly short, your employees will love you for it!

Successful Online Education

Each of these best practices will ensure your online education is successful. Just keep in mind that every employee learns in their own way, and each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. It is important to play around with different online education tactics to ensure everyone is getting the full value from them.

What tactics does your organization use for effective online education? Let me know by commenting below!

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By Chris Duehrsen

Chris is passionate about all things tech, with experience working in the technology industry in Germany. He studied Commerce at UVIC and Tech at BCIT before joining the Intranet Connections team. Prior to joining Intranet Connections, Chris was a valued member of Canada’s Paralympic soccer team for almost 10 years.