Best Practices for Updating Training Content

Calendar Icon January 25, 2022
Reading Time Icon Read Time: 5 min
By Firmwater

E-learning technologies and course design methodologies are changing all the time. You want to ensure that your standards are top of the line, both from a user experience perspective and from a sales perspective. As you continue to scale, you want a learning management system (LMS) that will make it easy to keep your training content updated for multiple courses and clients. If you are looking for advice on how to handle the challenges of keeping your content updated, you are in the right place.

When Should You Update Training Content?

It’s critical to keep your training content updated. Here are a few indicators of when you should do so.

Changes in information/industry: These may require either new policies or procedures that employees need to learn. Consider the training that medical and other skilled professionals must do due to new technologies, new medical breakthroughs, and new trends. It’s important to account for new developments when they occur. Although your training business may not support medical professionals, your client base can still go through these types of changes, and your training content will need to be flexible and adaptable.

Unexpected world events: Learners are often required to take training at expected intervals (e.g., once a year), but major national or global events can require learners to review updated content sooner. For example, a major oil spill could require immediate changes to OSHA training and subsequently, the immediate completion of new training. While no one can plan for the unexpected, having the ability to make changes in mass can be helpful.

Positive or negative feedback from learners: Including post-course surveys will provide you with first-hand feedback data that you can use to improve your course and training content. Analyze your user feedback to determine if your courses need to be updated. Look for trends in the following areas:

  • Most and least useful items in the course
  • Achievement/understanding of learning objectives
  • How applicable their new knowledge is in their everyday jobs
  • Retention of course content

Learner course data analysis: Your LMS reports can provide valuable intel on how learners experience your courses. Variations in data, such as duration, score, and even the type of device used, can help you gauge the effectiveness of your training.

  • Time spent in the course — Are people spending more or less time in modules than expected? This can be a content issue. Are users routinely getting stuck in courses? This is usually a technical problem. If you build a course that should take an hour to complete, but most users are finishing much faster, you may need to restructure your modules to ensure that users are actually processing the information.
  • Pass and failure rates — Are your quizzes too easy or too hard? If there is a quiz question(s) that users consistently get wrong, this could be an opportunity to update the module with different content or a new approach to ensure that users are effectively learning.

Company growth and expansion: Your clients’ brand, logo, values, and ideals will likely change as your company grows. Make sure your training program reflects those changes accurately and in a reasonable time. These types of changes might be considered granular but are still crucial.

Training ROI is also important. What feedback are you receiving from your clients? Are their users applying learned concepts from your training in their work? If not, what changes do you need to make to your content to improve your training ROI.

Avoid major updates on active courses

The best course of action for major changes is to phase out old content. You can let current learners finish that course, and new learners can be added to the new one. In some cases, major content changes can cause issues for active learners:

  • Some learners may try to relaunch an updated course and will not be able to restart where they left off.
  • Other learners may experience a frozen slide.
  • If learners are currently logged in and taking the course, they may get kicked out and lose their place in the module.

Keep in mind that standard updates, such as replacing images or text, can be done seamlessly for all clients and courses. If you need to update content when learners are still active in the course, you can run tests in a demo environment before updating your live content. If needed, consult with your LMS support team to plan major changes and updates to your training content.

Although content should be updated when needed, some changes are so small that they can wait. Ask yourself: will this update make a genuine difference to the learners? If not, the update can be placed on hold and included with other major course changes.

Use a Multi-Tenant LMS for Easier Content Updates for Clients

A multi-tenant LMS enables each of your clients to have their own branded LMS site, which branches from your own account. These client sites have the same features and functionality. This gives you the ability to create and customize a new account for each client. The benefits of using client sites when updating courses include:

  • You can update specific course content for all clients in just a few clicks.
  • A single update for one module will update it for all the courses that the module is in for all clients.
  • You can update courses to create client-specific versions of a standard course.

Quick Tips for Updating Content Successfully

Let’s discuss a few best practices that can help you make updates quicker.

Set a schedule. Planning for regular updates to content is a great way to be prepared to make changes quickly. Make sure the determined schedule is followed.

Get to know the training “gatekeeper.” This is more of a suggestion for the sales team. Make sure they understand who the “training gatekeeper” is. They should be in regular contact with this person. The gatekeeper can help let your team know what kinds of updates the training content might need.

Keep the content in chunks. Chunking large courses into individual modules in your LMS allows you to perform updates on each module individually. First, this means specific parts of your course can be adjusted without affecting the rest of the course. Second, this offers the flexibility to create custom modules for specific clients who need different versions of the course.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to updating your training content, remember to consider the following:

  • Be proactive and responsive. Know where to look for opportunities to stay ahead of the curve, but be aware of any industry changes that require new learning.
  • Using a multi-tenant LMS makes updating content a seamless experience for all courses and clients.
  • Stick to a schedule, chuck your content, and use the data from course surveys or course interactions to know when to make those updates.
  • If you’re planning major changes to a course, be sure to consult with your LMS partner and test updates before distribution.

Check out these additional resources on when to update training courses:

Here at Firmwater, we don’t just sell an LMS for training providers. We partner with our clients, giving them the tools and insights they need to implement the best practices in e-learning course development, growth, and delivery. We care too much about our customers’ businesses to have them wade through forums and chatbots for help.

Ready to use an LMS that’s designed for the way YOU work, with a team dedicated to YOUR needs? Book a no-obligation consultation directly with our team today!

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