Starting out with elearning - tips to make it a success
Posted on Aug 14, 2014
Elearning is an innovative learning approach that businesses can use to reach staff members better. It provides consistent on the job training and can have marked benefits for a business and its employees.
However the important thing to note is that elearning requires people - learners. This means that the whole process has to be marketed intelligently and sold to the right people. For it to be a success it has to fulfil key learning objectives and have learners who are willing to complete the course and its modules.
Elearning practices are time consuming and financially costly to implement, so a business has to be sure that it’s the correct approach to meet its learning needs. From that point on the business can then be specific with its marketing efforts and it can ensure that it doesn’t lose resources in the process.
If we start with the assumption that you've identified your key learning objectives, you have a course structure planned, and your online delivery platform is engaging, we can then consider how to implement the whole process effectively.
Here are some tips to help you on your path to a successful elearning platform.
Your audience is key
For whatever marketing purpose, the first step is always to identify the audience. Understanding the audience provides a context and a place to start. The better that you address and attempt to meet your audience’s requirements the happier and more engaged they’ll be.
So target your audience, in this case your staff, with relevant and considered content through the intranet and internal communications. You’ll find that it increases engagement and ensures that your elearning platform gets off to the best start possible.
Talk to your audience
It’s all well and good understanding how an audience functions theoretically but you can only go so far with generalisations. You need to be actively talking to individual members of your audience and finding out what they want from the whole process.
Talking to your employees not only makes them feel valued but it also can make your elearning platform much more specific to them. Focus on your marketing efforts and remember that the internal makeup (and happiness) of your company is just as important as any external marketing plans or goals. You can discover what your employees think and feel with regard to the training via surveys on the network and through email.
The elearning resources are for your staff – make sure they have some sort of input in their creation.
Careful monitoring is important
Elearning provides learners with a great deal of autonomy. This is great of course but it can also foster some negatives too. You need to make sure that your employees are actually learning and retaining information. To do this you should focus on devising and developing good monitoring techniques. Tests and quizzes can be a good approach but whatever you do you need to give your learners feedback. People need to know when they’re doing well, what they’re doing well at, and what could be improved.
A well-informed learner will work much better than one that has little to no feedback. Provide learners with a good environment for discussion and give them the tools that they need to work out the answers to their learning objectives.
Monitoring performance doesn’t only benefit the learner – it can benefit your business too. You can determine what’s working and what isn’t on your learning platform and tweak your approach accordingly. You can monitor just how effective your elearning platform is and discover any areas that are too difficult for your learners, or too easy.
Get your learners engaged
It can be very easy to just click your way through online questionnaires without retaining any information. In fact, the internet is often attributed to shorter attention spans and lapses in concentration. When instigating elearning digital platforms it’s a good idea to consider the format and the context that they’ll take.
Make your elearning approach an engaging one. Consider the user interface and user design and make the platform not only easy to navigate, but also pleasurable. Mix up the content on offer and provide learners with quizzes, collaborative tasks, and anything else that your market research suggests would engage your specific audience.
Provide a good structure
People like to know that they’re headed somewhere with clearly defined goals. Structure is very important and without it people can often feel lost. Provide users with a clear path forwards, one that is uncluttered and one where users can quickly and easily monitor their own progress.
Keep your learners focused, break content up into easily digestible chunks and remember that learners need to be challenged, but not overly so. If you push them too hard it can become overwhelming.
Simple language is also advisable. If you can’t write it simply how do you expect your learners to learn quickly and effectively? Keep your audience in mind and be considered when it comes to the implementation of your elearning platforms. If done correctly it will benefit both you and your learners ensuring a better business and working relationship.
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