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How to adapt the content of an existing online course to the specific needs of a client?

How to adapt the content of an existing online course to the specific needs of a client?
Catia Dos Santos
 Catia Dos Santos
20/03/2019: When you have little time and resources to create an online course, the best solution could be to turn an existing online course into a personalized course. Here are some useful tips.

If a client urgently needs to provide an online training course for their employees, how should we behave? In case of a standard course on security or the use of some software, referred to as off-the-shelf courses, they are ready. The reality, as we know, is more complex and the client could request a personalized course, suited to company specifications. Analyzing the factors (little time, reduced resources and personalization), the answer to the problem seems obvious: customize the pre-existing content. Here then, some tips for turning an existing online course into a personalized course.

Change the content of the existing online course based on the context

The first thing to do is to search for and obtain information about the client. It is not so much a matter of doing an analysis of needs (because the object of training is clear), of understanding the functioning of the company, the division of labor, the tasks of the people involved in training, the tools they use, the daily working life ... In this way you have valuable information that serves to make a skimming of the content of the existing online course. Content which is superfluous, too general or totally unsuitable for the client's reality must be eliminated.
Use simulations and practical exercises in a blended training

Once the generic content of an online course has been eliminated, this must be replaced with personalized resources. The trainer could use simulations based on gamification. The simulation is tailor-made for each client and the work problems he has to face. When it is not possible to use online simulations, due to lack of time or differences in online course delivery platforms, practical exercises can be done in the workplace. In this case, training in blended mode, online and in the classroom, allows you to combine the potential of a standard content to be delivered online with the customization of a course with classroom exercises or, better, directly at the workplace.

Increase the involvement of learners after the end of the online course

Finally, another way to customize an existing course is to provide personalized activities even after the end of the course. For example, you can create discussion forums that can be used to exchange ideas on how the knowledge learned during the course is applied in everyday life. This community of learners can review materials or short insights to be consulted when needed. Furthermore, group work can be implemented to solve a problem based on the content of the training. This will best stimulate problem solving and learning, through gamification and social learning.

In conclusion

When time and resources are scarce, but there is still the urgency of creating a personalized online course, the trainer can find the right compromise by adapting a pre-existing course to the needs of the client. The client can modulate the content making it meaningful, use simulations and provide a type of mixed training, online and in the classroom. Moreover, to maximize the involvement of learners, he must provide exercises, group work and moments of confrontation even after the end of the course.

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