Apr 19, 2023
Read Time: 3 min
When asked why they joined an association, many members listed professional development as a primary reason. More than 80% of associations offer professional development and training programs to their members. People want to learn, and continuing education is a crucial benefit that your members can gain by joining your organization.
You want to ensure that you're delivering the best educational program possible. Effective learning activities enable you to do just that by providing value to association members, so they can stay current in their field and grow professionally.
Successful learning programs are learner-centered, providing members with personalized content that is useful in their careers. They help new workers gain core skills and experienced professionals refresh and update their skills.
Leveraging your association's LMS is the best way to design and deliver your learning programs. This article highlights the best ways to provide effective learning activities to association members.
The first and most crucial step in designing an effective learning program is determining your members' wants and needs. After all, without this information, it's almost impossible to create a program that will help them grow as professionals in their field.
Periodically surveying your members is how you can find out what they expect from your learning program and one of the easiest ways to gather this data. Also, when new members join your association, ask them about their professional and educational goals.
You'll likely find that your members have diverse educational goals. Some may want to improve their leadership skills, while others may want to work on soft skills like time management and interpersonal communication. You'll only know any of this if you survey them.
Refine the data that you've gathered by asking about their learning preferences regarding the length of sessions and learning modality type, e.g., hybrid, online, or in-person or visual, auditory, social, etc. Associations should also have an online forum where members can go to share their thoughts.
Take advantage of your LMS' reporting and analytics function to gain valuable insight into learner activities, progress, and registrations, so you can determine which content your members find most relevant. With this information, your association can design effective learning activities that meet all your members' needs.
Since many members join associations to develop their professional skills, offering flexible professional development or certification programs is essential. Once you know what your members expect from your educational programs, you can tailor yours to meet their needs; doing so will increase satisfaction and engagement.
Online courses and certification programs give members the freedom to engage in effective learning activities when they don't have time to attend class in a brick-and-mortar building. These are extensions of what's offered by corporate training programs and help members boost their career prospects.
Your LMS is a critical part of your association's learning program, enabling members to monitor their professional development, keep track of their training history, and view continuing education credits and completed certifications. Use your LMS to create various content types, including text-based online courses, videos, live webinars, and tests.
The most effective learning activities are those where learners can see themselves in the lesson and connect with the material. When you create visuals for your e-learning program, be sure your members can connect with what they see.
Instead of relying solely on stock photos, think about where your members work and the types of people whom they work with when selecting visuals; this way, your members can relate to the pictures used in course materials. Choosing visuals that resonate with learners will go a long way toward keeping them engaged with learning materials.
Other things to keep in mind when designing educational programs for association members are how they'll use the information and if it's something that they really need to know. Associations should also aim to create personalized learning experiences. You can do this with branching scenarios, where the content changes depending on the learner's actions, so they can experience the consequences of their choices.
Between juggling personal and professional commitments, your association members may not have much time to attend scheduled classes, making it essential for associations to prioritize flexibility when creating a learning program.
Setting up an on-demand content library empowers members, providing them with content that they can access anytime without relying on an instructor's schedule. On-demand content enables members to learn year-round on their schedule and at their own pace.
While you should offer a mix of live and on-demand content, the content library enables members to access information as needed. Your association's LMS can make delivering on-demand content to members seamless.
Whether you're delivering content online or in person, educational programs that use effective learning activities are the backbone of associations, providing members with the knowledge, skills, and abilities that they need to thrive in their careers.
Here at Cadmium, we make it easy for association educators to deliver personalized learning to members to keep them better engaged and improve content satisfaction. To see how we can help you better engage your association members, reach out to our expert team today!