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Compliance training with eLearning

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We all know compliance training is essential, but the question is how to make it the best it can be.  There are generally two main problems facing any compliance training program. First, the people who need to complete it think it’s a waste of time, which means they don’t give it the attention it deserves, and second the training often isn’t effective at getting people to pay attention.  So in improving the compliance training experience we need to adjust the eLearning to align with best practices, and we also need to adjust it to take into account the specific needs of people going through compliance training.

When it comes to aligning compliance training to eLearning best practices the list is straightforward.  First the material should be visually beautiful since we are hardwired to pay attention to things we find visually appealing.  Second, it should be presented in a manner which captures the user’s attention, either through humor, reflecting their organization’s culture and values, or a combination.  And finally, the material should be interactive to prompt the user to sit up and pay attention to what’s going on.  These are all best practices to boost a user’s engagement with any eLearning course, whether it’s focus is compliance or another subject matter.  

But compliance training is its own special breed of eLearning, and that means it needs special considerations.  The main hurdle compliance training has to overcome is that it’s users often think it’s a waste of time, especially if they’ve completed it once or even multiple times.  Now you may be thinking, “what does it matter whether they like it? They have to complete it, that’s the point.”  Well yes, but if the user is actively disengaged from the training then they’re more likely to make mistakes which will compromise their performance even if they know the information.  And worse still, they may think they know information which has either been updated or which they remember incorrectly.  So it is very important not only to have the user take the course, but to actually pay attention to it as well.

To address these issues, compliance training needs to make an extra effort to engage its users in the eLearning.  There are plenty of way to accomplish this, but the easiest one is to acknowledge the reality of compliance training.  Just a few words at the beginning of the course thanking the user for taking this time, and reminding them of the importance of what they are doing, not just in front of the computer but every day on the job, can really help someone who is reluctant to complete the training get over their initial resistance.

Another good tactic is to make sure that the people who are depicted in the eLearning course are as relatable to the user as possible.  This means that any demonstrations should be done by actual professionals, not animations and not actors.  The authenticity of seeing someone with the same experiences go through the process they are reviewing is a real added boost to engagement.  

Finally, compliance training can boost engagement by personalizing the training experience.  This is especially useful if the user will need to retake the training multiple times over the course of their career.  Something as simple as a customized welcome screen upon repeated viewings of the training can go a long way towards helping the user see that not only is their time valued, but that the training has value as well.  A more complex version of the same idea would be if users were presented with the material they did poorest on the previous time they took the training.  

When it comes to compliance training, eLearning can be an incredible boon.  It offers ways to increase engagement and offer personalized experiences for large numbers of users both simultaneously and over time.  By providing compliance training through eLearning it’s possible to achieve the best of both worlds in helping the user to learn what they need to know, and reassure a long time user that they’re still up to date on the newest information.