By Heidi Kirby, Datatrak's Learning Solutions Manager
Training at any organization should never take a “one size fits all” approach. As new technologies emerge every day in the clinical trial industry and new ways to serve and reach customers appear, Datatrak’s learning strategy aims to evolve and grow to utilize those technologies and methods to help customers learn our product in the shortest amount of time possible. At Datatrak, we are always looking for better ways to serve our customers, and that is why the learning solutions team is taking on some big changes toward making customer training more efficient and scalable. Here are four steps we’re taking to scale our training efforts.
Understanding Our Customer
The most important aspect of customer education is the customer. If we don’t understand our customers’ needs or how they utilize our product or service, it can be very difficult to create a learning experience that is impactful and effective. It’s important to leverage our subject matter experts (SMEs) when creating training content, but it’s also a good idea to reach out to them for insight on our customers. SMEs can help us create learner personas.
A learner persona is an imaginary profile that is created to represent our customers. They include characteristics common to our customer base, including demographics, daily job responsibilities, motivation, educational background and technological capabilities, and even career goals. By creating a few learner personas, we can better understand our customer and how they will interact with our training. Learning and development professionals have unlimited options when it comes to providing learning experiences, and personas can help us narrow down our options to what will best serve our customers.
Providing Multiple Ways to Learn
As mentioned previously, the options for how we deliver learning experiences and what tools we use are endless! Being able to understand our customer helps us to focus those efforts and helps us to choose the best options – which technologies, tools, and delivery methods will be the most engaging and efficient.
At Datatrak, we provide e-learning and virtual learning opportunities for our customers to help get them up to speed on our products. Once they’re ready to start using our products, we have a knowledge base to provide them step-by-step, detailed instructions for different features and functionalities. This keeps our customers from having to go back and review a course they have already taken or try to find the exact spot in a recorded training session to find help. Our goal is always to welcome every opportunity to teach and help our customers, and our online learning options and knowledge base help us to do that.
Innovating with the Latest Technology
2020 brought change to many organizations. One major change for learning and development teams across the world was moving traditional classroom training to the virtual classroom. Virtual training provides many benefits over classroom training. Facilitators often need to cram information into a few, full days because of traveling to different training locations. Virtual training allows sessions to be spread out over weeks, even months, so that learners can retain information better and be able to keep up with their workload. Virtual training also saves companies a lot of travel money. Virtual learning experiences can be just as engaging as classroom sessions and allow learners to participate from the comfort of their office.
Using a state-of-the-art learning management system (LMS) helps organizations keep track of learning content, progress, and customer feedback on learning experiences. The best LMSs in the business can integrate with the tools we use to create content and the platforms we use for virtual learning. By pairing a quality LMS with rapid learning development tools, we can create content that meets our customers’ needs quickly. LMSs can also give us data to help us understand how our learning programs are performing.
Leveraging Metrics and Feedback
Collecting metrics is an important part of building a learning program. It’s great to be able to collect assessment data for our courses and certification programs so that we can understand if there are areas where our customers need extra support or training. Assessment data should be able to be collected at the question level, so we can see exactly where our learners are struggling. Additionally, being able to see how many times our customers have viewed a particular video, e-learning course, or training session recording can help us to understand which topics are the most important to cover.
But we never just stop with collecting metrics. We need to collect feedback from our learners as well. Every learner is different – and we’re going to get both positive and negative feedback – but we take all of that in and decide where our areas of opportunity lie. By using a combination of metrics and feedback, we can tell where knowledge gaps are, where we are failing to engage our customers, and where we might innovate and try something new in the future.
The future is bright for the learning solutions team at Datatrak. We’re excited about continuously learning more about our customers and exploring the different tools the learning and development community is using to create amazing learning experiences. Learning about software can be complex – and our team strives to take those complex concepts and turn them into engaging and retainable learning resources to teach and help our customers and colleagues.