Learn How To Determine Employee Preconceptions About Online Training

In adults, views about the boss can influence your pleasure or misery in the workplace. You might think you love or hate your job when it’s really colleagues or the boss guiding your sentiments. This applies equally to career advancement pursuits. So, before you implement online training, find out whether your team is pro or anti virtual learning. Here are 6 questions that can help you gauge employees’ preconceptions about online training and break down the mental barriers.

1. Context: Did Online Training Experiences In The Past Facilitate Real-World Application?

Effective training requires practical, relevant examples and tactics. Talk to learners who have studied online and dig into their perceptions. “Have you used anything you learned from past online training courses?” You could also ask, “Is there something you would change about the last compliance online course?” If they haven’t trained online before, come at it differently. “How can online training help you be a better worker and allow you to excel at your job? What sort of online training would help you do your job more efficiently or overcome common challenges?” These questions lay the groundwork for your research regarding online training because they shed light on limiting beliefs. Such as past experiences that left a negative impression. Or didn’t yield any real-world benefits.

2. Feasibility: What Was Your Favorite Course Or Workshop In The Last Year? Why?

More than anything else, online courses rely on employee buy-in. Ask questions that gauge their thoughts towards self-motivation and initiative—the more innocuous, the better. You don’t want to lead their answers. Suggestions include: “Who was your online training instructor or course? What did you like about the experience?” For example, this hints at their feelings towards conventional Instructor-Led learning. Then you could ask, “Homework for adults, yay or nay?” This tells you if they’re willing to work on their own, especially after hours. Finally, ask them how they deal with procrastination. This can presage their likelihood of completing the course with or without someone pushing them to do it.

3. Duration: How Much Time Do You Expect To Devote To Personal Development?

One of the benefits of online training is brevity. Many virtual courses fall into the category of “crash courses.” They’re condensed to reduce seat time and meet compliance requirements. However, lifelong learning is essential for professional success. Employee preconceptions must be centered on continual growth. They need to understand the importance of not just doing the minimum but upskilling and identifying additional gaps. To check whether your prospects understand this, you could ask, “How long do online courses take? Are they easier or harder than traditional courses? What do you hope to get from your training, and how much time do you expect to devote to development?”

4. Compatibility: How Does Online Training Fit Into Your Long-Term Career Goals?

In academic settings, students worry about linking their online modules to their offline ones. They’re not sure whether their school will acknowledge their digital units and whether those credits are transferable. At work, especially if they’re studying for career advancement, they may be unsure if their prospective employer will recognize their eLearning credentials. To find out whether this is something your online learners are worried about, ask a pointed question. “How do you think this course fits into your resume or school curriculum? How will online training help you achieve your long or short-term career goals?”

5. Technology: Which Tech Tools Are Essential For Online Training Success?

Many of us assume online training is computer-based and needs a strong internet connection. There are other options though. For example, you can study on a smartphone or tablet. You can even download relevant portions and study offline. On the other hand, some learners may worry their tech-savvy is inadequate for online study. And this isn’t strictly a function of age. There are even some digital natives who prefer to keep their devices away from serious pursuits. For them, it’s strictly an entertainment device. Ask, “Which tools do you need to successfully complete an online course? Which devices do you prefer and why? Where will you be accessing the training platform and how often?”

6. Experience: Which Training Delivery Method Do You Prefer?

We all have our own learning preferences. We could be visual, aural, or textual learners. Or we may prefer direct literal content or something more abstract and metaphorical. We might want to study on our own. While others would rather do things as a group. Or we may veer towards informal, verbal discussions while others want a more structured individual set-up. Also, we may want to learn as a group in a classroom setting with a teacher. Or we may want to fumble through on our own. All of these attitudes influence our approach.

A good question is “Why do you prefer virtual, analog, or blended learning?” This gives you a good indication of what employees like best about a particular delivery method. Consequently, you can incorporate those elements into your online training strategy. For instance, they might miss one-on-one chats with instructors or co-workers. Thus, you can incorporate live events and peer-based coaching into your design.


Employee preconceptions towards their course are the best gauge of successful completion. Ask carefully chosen questions to guesstimate their attitude. Do they think it’s compatible or that they need fancy tech skills? How long does it take? Will it make them better at their jobs? Are they willing to go the extra mile if it means boosting on-the-job productivity and reducing compliance risks? Knowing how they feel going in will help you identify their expectations and then adjust your strategy to surpass them.

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