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Reach Every Learner through Tailored Online Training

Effective employee training programs can have a considerable impact on retention rates. They reinforce a positive company culture by showing employees that their employer is invested in their long-term success and growth. In order for training efforts to succeed in improving retention, it’s important to align available training methods with the needs and preferences of learners. 

One other component of maximizing the reach of custom-tailored training strategy, is to simplify the training delivery through online platforms. This article will discuss why online distribution is the best method for offering a highly effective learning experience that maximizes engagement, specific tools for delivering personalized learning, and best practices to help you succeed.

An overview of learner theory

Learner theory explores the psychological, cognitive, and social factors that influence how individuals learn. By understanding the variety of different learning theories, you’re able to more effectively connect with learners and deliver a valuable, productive learning experience.

One example is cognitive learning theory, which suggests that learning occurs through the active organization of knowledge within the mind. This theory emphasizes that learning occurs as participants integrate new information into existing mental structures.

Another example is constructivist learning theory, which is rooted in the concept that the learner is an active participant in the learning process. Their previous experiences and knowledge influence their ability to process and understand something new.

Ultimately, learner theory recognizes the diversity of each of us as learners. We each have different strengths, weaknesses, and preferences when it comes to learning, and aligning with different learning styles is an important strategy for creating engaging learning programs.

Benefits of online training vs in-person

While the debate comparing online vs. in-person training has shifted recently in favor of the former, it’s still worth exploring the specific benefits that online training offers that simply can’t be matched by the in-person equivalent. And while there are legitimate reasons to favor in-person experiences, it’s difficult to conclude that those benefits (chief among them being social) outweigh the many upsides of online learning. A few examples include:


Online learning allows teams to learn across different time zones and in different countries. Asynchronous learning is also much more feasible online. You can have instructor-led online learning (VILT) which enables organizations to deliver training in the form of text, video, and documents, all in real time. They can deliver course content from anywhere, and learners can attend from wherever they are located.


Modern LMS (learning management system) platforms allow teams to measure and refine their curriculum, so it can become more engaging over time. Online training removes many of the variables that might cause some learning experiences to be less effective than others, instead unlocking a consistent, impactful learning experience.

Social engagement 

There is convincing data around the power of social learning, both for increasing engagement as well as upleveling the overall satisfaction with the learning experience. While it may seem counterintuitive that online learning could offer social learning opportunities that eclipse an in-person classroom, functionality like easy to organize breakout rooms, gamification, and a reduction in social barriers can actually result in online learning coming out ahead.

Tools to deliver personalized learning

There are many different tools that can be used to deliver a personalized learning experience. While some of them might be multi-purpose, others are much more specialized. Some examples are:

Video hosting platforms 

Video offers a highly engaging, easily to replicate method of communication that can be customized to your learning audience. While some are paid, there are other video platforms that are free to use—just make sure that they offer the level of privacy and engagement metrics that you need. 


These tools can take many forms, including email, messaging, or chat platforms. The important thing is that learners have the ability to easily surface questions, and that those facilitating the training can reply quickly to address concerns or otherwise direct the learner effectively.

Surveys and other tools

While communication tools excel at offering two-way conversations, surveys, evaluation forms and other feedback tools are more likely to be a one-way offering. Surveys are a highly effective way to determine if learners are connecting to the curriculum being offered, or if there are gaps in the learning experience. If it’s the latter, then that is a signal that changes should be made, and ideally in the form of customized content that will better connect with each learner.
Learning management systems 

LMS’s are digital platforms that simplify the process of organizing, administering, and measuring learning content. They use algorithms and data analysis to tailor experiences to the individual needs and preferences of learners. While it might be possible to accomplish some of the functionality that these solutions provide manually, they deliver additional value by compiling all valuable functionality into one centralized location.

Best practices for personalized learning strategies

Building a personalized learning strategy is a process, not something to simply check off your to-do list and move on. We recommend considering the following steps:

  • Start by conducting an in-depth assessment of existing skills, learning styles, and goals.
  • Build out a structured curriculum that aligns to the individual needs and goals identified in the assessment phase.
  • Supplement curriculum by adding interactive and multimedia content to increase training engagement.
  • Include opportunities for self-paced learning, so learners can dictate the pace of their own learning.
  • Regularly evaluate engagement through assessments and by monitoring corresponding job performance.

Learn more about enhancing your learning experience

We hope that this article has proven helpful in explaining how online training can deliver a personalized learning experience that can lead to increased engagement and retention. A key way to keep learners engaged and fill any knowledge or skills gaps is a training evaluation form. This enables you to gather feedback that helps your courses run efficiently and effectively. Download the customizable form here.

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