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Employee Training Software

Training software, also known as eLearning or Computer-Based Training (CBT) software, automates educational activities for students and/or corporate employees. Online Training software is often customisable based on the needs of specific organisations and include capabilities such as course registration and testing, certification tracking, conferencing, skills tracking, and reporting. Employee Training software may provide the framework for presenting classes, as well as allowing for payments via eCommerce functions. Training Management software is related to Learning Management Systems (LMS). Find the best employee training system for your organisation in Australia.

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Employee Training Software Buyers Guide

Training software is the name given to software solutions designed to help businesses, corporate training providers, academic institutions, and other organisations to manage and administer training or learning programmes. Also known as eLearning software, or CBT (computer-based training) software, it can be used to design training courses, provide trainees or learners with access to course material, and track the progress of learners as they study. In many cases, the software can be customised to meet the specific aims and objectives of an organisation too.

Businesses will often utilise employee training software to manage the various tasks and processes associated with training their workforce. This software can train and onboard recruits, and help existing employees develop new skills and gain new knowledge. Beyond this, online training software can also be used by academic institutions to teach or supplement academic classes. Online training software allows users to connect via onboarding the internet, facilitating remote and blended learning experiences. Applications of this kind can potentially be used to teach or train individuals, small groups of people, or entire classes or teams.

Training apps will often provide the tools required for synchronous and asynchronous learning. Within business settings, they can serve as a form of onboarding software, while there may also be some similarities and crossover with course authoring software and eLearning authoring tools. The most comprehensive programs can serve as a learning management system (LMS), while some training apps can be integrated with a third-party LMS.

Precise features can vary, and there may be substantial differences in terms of functionality too. For instance, business training software solutions are likely to differ from online training solutions that are primarily geared toward schools, colleges, universities, and other academic institutions. Nevertheless, there are several category-defining features found in the overwhelming majority of solutions, along with some common features contained within a large number of training apps. In general, users will be able to carry out the following tasks:

  • Manage course scheduling, course registration, resource distribution and other administrative tasks
  • Create and amend training programmes, assign those courses to specific learners, and track their progress
  • Provide learners or training course participants with access to their portal, with self-service options
  • Deliver either synchronous or asynchronous lessons, as well as mobile and blended learning opportunities

What is Training Software?

Training software, also known as eLearning software, describes software solutions designed to assist organisations with the management and delivery of training courses and other similar learning programmes. Most commonly, this takes the form of business training software, where businesses and similar organisations can manage their workforce training activities. However, the software can also be used by academic institutions, charities, and any other organisation with needs in the area of training management and training delivery.

The software itself has several primary functions and uses. For instance, it can manage all administrative work surrounding training programmes, such as course registration and the distribution of learning materials and resources. On top of this, it can help organisations to deliver training content, while it can assist trainees or learners with the management of their learning through various self-service and progress tracking options.

Online training software helps to facilitate online courses and remote or blended learning. Meanwhile, solutions can be used by training providers to deliver online content in both synchronous or asynchronous forms. The former approach means that learning occurs collectively, with participants simultaneously attending a virtual classroom, while the latter approach means that participants learn independently, at different times, from different locations. It is also important to note that training applications can also be used to manage in-person training activities.

What are the benefits of training software?

The benefits of training software vary and are focused on assisting training providers and trainees or learners. Many of these benefits result from bringing training materials together into one package, while there is usually a strong focus on providing access to online training materials for remote learning. Of course, the nature of the software ultimately allows the quality of training to be improved, and this can have knock-on effects, including improved business performance and increased academic achievement. Furthermore, it is worth taking the time to explore some of the specific benefits that are associated with the software, such as:

  • Centralisation of training data: One of the main ways offline and online training solutions can assist organisations in running training activities and programmes are through the centralisation of relevant data. Running a single training programme can require the acquisition and storage of a lot of information, from course material to the details of trainees, and any data related to performance and progress. This amount of data then increases significantly if there are multiple training courses or programmes on offer. Through the acquisition of a high-quality software solution for training, these organisations can keep all of this data in one place and, crucially, the information can also be organised in logical ways. In the end, all of this makes it quicker and easier to sort through the abundance of gathered data, especially when there is a need to find specific information.
  • Greater training flexibility: The use of training software can make training programmes much more flexible. For training providers, there is a greater degree of flexibility in terms of when course content is available, who it is made available to, and how it is distributed, and changes can be made to programmes at any time. For learners, there is flexibility in terms of participating in either in-person or remote training activities, utilising mobile learning, and benefiting from blended learning. This kind of flexibility can help maximise the number of people who participate in training programmes while allowing training providers to tailor their programmes to specific teams, classes, individuals, situations, or circumstances.
  • Insights into performance: Another way training software applications can benefit businesses and academic institutions is through the provision of insights into performance. The best solutions will contain reporting and analytics tools, allowing organisations to see how many people are participating in a course, how many people complete the course, the average level of achievement, and much more. Having access to insights on performance can be essential for optimising the quality of training programmes because it allows trends to be identified, problems to be addressed, and lessons to be learned from successful programmes.
  • Removal of geographical boundaries: The use of training software for business and educational needs can essentially eradicate the limitations that have traditionally been associated with geography. For instance, the concept of virtual onboarding has gained traction in recent years, with a growing number of businesses welcoming employees and integrating them into the workforce although they work remotely. In essence, companies are now more free to recruit the best individuals for a role, regardless of where they live and whether they can access a physical workplace. This same principle also applies to academic institutions delivering course content to overseas students or businesses providing advanced training seminars for employees, regardless of their physical location and proximity to the workplace at the time.

