Are Google Docs Good for Training?

Frequently, our learning consultants talk to potential customers who run team training using Google Docs. Here’s why Lessonly offers a better solution for your employee training needs.

Google Docs are meant for sharing

Let’s start by saying that Google Docs provide a phenomenal way to share, collaborate, and reference within teams. Around the office, we use them for all sort of tasks — like composing this very post! But, simply put, Google Docs aren’t meant for teaching. For that, Lessonly offers a dedicated learning environment that provides convenience for course admins and empowers learners.

‘How do you measure progress with Google Docs?’

Whenever we ask this, the overwhelming response is, “We don’t.” As a manager, you can’t improve what you can’t measure.

First, you need to track training. The only real way you can tell if someone is looking at a particular document is if that user has the document open at the same time you do. And in some cases, he or she might appear as Anonymous Ocelot. As an Admin in Lessonly, you can see which Learners have started, are working on, or have completed Lessons you assign in The Gradebook.

Perhaps most crucially, when you measure training, the level of learning improves over time. Questions, quizzes, and feedback loops help the lesson Creator adjust and revise the content for future Learners. If managers see team members struggling with a certain concept, they can correct or work through that approach so that everyone understands it.

When you’re onboarding employees and customer support teams, making sure they retain knowledge is critical to their comfort and success. For example, at a library, if you found out which patrons had checked out a particular book (like Animal Farm), you’d have no way of knowing whether they had actually read it, let alone retained any knowledge about the story (such as how Napoleon fares at the end).

Often, Google Docs aren’t organized.

Would you rather have a random file structure for your training or a central repository? Many times a shared drive turns ineffective, especially when its users inevitably treat it as a catchall for all documents that creates no value on the back end.

We all often place Google Docs into folders with no pattern (other than alphabetical sorting) and no set sequence. This puts the the burden on employees to prioritize their learning rather than making it easy for them. Yes, they’re searchable — it’s Google after all — but without a clear path, employees won’t think to revisit their lessons when they need them later.

Lessonly Lessons guide your team along the path you’d like them to take, and you can set up recurring assignments to reinforce knowledge. This helps them feel less overwhelmed and boosts their sense of accomplishment. As part of Lessonly’s software, you can also set up a Learning Library to organize and arrange your company’s knowledge base into one place.

What if you need help?

With Google Docs, you can search its FAQ, peruse a Forum for answers by other users and experts, or use the Send Feedback link. In each case, there’s no direct connection to a human being.

With Lessonly, you will connect directly with your customer-experience representative who will help guide you through the process. After all, Lessonly isn’t a software company, we’re a people company. We want to provide you with a best-in-class learning strategy to get the most efficiency out of your organization.


What if you’ve already set up your training in Google Docs?

That’s not a problem. We can help you import your content. As your needs grow and change, you can scale and revise your lessons and courses to new people or departments.

Take a tour and see for yourself how Lessonly improves your training over Google Docs.

Science of Learning: Attention, Please
Science of Learning: Decoding the Encoding Process

Like what you see? Learn more below.