Our New Training White Paper Is Available – Download It Now!

Providing learners with continuing education training materials—which can include printing books, fulfilling orders, managing inventory, giving online access to materials, and more—can be a daunting task. Many organizations find it helps to partner with a vendor that can support them along the way, offering suggestions and giving advice as they tackle the complexities that the process brings.

Say, for example, your industry makes a lot of content updates. If you stick with conventional, large print runs, you might end with a lot of outdated books—which translates to a lot of wasted money. A trusted provider might suggest that you switch to print on demand to save hassle and money.

When an organization’s training program moves from a domestic market to include other countries as well, we have found that this is a good time to consider finding a partner to handle order fulfillment. International shipping can be tricky; it can be easier to work with a company that has experience with shipping regulations and tariffs around the globe than to take on these tasks yourself.

To learn more about these issues and many others about providing learners with continuing education training materials, we invite you to download our new white paperSimplify with an All-in-One Partner: Best Practices for Continuing Education Training Materials.

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Anatomy of Corporate Training: Delivering Continuing Education Materials

The human body is made of many interdependent systems that work together to help you get through your day. Likewise, many components go into providing continuing education materials for your training courses.

  • Printed training materials are like the cardiovascular system—they are the lifeblood of your training program. Course books, learning guides, and exams are at the heart of helping students learn and retain information presented in your classes. Many studies support the idea that reading printed materials is a better match for deep, intensive reading of important information.
  • Formatting and design are part of the process and can be represented by the respiratory system. Good design and sleek formatting breathe life into content, making it easier to read, with a proper flow and clean appearance. Branding is consistent when colors, logos, and other elements are handled by the same organization that puts your materials on press.
  • Online training materials are akin to the nervous system. Do your students have a trigger finger, ready to tap on a smartphone or a computer mouse to receive your training content? If so, the content should be available there, where your learners spend so much of their time already.
  • Physical digital media (CDs, DVDs, and USBs) are the digestive system. Students can take home a USB, plug it in, and read content on a screen without having to be connected to the internet. This gives them an opportunity to really “take in” the information you presented in class, in their own time, on their own device.
  • Order fulfillment is best represented by the muscular system, and not just because it takes strength to move boxes of course books from our warehouse to your course site. Bringing your printed materials to your learners takes strength of a different kind, too—robust order systems that can handle the kind of customization each and every client deserves. Smaller muscle groups do important work, too, like kitting services, to make life easier for your instructors and your organization.
  • Inventory management, in closing, is the skeletal system. Imagine rows and rows of metal shelving, where printed training materials are managed, and you’ll understand why a skeleton is the image behind inventory. And make are no bones about it—managing your inventory in your office, while it becomes overrun with boxes stacked in every corner of floor space available, is a drag. When you trust a printing partner with the task you’ll lose the hassle without giving up control. With reports available to you 24/7, you’ll know the score.

Corporate training is a complex series of systems that, together, help your training program run smoothly and efficiently, just as the human body does. If the systems that help you deliver continuing education training content have been less than healthy lately, reach out to Omnipress for a consultation. We’ll have you back in tip-top shape in no time!

What We Can Learn About Training from Print Advertising

Learning, like many activities, has components in the real world as well as online counterparts. Navigating education in print and online still feels new to some people, and there’s a good reason for that. Reading print has been part of the human experience for a long time, while reading on a screen is relatively new. Each medium brings its own pros and cons to the table.

In a blog post published earlier this year, RealMatch.com discussed 5 Advantages to Print Advertising. Many parallels can be drawn between their conclusions about advertising and the benefits of printing your association training materials.

  1. Print carries gravitas: Besides Omnipress having Gravitas (Publications, as a client), print has a feeling of permanence and tangibility that screens have yet to capture. Printed materials feel more solid and valid. For best results, use online resources for a wider distribution and printed materials to signify staying power.
  2. Print is persuasive: In the advertising world, consumers are more likely to be swayed to buy products and services by printed advertisements. For training, active members realize the value of your course through the power of printed content. True influencers can convince others to sign up for training.
  3. Print readers are focused: Reading online involves many distractions, which makes learners more likely to multi-task. When readers choose print, chances are that, aside from a drinking a cup of strong coffee, that’s all they’re doing.
  4. Print helps us feel connected, without devices: For a growing number of people, occasionally unplugging has become appealing. When people unplug at home, they still want to “do something.” Reading print is the natural choice. With continuing education training, the act of unplugging to focus on professional development is more important. Learning a new concept in print is easier than making a conscious effort to ignore notifications and other online distractions.
  5. Printed advertisement offer more flexibility: Unlike some online options, printed ads can fit your budget. You can purchase a half page or a page, for example, and use targeted placement to increase visibility. Online, your ad placement is more likely to be determined by an algorithm, not a person, which takes the flexibility and customization out of the process. On the training side, flexibility is also key. Printed materials can take many forms, and careful formatting can bring attention to the most important text.