What are the features of training software?

The features of the training software can vary, as some solutions target businesses, some target academic institutions, and some are broader and can be used equally effectively by a wide range of organisations and institutions. Nonetheless, there are some popular and significant features that buyers would expect to find in the vast majority of software packages in this category, and some of the most important of these include:

  • Training administration: Manage all tasks related to the administration of training programmes and activities. This may include creating training schedules and informing learners when their training will occur. It can also include the consolidation, management, and distribution of learning resources and the assignment of specific instructors to different classes or individuals. High-quality training software will allow users to create training content and ensure that training programmes are fully functional and optimised.
  • Course management: Handle all aspects of course management, from the creation of training courses to amendments and course registration. Organisations can allocate training activities to specific individuals, departments, teams, or students and can continually track their progress as they advance through the course. In situations where training fees need to be paid, the software can process payments, while those who complete a course can be awarded a relevant certification, serving as evidence of their level of achievement.
  • Synchronous learning: Provide learners with access to synchronous learning activities and content. Synchronous learning refers to instances where multiple trainees are participating in learning activities simultaneously, even if they are not physically present in the same location. For instance, video conferencing and the creation of virtual classrooms would be an example of synchronous learning. The software can help to facilitate this approach by providing the tools needed for communication and collaboration, along with the option to distribute and share learning resources. Synchronous learning can be especially beneficial for academic institutions, where student engagement is a crucial concern and teachers may need to continually check in with course participants.
  • Asynchronous learning: Enable learners to benefit from asynchronous learning activities and independent learning. In contrast to synchronous learning, asynchronous learning refers to learning activities that are completed by multiple people at different times. A good example is the use of pre-recorded lectures or seminars, which learners can access online, allowing them to take notes and learn at a time that suits them. Top-end training solutions will facilitate both forms of learning, which maximises flexibility, and ensures that all learning styles are catered for. It is also important to note that asynchronous learning can be especially important for international businesses, or academic institutions with students in different countries because it goes a long way towards circumventing many of the issues that have historically been linked to people living in different timezones.
  • Mobile learning: Offers learners the ability to access company training software and course materials using mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. Again, providing mobile accessibility can help to boost the flexibility of training programmes, and breaking down geographical and hardware-related barriers can help to ensure more people have access to training content. The best software packages will provide mobile accessibility and also optimise user interfaces and the display of content so that it can be comfortably seen and understood when viewed on a smaller mobile device. Mobile learning can also create bite-sized training content, which can be consumed quickly, even when learners are at home or on the move.
  • Social learning: Deliver social learning experiences for trainees. As a concept, social learning places emphasis on ideas around learning through observation and social interactions, as well as learning through imitation and behavioural modelling. With online training solutions, social learning can be made possible. Furthermore, video content can be made accessible, and video conferencing can allow course participants to interact in real-time, even if they cannot be physically present in the same place. The best software packages will also provide several additional communication options so that learners can keep in touch and help one another.
  • Learning paths/tracks: Establish a preferable order in which certain training programmes or courses should be completed. In many organisations, some training activities can be broadly grouped because they aim at a similar audience, and some of these courses may naturally follow on from one another. On a basic level, it stands to reason that an introductory course should be completed before enrolling in more advanced training programmes. However, learning paths can become much more complicated when individuals have options to explore different branches or the choice to move their careers in different directions. With this in mind, training applications can help businesses and institutions define learning paths and refer to this information at any time. This can be especially valuable when advising trainees or learners on the various steps they can take.
  • Reporting/analytics: Access reports and analytics information about training programmes. Reporting features can allow organisations to gain insights into how learners are performing on a particular course, and the analytics tools available can make it easier to identify key trends and drill down into the data. Ultimately, access to reporting and analytics can help organisations to learn from their training programmes, make intelligent, evidence-based adjustments, and optimise outcomes. Best in class solutions will make reports quick and easy to find through a reporting dashboard. This can help organisations to quickly identify any problems with a training course.

Capterra's software directory allows buyers to sort through the available options via the list of features on offer. This means buyers can increase efficiency and begin their search by only seeing solutions that contain the features they need while removing the solutions that are least likely to be suitable.

What should be considered when purchasing training software?

