Systems Training in an eLearning format

I am currently working on an eLearning or on-line course for financials on a well known enterprise resource planning software program.

Generally when one trains a systems course such as this it is merely a “click here, insert this” training intervention. In the interest of taking somewhat boring systems training and spicing it up so that the learner has a fun learning experience, I designed a storyboard around a guy called Joe who wants to start his own company. I use this on-line training to support my classroom-based training although it can, of course, be used as a stand-alone course for self paced learning.

Initially the group of learners break away in groups and work out just what Joe will need to start his own company. They then look at various accounting terms which Joe will need to understand before he starts operating. The idea behind this was to teach the learner basic accounting skills. This then leads onto a very high level view of the ERP system and from there we focus on a detailed view of the financial side of the system.

I carry on the theme of Joe stating that he is now going to become a vendor and we (the learners and myself, as facilitator) take Joe on a journey of how his information would be set up on the system. The learners then go into a “play-pen” (duplication of the live system) and set Joe up as a vendor. This is the starting point of teaching the learners about Accounts Payable. We “show” Joe what happens to his Invoice, Credit Note etc and at each step, the learner goes onto the system and practices what they have learnt. I carry this theme through Accounts Payable and onto General Ledger.

The reason that this method of learning has been such a success is:

  • The method of delivery is totally different – almost like watching a movie
  • The trainer moves from being a trainer to a pure facilitator
  • The learner feels like they are not being taught but rather that they are “joining” the facilitator to teach Joe
  • The training intervention differs from the norm in that the learners break away to do group work, play games, design process flows and work on the system
  • The training follows a process from a basic accounting skills course, to a high level overview of the system which then zones into the specific financial component, to accounts payable and general ledger – the learner gets to travel through the A-Z of the learning intervention which creates the necessary “links” in learning.

I intend to add simulations to the storyboard as well as assessments.

I used Captivate 5 and Articulate software. The fact that the learner is not merely watching another occurrence of PowerPoint overkill but rather a course with audio and animations, brings the entire presentation to life.

My advice to you…. look at ways to be creative, to change your perception of how to teach … and you will be pleasantly surprised with the results!

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