Reducing The Risks When Moving Training Online | Ufi VocTech Trust

Reducing The Risks When Moving Training Online

This blog post by Mark Berthelemy, an expert in solving digital problems, supports the first session in our series of free 'How To' Webinars. These were developed to support trainers who need to rapidly move their learning provision to wholly online. You can watch the recording on GoTo Webinar: How To Move Training Online - A Trainer's Quick Start Guide.


Moving training online can be a risky business. There will be a lot of unknowns and assumptions. If you make the wrong decision early on, it could end up coming back to bite you.

What assumptions are you making about your learners, about their technology, about their levels of digital literacy, about their motivation, about your time, and about the tools you're planning to use?

Any one of those could cause problems later on if you make the wrong decision now.

Before embarking on a long and costly project to rework all your learning materials for online delivery, do some tests. Build prototypes and take them to the people who will be using them.

For example, let's say we run a business that teaches people about health & safety in the industrial workplace. We've got a load of PowerPoints and handouts that we use for face-to-face training. It's tempting to think that converting these to HTML, wrapping them as a SCORM package, and putting them in an LMS will solve our problems. But what are some of the assumptions we're making here?


Our joining instructions are clear and easy to follow

(Cost to fix if wrong: Medium)


The materials are suitable for self-study

(Cost to fix if wrong: Medium)


Our learners are motivated to study in the way we expect

(Cost to fix if wrong: Medium)


Our learners have devices with large enough screens to view converted PowerPoint presentations

(Cost to fix if wrong: High)


Our learners have sufficient digital and reading literacy to be able to use the chosen system and the materials

(Cost to fix if wrong: High)


We need an LMS to deliver the training materials

(Cost to fix if wrong: High)


We don't need to worry about accessibility

(Cost to fix if wrong: High)


To decide which assumptions are the most important to test, think about which one will have the most impact if it's wrong, and which will be the costliest to resolve.

Once you've worked that out, design some tests.

These need to be small enough to setup quickly. So, in our case, we might start by creating these prototypes:

  • Three typical pages of a learning module
  • Text-based vs video based
  • The user journey from joining instructions to learning module

Don't just use survey tools to gather opinions. It's far better to really watch people as they're using the materials. You can even do that with a screen sharing / video meeting application.

The aim is to see, very quickly, where the pain points are.

Ideally we would test our assumptions before committing to spending on systems or tools.

So take full advantage of free trial periods to build your prototypes. You gain flexibility and will significantly reduce your risk.


Note from Stephen Hinde, Community Manager for Ufi VocTech Trust

The 'How To' webinar series from Ufi is an evergrowing catalogue of knowledge which was introduced to support and ensure teaching and learning still happens during the restrictions arising from Covid-19. While the sessions were built to support immediately during the outbreak, a lot of the information and learnings can still be transferred into the future to supoprt the way learning happens.

Connect with Mark Berthelemy on LinkedIn.

See Mark's previous blog posts for Ufi VocTech Trust at