Top five tips for creating great e-learning systems training

All too often, a systems training course becomes a glorified user manual because it tries to train learners on everything that there is to know about the system! Read on for Saffron’s top five tips for creating great systems training that focuses on what learners need to know.

1. Define the objectives and learning outcomes

Like with all online training, the first step to creating effective systems training is to define the objectives and learning outcomes. Ask yourself – what does the learner need to know? Are there any behaviours that need changing? Remember, while user manuals provide end-to-end information, the e-learning should focus on specific areas.

2. Get familiar with the system

Ask the subject matter expert to take you through the system in the same way that they would train someone. This will help you to identify where a learner might struggle. If possible, install the software on your computer or get remote access to a testing environment so that you don’t have to worry about breaking anything and, at the same time, have unlimited access to the system.

3. Keep it real with scenarios

Just because it’s systems training, it doesn’t mean that the course shouldn’t involve scenarios. Once you’ve decided what areas of the system the training should focus on, think of some plausible scenarios. Then, set up the system with the realistic sample data – there’s nothing more frustrating than files or text fields containing words like ‘testdata1’! Remember to keep scenarios short or learners will lose interest.

4. Put yourself in the learners’ shoes

The training should simulate the real environment, allowing the learner to interact with it as they would in real life. For example, if the learner needs to type something in a text field, let them do that! But don’t make them type more than a few words – remember it’s systems training not a typing tutorial!

5. Go full-screen

Ideally, the screen shots used in the course should be full-screen and taken on one computer to ensure consistency. It’s also best to use the Print Screen function rather than any third party image capturing software to ensure that all the screen shots are the same size.

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Top five tips for creating great e-learning systems training

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About the author

Minal Mody - Instructional designer and Project lead

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  • Hi Minal,
    Great post. I completely agree with all of your tips and recently implemented a similar approach. I kept it real with scenarios and stuck to the need to know information but now I am at the point where the learners need to learn the finer points of the system. For that reason I think it is important to also plan for post implementation training. In most cases you can’t cover everything so you will need to come up with a plan to cover the “nice to know” information after the software has been implemented. Great tips!

  • Unbelievable how well-written and informative this was.