Extended Enterprise Training Programs

Person holding a coffee cup looking at a computer
Thought Industries
May 16, 2017

A growing number of companies are expanding learning programs throughout the enterprise — to internal workforces and to external channels like resellers or partners — to foster better learner engagement. Below, learn three ways to boost engagement with learning across the enterprise with online extended enterprise training.

Create Quality Learning Experiences

Quality extended enterprise training experiences engage learners and help improve information retention. For enterprise organizations educating an entire network learners such as employees, resellers, dealers, partners or other business constituents, efficient knowledge retention should be a top concern. Business and technology change quickly, and as a result, products and services evolve. Enterprise organizations must educate every part of their extended enterprise ecosystem in an efficient way to keep pace.

Start this processes by encouraging your knowledge experts to draft in-depth learning content.  For example, if you are a software provider trying to teach resellers and partners about new features in your software offering, having knowledge experts detail why the new features are important will help the learners sell the product better. At this stage of the process, knowledge experts might also start thinking about how to present the content to learners — e.g. video, audio narration, webinars, text, downloadable PDFs, etc. For example, if you are trying to teach a learner how to put a new product together, an explainer video or slideshow with audio narration might be best. Or, if you are trying to help a learner understand a concept, a downloadable PDF might be best to allow them to make annotations.  

Finally, it’s also important to start organizing the order or sequence of different learning experiences, which could vary based on what learner group they are being delivered to  (i.e. internal employees versus resellers), and the level of education or training they need

Expanding Beyond a Webinar-Only Model

Many organizations have replaced face-to-face, in-person learning with online training, frequently in the form of webinars delivered to new or existing learner groups. The downside of this model, especially for organizations educating an extended enterprise, is that it can be a challenge to coordinate and scale efficiently. Another downside is that while companies can see who has registered for and attended the event, there is no definitive way to know if they are paying attention. Thought Industries CEO Barry Kelly calls this “passive learning.”

Passive learning aside, webinars and lectures also aren’t the best way for all learners to retain information. Some learners can better retain information presented in an interactive way and some retain best by reading. Offer your learners webinars paired with a variety of learning content types to help them grasp the material and keep them engaged.

Be Social and Interactive

Your organization’s first priority when creating enterprise learning content should be to create quality, reliable learning materials. Have your knowledge experts focus on the context of the learning materials, and then have instructional designers focus on how to package the learning content in a creative, interactive way.

To boost learner engagement and retention, online learners need training that requires some level of interaction. When your organization’s instructional designers start to package learning content, ensuring there are interactive and social elements within the course can help promote engagement, discussion, and collaboration.

Thought Industries’ client Trading College, a United Kingdom-based company that teaches learners how to trade the financial markets, is using the Thought Industries’ Learning Business Platform™ to deliver engagement-heavy content to learners. “Because we have been more in-person based in our teaching before, we were looking for the same engagement and longevity with our learners but within an interactive online experience,” says Lee Sandford, founder of Trading College. In order to do this, one of Trading College’s courses utilizes webinar integration, in-platform emailing, and facilitates live tutor-learner interaction by asking learners to monitor and trade the markets live with their tutor during the week. This level of interactivity helps learners better absorb the material and stay engaged throughout the course.

The Thought Industries’ platform includes a variety interactive and social learning content types like presentations with narration, discussion boards, flip cards, email capabilities and more. Request a demo of the Learning Business Platform™ today to better understand how your organization can leverage learning technology to improve extended enterprise training and increase user engagement.

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