The real key is to combine initiatives in print and online, drawing on the strengths of both. Retention and learning experience are better when printed materials are used as the primary method of content delivery. Online resources can be incorporated as supplementary content to the printed materials. QR codes make it easy for learners to go online directly from a printed source.

As you think about how to deliver your training materials in 2015, use the best of both worlds to create a comprehensive learning experience. There is true value in blended learning. But remember the power of printed materials for permanence, value, focus, and flexibility.

Trends in Corporate Learning

Bersin & Associates (Bersin by Deloitte) released a factbook called “The Corporate Learning Factbook 2012.” According to the report, interesting trends are emerging in corporate education. For example, spending has rebounded, rising to levels that exceed not only the recession (2008-09) and the recovery (2010), but also the preceding, more prosperous years (2006-07).

Corporations are showing a commitment to providing employees with training opportunities. Even so, the study also indicates they are seeking greater value for educational investments. Spending an average of $800 per learner, organizations are concerned about earning back in skills and productivity what they are putting out.

Corporate training groups spent about $67 billion in 2011. Many industries are impacted by technological advancements and workers are falling behind. Companies must train them internally to mitigate these circumstances. More informal learning is being embraced as a strategy to stay afloat. Webinars and other e-learning methods are especially useful because they can accommodate larger class sizes. As spending has increased, there are fewer staff members available; the trainer-to-learner ratio has fallen to 5.2 per 1,000.

In order to extend their reach and manage staff reductions, corporations are calling on middle managers to present classes that had been previously taught by professional trainers. The commitment to training workers remains, with or without traditional means of delivery. Corporate trainers are spending less time in a classroom with students. Online classes and one-on-one lessons (on-site or distance) are becoming more prominent.

In-person learning still has its place, though, and is some ways superior. Learner retention, while always important, is considered even more crucial as purse strings are tightened. Training that isn’t solidified with experience and practice represents a dismal ROI; making new skills stick is the right preventive measure, best taken in-person.

The results of this corporation-specific report have got us wondering: Are these trends echoed in the association world? What are your concerns and challenges with providing ILT in 2014 and beyond? How can Omnipress help?

 

3 Mistakes Associations Make With On-Site Training

Association’s on-site training events play a critical role in building relevancy and increasing membership value and satisfaction. In fact, in our recent survey out of 280 respondents, 97.8% told us their on-site training seminars are valuable/extremely valuable for attendees.

But with dwindling training budgets (60.3%), frequent content changes (57.1%) and inventory management (44.3%) being the top challenges many associations are allocating more of their funds from on-site to online training.

Allocating more of your association’s budget to online training is not a mistake, but there are a few you should avoid in the process…

3 Avoidable Mistakes for On-Site Training

  1. Ditching Printed Training Materials. Even if your association is moving some of your educational training content online, certain materials like training manuals or instructor manuals still hold their value in print. According to our recent survey, printed materials were said to be nearly 90% effective for on-site training. So it may not be time to ditch the plastic coil student workbooks, but it might be time to complement them with online availability.
  2. Lacking Interactivity. One-way lectures are sure to draw your attendees’ attention from learning to daydreaming, texting and checking email. Make your association training fun and engaging. Interactive learning can help participants relax and feel comfortable within the environment which ultimately leads to a more effective trainings seminar.
  3. Archiving Training Content in a LMS. If you’re looking for a place to store last year’s training materials online, your LMS may initially look like a great option, right? Ehhh… If you’re looking to create an ongoing online archive of your dynamic training content, you need to have a robust digital publishing platform (which will also benefit your SEO). Just because your LMS is great for administering eLearning and issuing credits doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a great place to store your content.

Remember: It’s all about optimizing the learning and networking experience for your members.

What are you doing to optimize their experience? Talk to us on Twitter: #omnipress

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