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
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
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
Thanks to Quintus Joubert