When purchasing training and development software, buyers need to consider many different things beyond the features included within the software and the ways these features can benefit them. Ultimately, businesses or academic institutions need to find the best software package for their specific needs, requiring a more comprehensive evaluation of the different options on the market and an understanding of the various choices that exist. An effective way to approach this is to try to come up with answers to some key questions, such as:

  • How much does training software cost? Buyers need to think carefully about the cost, but this consideration needs to extend beyond simply comparing the initial purchase price. Instead, the best approach here is to weigh up the total cost of ownership of different solutions on the market. This includes all the major costs associated with acquiring, setting up and utilising the software. Some of the costs that may not be immediately obvious to buyers include costs associated with data storage and the costs linked to teaching business leaders how to use the software to aid training activities. Of course, cost also needs to be considered alongside value. For instance, high-quality employee training software may cost more than a more 'middle of the road' application, but this extra investment is going to be worthwhile if an organisation needs a high-end solution.
  • What is the best deployment option? It is crucial to understand that the issue of software deployment is fundamental to almost all acquisitions of modern applications. There are two main deployment options relating to training software, and the cloud vs on-premise debate can be nuanced. For instance, conventional on-premise deployment allows a business to acquire the software and then take responsibility for installing and managing it, providing a greater sense of control. It also typically avoids the issue of ongoing subscription fees, which can mean that long-term costs end up lower. However, the costs associated with the software are unpredictable because things can go wrong, and the business is responsible for resolving those issues. On top of this, initial startup costs are high because the software needs to be acquired and set up properly. On-premise software is also less flexible, especially when accommodating remote and mobile access. On the other hand, cloud-based software is exceptionally flexible, and support for remote and mobile accessibility is strong. Responsibility for deploying the software and managing data is delegated to a third-party service provider. As a result, startup costs are very low, and the risk of serious issues can be lower. However, while costs are extremely predictable and consistent, there will usually be continuous subscription fees, and this can drive up the costs over the longer term. Generally, online training solutions work best using a cloud-based approach, but buyers need to evaluate the pros and cons of both deployment options and then try to reach their conclusion.
  • third-party integration possible? In most cases, digital training software is going to be one of many different software packages used by an organisation or institution. The more that these different solutions can be integrated and set up to interact with one another, the better. Training solutions could potentially be integrated with workforce management software, customer relationship management software, calendar software, and a wide range of other tools. Not only can this make it easier to move between different software packages and retain a level of consistency, but it can also reduce the amount of duplicate data that companies store too. From there, organisations can streamline their data collection, making it easier to find specific information when needed. Integration with calendar software and similar solutions can also help businesses become more organised and prepared.
  • What level of customisation is on offer? For businesses, academic institutions, and training providers, the issue of customisation for training delivery software is more important than with many other software solutions they may need to acquire. Organisations want their training solutions to be tailored to accommodate their own needs and to deliver their learning materials in a way that will achieve the best outcomes. Therefore, buyers need to place an appropriate level of attention on the level of customisation that is available. Cloud-based options, for example, could be customised by the third-party service provider, but even on-premise software may provide options to adjust the software and ensure it meets requirements and expectations.

The most relevant training software trends need to be taken into careful consideration before making any purchasing decisions because these trends need to be catered for within the software. When an application has been designed with an awareness and appreciation of the emerging and established trends, it is more likely to be genuinely useful for the long term. Conversely, when offline and online training systems are designed without an appropriate level of care and attention to the key training trends, their long-term viability should be questioned, and they are less likely to be a wise investment. Some of the major trends in this area include:

  • Use of artificial intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is constantly improving, making it more reliable for businesses and academic institutions. The result is a greater reliance on AI technology from training providers and within training provider software. The uses of AI are numerous, from automation of predictable communication, such as deadline reminders, to analysis of training performance and the identification of trends. When utilised effectively, AI can provide training providers with more time to spend on the complex tasks that need human attention, as much less time will be spent on simple tasks.
  • Increased focus on soft skills: Historically, training software and the majority of work-based training programmes have primarily emphasised the development of hard skills, which are technical and professional, often based on knowledge and experience. However, increasingly, businesses are starting to use training software to assist with the development of soft skills too. Soft skills can be described as non-technical traits, and they include communication skills, problem-solving abilities, problem-solving capabilities, leadership traits, emotional intelligence, and other 'people' skills. Although these can be harder to teach because they do not rely on a simple transmission of knowledge, they can still be worked on, and video chat and live streaming can assist with this through techniques like roleplay, where people can receive feedback and think more carefully about social interactions. With this in mind, it can be a good idea to focus on software that can help to facilitate this kind of teaching and learning.
  • The rise of gamification: Finally, interactive training software has existed for many years and has helped improve the quality of training programmes, however, there is ever-growing demand from learners for this interactivity to be taken to the next level through gamification. Essentially, this refers to the use of game-based training activities, along with the use of common gaming concepts, such as high scores and leaderboards. Gamification can help increase the level of fun and friendly competition within a training programme, potentially resulting in increased engagement with learning materials, more memorable lessons, and increased knowledge retention.