What is “off-the-shelf” training?
Whether you’re a small business with a small (or even non-existent) training department or an organization of any size that wants to quickly and easily supplement your training library with additional assets, off-the-shelf training may fit your needs.
Off-the-shelf training consists of courses and other media such as videos that are pre-designed by third-party vendors in the learning and development industry, and are available for you to purchase. These courses are most commonly available as a service, and learners access them by logging into their learning management system (LMS).
What are the benefits of “off-the-shelf” training?
- Reduced costs: Off-the-shelf training can be less expensive than producing courses from scratch in-house as it eliminates the need to employ a training team, outsource a training team, or invest in course authoring tools.
- No need for a full-time development team: Off-the-shelf training is a great fit for small businesses who have fewer training resources than larger organizations. If your organization can’t support a permanent training team, purchasing premade courses is a sustainable way for your business to obtain high quality training content.
- It’s quick to deploy: Implementation could not be smoother; purchasing premade courses allows for a quick rollout of training with no time needed to design and develop training assets. The Association for Talent Development has documented it can take up to 130 hours to produce a single hour of eLearning, but premade courses are only a click away!
- Content is created by industry experts: Because the content is not being created in-house, no subject matter expertise is needed from you for the various topics that are covered. Small businesses may not have experts in all areas, such as legal matters or business writing, and may be able to purchase higher quality content off-the-shelf than they could produce on their own. Premade courses are tested and vetted before they make it to your LMS, so you can be confident it will engage and instruct your employees.
- Courses are microlearning-friendly: Meet your learners’ moments of need by providing content that is targeted to their learning goals. Common off-the-shelf course topics are related to specific on-the-job skills that will help learners quickly demonstrate proficiency in their roles.
- Supplement the content you do create internally: If you do create courses in-house, let your instructional designers shine by tasking them with creating content that is relevant to your industry or organization. Save their precious time and resources by only purchasing training in more generic topics, and allow your employees to be more strategic by only creating bespoke courses on topics that are unique to your area of work.
What topics should I purchase “off-the-shelf?”
- Compliance courses: Training on topics such as workplace safety and sexual harassment may be mandated by state or federal laws, and these laws are subject to change. By purchasing off-the-shelf courses, the burden of maintenance falls on the vendor, and not on you!
- Sales enablement: If your organization operates a call center or has entry-level sales positions, off-the-shelf courses in basic sales and customer service skills are likely to meet your needs.
- Leadership development: Similar to sales, leadership and management development is often not industry specific. Help your organization and your employees grow by developing your people into stronger leaders.
- Soft skills: Topics such as effective communication, listening skills, and business writing make excellent off-the-shelf training topics, since they are relevant to nearly every role and industry.
Where can I find “off-the-shelf” training?
Learning solutions leader eLearning Brothers has partnered with BizLibrary.com to provide over 2,500 off-the-shelf microlearning courses, which are now available through the Rockstar Learning Platform. More than just an LMS for small businesses, the Rockstar Learning Platform is the single hub where employees’ and organizations’ goals align. The system integrates eLearning course content (fully compatible with both SCORM and xAPI files, both of which can be created using our proprietary Lectora® authoring tool), with multimedia assets including audio and video, as well as off-the-shelf content from BizLibrary.
Exciting features of the collaboration between eLearning Brothers and BizLibrary include content being available in five languages, and the ability for learners and organizations to organize content into curated playlists. By grouping content into themed playlists relating to business goals or employees’ development goals, employees undergo a highly relevant and engaging learning experience.
Designed to scale alongside you as your organization grows, BizLibrary offers current, up-to-date courses, and a continuously curated library. Video content is supplemented with knowledge checks, handouts, and quizzes, and all content is fully accessible by accommodating screen readers and providing closed captions and transcripts. No need to fear ever-changing business and legal practices; BizLibrary customers are alerted to compliance changes as they happen!
Your learners will appreciate the structure and support the system offers as they accomplish their learning goals.
Rock out with eLearning Brothers and the BizLibrary!