Skilljar’s Training Manager, Linda Schwaber-Cohen, had the opportunity to write an article for Training Industry Magazine titled “How to Create Learning Pathways That Scale.” We wanted to take a moment to share some of her insights and easy steps for creating clear paths for success! The article was originally published here.
Linda began the article by explaining how the most important part of the learning pathway planning process is breaking down the desired learning outcomes and knowledge areas that are most essential for customer success. This process sets the tone and determines the goals for the entire training program. Trainees don’t need to know everything there is to know about your product from day one - so take some time to prioritize which knowledge areas are key for optimal product adoption.
Rather than creating a basic product walk-through training that jumps from feature to feature with no clear destination, Linda recommends creating role-based and goal-based training. “Essential” knowledge can differ depending on a learner’s goals and use cases within your product. To narrow down a learning pathway even more precisely, work with teams like sales or product marketing to map out the different buyer personas of those who use your product. This way, while there may be quite a bit of overlap across the various pathways, you can create a much more targeted learning experience for each user type. It should be designed in a way that easily integrates with their daily workflows and processes. Learners are more likely to complete training that’s targeted and relevant to their specific product use, and this will help them get the most out of the content, speeding up adoption time and creating an eager customer advocate.
The next step is to simplify the content that you’ve just identified as key for learner success. The last thing you'd want is to develop learner personas, design structured and targeted training, then have learners leave the training early because they’re experiencing fatigue due to all the information being given to them at once. Again, keep in mind that a customer doesn’t need to know everything about your product in one sitting. Simplify the content where you can, and break it up into small, digestible lessons that aren’t too time consuming. Keep your training course fairly open and flexible, allowing your learners to navigate through it at their own pace without feeling pressured or stressed about meeting a certain deadline. Your customers are busy too, and often have several other priorities beyond completing your training program. With that in mind, make your training an easy commitment that respects their time while still providing ideal learning outcomes.
Finally, Linda recommends collecting data and user feedback surrounding your training. One mistake that a lot of training leaders make is to think critically around the planning process, pull off an excellent launch, and then have a hands-off approach beyond that. Training should be a living breathing thing - a program that will shift and grow as more data is collected and more feedback is taken in. At the end of the day, your training program is a tool for customer success, so the voice of the customer is the most important metric that you can use to measure the success of your courses.