How To Start Your Own Learning Program
The first important thing that should be done to start building your learning program is to have an idea and a goal—to know exactly your objectives, what you would like to achieve, and why you would like to create it. Another important thing is to know from the beginning what learning experience you want to provide to your employees/stakeholders through the program, and what type of training and delivery you will offer (online, webinars, VILTs, face-to-face).
Additional Aspects To Consider When Creating Your Program
The second important aspect of your steps in building the learning program is to learn more about your stakeholders. This will help you to:
- Know what they need in terms of training.
- What type of deliveries fits the best for them.
- How you can track the progress of your courses.
- How you can receive feedback from them.
2. Name It
It is time to choose a name for your learning program! And don’t forget about: the logo, the specific images that will be used for your courses, the LMS, the course’s main template, or other details you want to include in the program.
3. Check Other’s Learning Program Ideas
You have an idea, and you have a plan but have you checked if there is something similar on the market? What is the key identifier of your program that will make your stakeholder like the program and use it? I invite you here to check: what do other companies have in terms of training, what do you like from what you’ve found, what is their learning program design and structure, and what can you improve and add?
Now it’s time to develop processes and documents to help your learning program launch and your team. And this should include: how the team will work together, what the main program presentation materials will be, how you’ll promote it and present it to your audience, how the course outlines will look, and how the prototype for your stakeholders will look. That’s so to facilitate the way they can go through all the steps and get certified, and how your stakeholders/employees will receive a certificate internally.
5. Your Team
Your team is very important! The team will help you create the content, design it and publish it. The main roles that I consider necessary to develop a learning program include Project Managers, IDs, TWs, SMEs, LMS administrators, and UX designers. For sure there may be exceptions, and maybe not all the teams/companies will hire the same type of people but what I can say is that without content/technical writers and designers this won’t be possible. Some LMSs provide Instructional Designers but they are few and come with some restrictions.
Once the process is done, you have the learning program presentation ready; the main course template, logo, images, and LMS (Learning Management System) are now needed! Why? This will help you have a single source of trough to track your courses. Before choosing the LMS, I advise taking into consideration the following aspects: think of what you need to include in your LMS, do market research before, see what is the best LMS that fits your needs, and buy one based on what you want to create.
Building the content is the following step that should happen after all the abovementioned. Content/technical writers should constantly collaborate with the Instructional Design team to make sure the content is done and reviewed. They should also send it out to the Instructional Design team to create the design:
- In the LMS, if the tool allows it.
- In an authoring tool, such as Articulate Storyline, CANVA, Adobe Captivate, Elucidat, etc.
After the course design is done, it’s time for the exam questions to certify your audience and earn the badge.
And now it’s time to publish the content into the LMS! There are two options here: either your Instructional Design team will do it, or you hire an LMS administrator to publish them.
It is the perfect time to launch and promote your learning program internally, to your stakeholders/employees now! But make sure you have: the learning program’s LMS and design, the learning program presentation and prototype to guide your learners/employees through the courses, your content ready, or at least a part of it, a course catalog, exam questions/activities, and the certification.