Learning resource centers are not a new concept. They have been around a long time, particularly in educational institutions. More than just a library, a learning resource center can include audio-visual aids, tutors, study resources, learning labs and other self-help support designed to enhance and increase the learner’s knowledge, skills and abilities.
With the growth of elearning for workplace training, it makes sense that learning resource centers are moving online and that your company would like to have its own. Whether you need to provide training to employees, customers or channel partners, making resources available online is the most efficient and cost-effective way to reach your target audience.
Benefits of building an online learning resource center
Keeping your team trained is critical to maintaining a competitive edge. Training should be woven into your company’s processes for onboarding new employees, improving the skills and knowledge of existing employees and boosting productivity.
But it’s not just your employees who need this type of support. An online learning resource center helps you quickly respond to everyone who needs training or information from your organization. When these resources are available 24/7, your entire audience can find targeted information when they need it.
Online training appeals to today’s tech-savvy, mobile workforce. This is not only for its easy accessibility to on-demand content. An online learning resource center can deliver short, relevant pieces of training, such as easy-to-understand instructional videos. Plus, the content can be easily customized and quickly updated when new material is available.
Successful companies know how to leverage online learning
Many of today’s leading cloud-based companies — such as Uber, Shopify, Airbnb, Salesforce, and Hubspot — are strengthening their businesses with effective online learning resource centers.
For example, Uber’s learning resource center provides a series of bite-size, easily digestible videos to teach its drivers how to use the Uber app, contact a customer and understand the rating system. This kind of on-demand training means a new driver can get onboarded and be in business in no time.
To be successful, companies must be agile and able to provide support and answers 24/7 in this competitive world. Airbnb’s Help Center, for example, is an online learning resource center through which new customers can learn about pricing, making reservations and cancellations. Hosts learn about getting started, managing their reservations and getting paid.
Related reading: 10 Characteristics of a Great Online Learning Center
What do you need to quickly build an online learning resource center?
You’ll need a framework to guide you through the overall process, a course authoring tool to build the content and a portal to house your learning resource center.
Before you get started, it’s important to think about what your needs and expected outcome are. That’s where a framework is most valuable: steering you through the process.
Step one helps define learner personas to determine the right content. Are you providing training to employees, channel partners, customers or all three? Decide what your goals are and how you will measure the success of your learning center once it is in production.
In step two, outline your training. Start storyboarding your course, video or presentation. Mock up what the final product will look like and decide where text, videos and images will go.
Once you hit step three, you are ready to build. Begin writing the actual scripts and creating the videos you want to post in your online center. Be sure to test them out before going live.
Step four is all about getting ready to launch your training. You’ll need to create a distribution plan, plus a way to engage your learners. Deliver your message with advertising, social media, press releases or market on your website with blog posts and ebooks.
Finally, in step five, using the metrics you identified in step one, measure the effectiveness of your training. This is also a good opportunity to collect feedback from your learners and use it to improve and expand your online learning resource center.
An all-in-one LMS is your quickest path to an online learning resource center
Investing in an elearning authoring tool to create course content is one of the fastest ways to get training online. Elearning or course authoring tools typically feature templates, themes and interactions that can be integrated into your course design.
With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, a modern LMS won’t require the expertise and skills of an instructional designer to create effective content. In fact, if your LMS has built-in course authoring tools, your sales and customer support teams can create their own short videos or presentations and post them in your online learning resource center.
For training offices looking to quickly build an online learning resource center, a cloud-based all-in-one learning management system may be the right answer. An all-in-one solution will typically include a built-in course authoring tool, plus a central library for storing videos, presentations and other media files in a single location.
You can even add discussion boards and forums. With the SchoolKeep LMS, the framework is built in, making it easier for you to quickly create training.
An all-in-one solution can measure the engagement with your learning content through reports on course completion, quiz scores, length of time engaged and drop off. You can monitor how much time your learners spend on activities and produce intuitive graphs that reflect the metrics you want to measure. This information is invaluable as you fine-tune and enhance your learning resource center.
With a cloud-based option, your organization doesn’t need to invest in software, hardware or technical specialists to support an in-house system. Instead, the system resides on the server of the learning management system company, supported by their staff, not yours.
One of the best things about a cloud-based solution is scalability, or pay as you grow, enabling you to get a basic online learning resource center up and running quickly. When demand for training increases, simply expand your learning center as needed and pay only for the additional services used.
Related reading: Launch an Online Training Center in 30 Days or Less
Ready to get started?
Is it time for your organization to join the ranks of Uber, Airbnb and Shopify by launching an online learning resource center?
Define your audience, determine what training is needed right away, consider using an all-in-one LMS and have fun building.
You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get going when you have the right framework and tools.