Top 5 Types of Online Learning (& Who They’re Best For)

Top 5 Types of Online Learning (& Who They’re Best For)

At Vector Solutions, we see how powerful innovative training solutions are in all the industries we serve, including critical sectors like education, fire rescue and public safety. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a huge portion of the national workforce became remote overnight, and, over a year later, many workers remain in remote positions. In order to continue to train and develop your team members, you have to do more than hold your traditional, in-person training curriculum over zoom! A strategic approach to online learning, and course authoring, is critical to providing content that learners can benefit from. Luckily, there are so many forms of online training that can be beneficial to your team members and your organization.

Top 5 Types of Online Training

Here are some of the top types of online training and who they work best for.  

1. Instructor-Led Virtual Classrooms

Many organizations already participate in some type of virtual classroom training, as it feels most similar to the in-person learning and training you likely hold on site, particularly when they are “synchronous learning” events that take place in real time. This requires both the learners and the instructor to be present and “live” in the virtual classroom, and can incorporate features like messaging, video and audio conferencing, and whiteboards or other application sharing technologies. These courses can also be “blended” with some forms of asynchronous (self-paced study) learning. In these cases, the learner can use asynchronous learning to prepare in advance for synchronous learning, where they are interacting with peers and completing exercises or training scenarios. 

Who it’s great for: These virtual classrooms are helpful for material that requires some real-life interactivity to be successful, such as where an instructor needs to observe someone demonstrating a skill in real-time, or where discussion and engagement are necessary such as in soft-skills and sales training.

2. Web Training

Web-based training provides employees with access to course material on a website. Because learners can access this from any web browser, it’s a flexible way for them to learn and complete required training at any time from any web-enabled device. Additionally, websites give you the ability to make your courses dynamic and interactive with quizzes, videos, images, chat features and so much more. It also gives employers the ability to track compliance and progress and get feedback from learners to improve their course-offerings. These types of courses are customizable and allow for seamless communication, integration with calendars, chat forums, and more. Employers can customize their web-based training offerings to their employees and adapt their training programs to their needs and culture, so the material feels personal to the employees. Simulation training is highly interactive and impactful for learners, as our brains are not able to tell the difference between a simulated and real learning experience, and web-based training provides learners with the opportunity to simulate skills without having to be in a high-stakes situation. 

Who it’s great for: Web-based training is an incredible resource for a broad range of target audiences, but this method is particularly useful for helping employees work on skills and receive training needed to re-certify for licenses or remain compliant in the face of changing regulations.

3. Video Modules

Video training is an engaging way to provide learners with instructional content that is focused and relevant to their needs. As humans, our brains love graphic-based information, so videos harness our natural desire to learn from dynamic, moving imagery. Like web-based training, videos can be accessed anytime and anywhere a user has internet access, making it a highly flexible way of learning. 

Who it’s great for: Video training is great for subject matter that centers around developing and refreshing skills. Our Title 31 Training Course is a compliance training course for casino employees that covers important topics like HR Compliance, Food & Beverage, Leadership, General Safety, AML Compliance and more, through engaging, video-based training. During COVID-19, this course allowed casino employees to train on new safety procedures and requirements before returning to work. 

4. Microlearning

Microlearning is a method of online learning and training in which the content has been distilled down into bite-sized nuggets of information. This allows learners to focus on one topic at a time and fully digest the information and increase retention of the material by 20%. This is an incredibly efficient form of learning that battles learners’ natural “forgetfulness curve.” By delivering information in short, digestible chunks, usually 5 - 10 minutes each, these microlearning modules are an impactful method of online learning for employees and can increase the success of your training platform. The quick results and feeling of progress is empowering and motivating for learners, increasing the likelihood they will continue to complete the course. When the safety of your teams and customers relies on being up-to-date on compliance training, increasing engagement and participation is critical!

Who it’s great for: Microlearning is great for providing short, specific content that can be added to and updated, such as safety and compliance training. Our Coronavirus Resource Center features short, focused video courses on a variety of topics and allows us to continue to update the courses and add content as new information becomes available.

5. Mobile Learning

Having mobile tech at our fingertips is, arguably, both a blessing and a curse, but, when it comes to mobile learning, it’s definitely a good thing. Mobile devices are everywhere, making material that is designed to be digested on phones and tablets that much more readily accessible for learners. Similarly, it’s always available, so learners have access to the material whenever and wherever they are, leading to increased engagement and completion rates. Empowering learners to access your corporate training from their mobile devices means they can take time to learn on their train ride to work or while waiting to pick up their coffee order. Mobile learning can incorporate features like social learning and gamification to increase engagement by users. 

Who it’s great for: Corporate training courses for leadership and other professional development and self-directed learning opportunities that put learners in the driver’s seat. 

Optimizing Online Learning and Training For Your Organization

Every organization can benefit from developing a strategic, personalized approach to their online learning and training offerings. It all starts by understanding the needs and goals of your employees, so you can tailor your online learning and training approach to maximize their participation and retention of information. Thanks to constant innovation in tech, there are new tools and methods at our disposal every day that allow us to maximize our impact on learners, helping organizations remain compliant and optimize the safety of their internal teams and clients. Are you ready to optimize your training and development for an increasingly online world? We’re here to help.

Contact us for more information