You don't have to be an IT expert to create elearning courses for your staff

Building bespoke online training courses for your staff might sound daunting, but you really do not have to be an IT expert to get exactly what your business needs, according to Gloucestershire’s Nimble Elearning.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Nimble Elearning shares how any business can benefit from elearning, regardless of its IT expertise.
Nimble Elearning shares how any business can benefit from elearning, regardless of its IT expertise.

If you have heard about the benefits for your staff and business of bespoke online training, but are hesitating because you think your IT skills – or budget – will not be up to the task, fear not.

Gloucestershire-based Nimble Elearning has the tools and support specially designed to make the job straight forward – no matter how IT literate you are. With off the shelf courses, which can be tailored and tweaked to make the job even easier.

About the expert – Hannah Davies, learning adviser at Nimble Elearning

Hannah Davies

Founded in Stonehouse in 2009, Nimble Elearning launched into a marketplace where online training was available, but too expensive or generic for most businesses.

Nimble founder and managing director, Neil Hyde, was convinced there was a clear gap in the market for a product that would make it super easy for companies of any size to build their own engaging online courses, release them to their teams and track results.

From its official launch in 2014, Nimble has attracted customers nationally and locally and continues to evolve. But its mission remains the same ‘to empower every company to provide quality, online training to their teams, easily’.

While the pandemic has been a real eye-opener for businesses to the possibilities of online training, some will remain sceptical it can cater for their own special needs. What would you say to those companies?

You might be surprised by just how adaptable and useful online training can be, particularly when you have access to a simple authoring tool (like Nimble Author 2).

We have customers in pretty much every industry – from aviation to education, healthcare to hospitality and law to logistics – all using elearning to train their employees. Access to online learning materials means that staff can fit training into their busy schedules, and it saves a huge amount of time and money when compared to classroom sessions.

For many of our customers, the biggest initial benefit has been seen in the transformation of their induction or onboarding programmes. By creating elearning courses, new starters can hit the ground running without waiting for the next face-to-face session.

Smaller organisations have found that moving from an ad-hoc induction process to a more structured series of online courses has improved standards from the start, and maintained consistency for new employees.

What if you like the idea, but work in a sector where skills are not best-suited to online learning?

There’s no doubt that ‘yes’, there are some skills that need to be taught face-to-face, or certainly practised in a real-life situation. But even these sectors that rely heavily on hands-on skills can benefit from using elearning as part of what we call a blended approach.

Here is an example: Let’s say you own a small chain of sandwich shops. Obviously, employees need in-person training so that they can make an outstanding sandwich that meets customer expectations!

But, before that, they also need to understand a wide range of things about working in the shop, from food hygiene and storage to customer service.

And as your business grows and new branches open, it would certainly make good sense to have a standardised approach to updating staff with new sandwich types or ingredients.

Elearning offers a simple, cost-effective way to do this (and also means you can keep track of who’s taken the training).

Is there a shortcut to getting the training course you need for our team without spending time designing your own?

It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. We offer a range of high-quality courses on a range of subjects including health and safety, data protection and equality, diversity and inclusion. These could be just what you need to get you started.

When it comes to cost, you may be surprised by the flexible pricing options available for small organisations that are designed to grow alongside the business.

At Nimble, we offer a pay as you go option from just £6.50 per learner per year, which includes our learning management system (LMS) and our intuitive course-building tool, Nimble Author 2.

Surely you have to be tech-savvy to create a course using Nimble Elearning’s software?

That is something we really pride ourselves on; Nimble Author 2 is seriously easy to use and definitely doesn’t require an IT whiz!

It is as simple as logging on in your web browser and dragging the content you want – whether text, images, videos or interactive activities – right onto the pages of your course.

As you build, you’ll see exactly what the learner sees, and can even switch view to check how your course will appear on different devices (such as mobile phones or tablets). Many of our customers would describe themselves as decidedly not tech-savvy, but have created some amazing courses.

Sounds good, but the thought of structuring a programme still sounds a little daunting. Can Nimble Elearning provide support here too?

That’s another aspect of our approach here at Nimble that is at the heart of what we do: support. Our technical support team and customer success managers (CSMs) are there to provide as much or as little assistance as you need.

This can range from a quick email about a technical issue to a full review offering you tips to improve the structure of your course, from experts in learning design. Every customer with an annual licence has a dedicated CSM, who builds a relationship with them over time.

This supportive, personal approach means our customers are always kept up to date – and hopefully feel confident to reach out whenever they need us.

Surely all this is going to take lots of time?

You will need to invest a little time, of course, but many of our SME customers have found that they can get up and running much more quickly than they expected. There are a few reasons for this: Our course creation tool is intuitive and easy to use, so it doesn’t require a long time to get up to speed; our range of customisable Nimble Courses mean you don’t need to start from scratch with common training topics; if you do get stuck or need assistance, our helpful team will get you the support you need without delay; courses can be published with a single click, and our LMS makes it quick and easy to get your staff enrolled.

Can customers adapt some of the off-the-shelf courses offered by Nimble Elearning?

Absolutely. Nimble Courses are fully editable, which means you can adapt branding colours, add your own logo, change course imagery or even edit examples to better reflect your specific industry or company. This is all done from within the same intuitive authoring tool.

How easy is it to edit or update a course to ensure it remains relevant and useful again and again?

Updating courses is really simple; you can use Nimble Author 2 to edit them as required without disrupting the ‘live’ course – so you won’t cause any problems for staff taking it at that moment – then publish your updated course with one click and seamlessly replace the older version. There’s no limit to the number of edits you can make to a course!

How do businesses know how well individual members have performed using the programme and can they identify where work still needs to be done?

This is where the Learning Management System (LMS) comes in. Nimble LMS is (as you might expect!) very straightforward to use.

Once a course has been built, you add users to the LMS and simply enrol them. They’ll receive an email to let them know the course is ready.

You’ll instantly be able to see a range of metrics, which include whether they have they opened the course, how much of the course have they looked at, how did they get on with the interactive activities throughout the course (even down to individual responses), what was their score on the final assessment, and exactly what did they struggle with and what feedback did they give in the course survey?

All this data is presented in multiple ways, depending on what you need to know, so that you can establish how your employees are doing – and what they might need next.

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