eLearning: Hype or Hip?

Clients and potential clients often ask me if eLearning is just a passing fad. This is an excellent question that warrants some discussion. My experience with eLearning and custom eLearning content development in particular has been extremely positive

a. Unfortunately, some companies reject the concept of eLearning because they have had negative experiences with it. I recently came across a discussion on the Support Insight discussion forums that described eLearning as a highly acclaimed training solution.

I had the opportunity to talk to many people about their experiences with eLearning and

the majority of skeptics and naysayers have one thing in common. They mostly have all

had negative experiences with the development of training materials. The common theme i

seen is that most of the development work was done without requiring thorough completion

Analysis. In addition, many companies are guilty of choosing an eLearning provider without doing so

the necessary research on what the industry offers and what criteria they should use and when

Choosing an eLearning provider. The range of products in the eLearning industry is extreme

as diverse as the skills and experiences that eLearning providers possess.

It is important to determine what your needs are as a customer and what role vendor selection will play in your eventual success or failure. I would recommend you to read my short white paper entitled

“Selecting an E-Learning Provider: A Guide to Making an Informed Decision”, which best describes

important considerations to make when choosing an eLearning provider.

I cannot stress how important needs analysis is in developing successful eLearning materials such as

as customized interactive eLearning courses, multimedia reference materials or analytical

technical toolkits. Unfortunately, many customers don’t take the time to think about what their

needs and goals are. Also, they often choose eLearning developers who overlook this

Step or do a superficial, high-level needs analysis focused primarily on selling bells and whistles

the customer rather than focusing on the customer’s business needs and constraints. Yes, it is

It is important to note that eLearning has limitations, mainly due to the fact that not all

Customers are technically equal. This limitation is an important consideration

if you are considering eLearning as a training method.

The initial needs analysis should identify the goals of the eLearning program, course,

Materials and who will use them. How will they access the materials? What technology will they

use? Does it make sense to include interactive bandwidth-intensive elements like video?

and sound? Unfortunately, some eLearning content developers overlook these considerations

and as a result develop a solution that disappoints the customer. This then leads to failure

put at the door of eLearning instead of the door of the actual eLearning provider and the

Customer.

The development of an eLearning project must be done by building a relationship with an eLearning

Vendors with years of experience in the industry. eLearning is not a magic bullet that can do it

solve all your training needs. In many cases, eLearning cannot replace face-to-face teaching

face workout. In these cases, eLearning can complement on-site training as part of a blended

learning approach.

In most companies there will be people who will resist any computer based training. Actually everyone

Businesses tend to have people who resist change. You need to recognize this threat to e-learning material development before you start any project and know that you will

You need to find a champion, project sponsor, and department heads who can support you

Mitigating and mediating resistance to new training initiatives.

A simple way to reduce initial resistance in your organization to new eLearning initiatives is:

focus on quick wins. This is a great way to demonstrate the value of a new eLearning initiative

and to establish a good working relationship with your eLearning provider. Lots of companies are trying

Focus on the areas with the most complicated requirements first. In my opinion this is a bad approach

this can only end in disaster. Remember to keep your first project simple!

First, focus on areas where there is a need and where training materials exist

within your organization. It’s much easier to create a customized interactive training course

Existing sources such as PowerPoint presentations developed by subject matter experts (SMEs),

Lessons Learned documents, case studies, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), on the other hand

to start over. It’s amazing how much information you can find once you start searching

within your organization. Admittedly, most of the materials you will find are informative only

and would need to be structured and re-engineered into an interactive format that would ensure this

knowledge storage. However, it is much easier, less time consuming and resources

intensive to use existing information in your company instead of trying to reinvent it

Rad. Remember to focus on quick wins that provide foundational knowledge to a select group of people

Your final overall audience and demonstrate the value of your endeavor.

eLearning is a valuable training tool as long as it is approached in a way that engages your interest

ultimate goals, limitations, corporate landscape and opportunities in mind. Like all

With other tools, the end result depends on the skill of the operator. eLearning can be extreme

positive outcomes in your organization including saving time and money paid on the spot

Training that involves frequent travel, increased productivity, self-directed learning, and maximized ROI.

However, positive outcomes require foresight and good collaboration between content

Developer, customer project manager/owner and the project sponsor/promoter. we would be

happy to help you with any questions you have. Even if you are just at the beginning

During the needs analysis phase, we would be happy to discuss your eLearning development opportunities with you

with you.

Thanks to Quintus Joubert

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