I believe that adding a bit of automation in our lives can significantly improve the way we live and work. Whether we’re talking about automating our finances, paying bills, buying groceries, or house chores, it’s clear that automation saves us so much time.
In the world of training, this is no different. Automation can be used to help companies save time on training tasks by replacing manual work. Using automation, instructors can quickly make training programs run smoother in a more personalized and dynamic way.
The science behind automation is quite simple. At its core, it’s based on an if-then statement. If a specific condition is met, then an action is triggered. A straightforward example of automation in training is awarding learners with a certificate when they complete a course.
Training automation can be a set-and-forget kind of system. You do the initial work of defining your workflows and rules and then just sit back and reap the benefits.
Of course, the type of automation you will implement in your training is directly influenced by the training platform you use. Some platforms offer very basic automation functionality, while others provide the possibility to create very complex workflows. I strongly encourage you to pick the latter because it’s better to have more options than limits in what you can do with automation.
4 Use cases of training automation you should know about
Now that we’ve explained the basic concept of automation, let’s have a look at some of the most common use cases in training:
One of the most useful ways to use automation in training is to create rules to help with the onboarding process. For example, when an employee joins the company, you can trigger a rule that enrolls them in an onboarding learning path based on their job title. At the same time, you can trigger a rule that sends a welcome message to all new employees with tips on getting started.
Read more: Exploring the onboarding process
Regardless of the audience, whether it’s employees, clients, partners, trainers, managers, etc., automation is a way to make users’ first experience with the learning platform a good one. For example, you can define a rule to automatically enroll new instructors in a dedicated group when they join the platform.
Depending on the learning platform you’re using, the automation functionality creates sophisticated rules based on various filters. When rules are made, you can target specific people from a course, group, or organization. You can also filter by job titles, city, learners, instructors, and more.
To give you an example, you can automatically enroll learners from Chicago that have Marketing in their job title and at the same time add them to a group dedicated to learners that are taking a specific course.
Another use case for automation is related to learners’ performance in training activities. Using automation can help instructors decide what content learners see in courses based on their results.
For example, if a learner is doing very well and completes a difficult module, you can choose to show them some more advanced modules or give them a more challenging assessment in the next module. If a learner achieves a low score, you can automatically hide a module until the learner achieves the needed result.
Automation also works for skill development and improving learning outcomes. Some platforms allow you to trigger automated actions based on how well learners master the skills that are being taught.
For example, if a learner is stuck for more than ten days on a particular skill, you can receive automatic alerts. Then, you can send them a message with recommendations for improving their performance. If a learner finishes a course with the maximum score, you can trigger a rule to enroll them in a bonus micro-course dedicated to high achievers.
Organizing training content
Automation helps instructors organize training content and decide how learners get access to it. An ordinary use case is triggering rules when the course starts or a few days before that.
You can send a reminder to learners two days before the course begins. You can also lock the course a few days before it starts. In this way, learners can enroll but not access the content just yet. Several days after the course is finished, you can send a custom message with a feedback survey.
Automation can also be used to schedule learner access to modules rather than having them available at once. Trainers use automation to lock and unlock training content at a specific time. For example, the system can release course modules every two days or weekly, depending on your preference.
Another area where automation can help instructors manage training activities is compliance. Suppose you have courses required for compliance and need learners to take them from time to time. In that case, you can create rules to alert instructors and learners when their compliance course is due and automatically re-enroll them.
Automation is an excellent way to motivate learners throughout training programs. Most gamification features available in learning platforms are based on automation. The concept is quite simple. Each time learners complete specific tasks within a course or learning path, you can trigger rules to award them with points and badges. For example, learners get a badge when they complete a module. They also receive points if they achieve a particular score on an assessment. They can even receive e-commerce coupons when they finish a learning path.
If you have a course game, there is also the option to define actions that occur when learners reach certain game levels. Gamification introduces a fun and competitive spirit to training, as learners advance through games to improve their rankings and earn more prizes.
Awarding certificates is an excellent incentive for learners and can be easily set up using automation. Whenever a learner completes a course or a learning path, they receive a completion certificate. You can also trigger "congratulations messages" each time a learner completes an essential milestone in a course, gets a perfect score, or finishes a module.
These are some of the most common ways to use automation in training. I hope these examples have shown the various ways in which automation can be helpful in training and how easy it is to implement. Any company can benefit tremendously from automating its training activities and making them more scalable in a personalized and efficient way.
The first step is finding a learning platform that provides a variety of automation features. Start with some of the most straightforward uses, such as automatically onboarding new users or awarding certificates at the end of courses. Later, you can tackle more complex workflows once you have a clear idea of your training goals and needs.