Organizations come up with numerous plans and strategies to boost their learning initiatives for their employees. Among them, e-learning, become the popular choice to support individual competencies and positively impact individual and organizational performance.
What is e-learning?
According to Learn Upon, e-learning is the delivery of learning and training through digital resources. It is training, learning, or education delivered online through a computer or any other digital device.
What factors have made e-learning so popular?
1. The Internet
Before the Internet, people relied on books, CDROMS, and other limiting learning methods. The Internet has allowed everyone access to any type of information at anytime.
2. Affordable digital devices
The rise of affordable digital devices has equalized the playing field for all who have devices. Mobile learning also hugely facilitated the growth of e-learning.
3. Multimedia development
Along with the development of e-learning is the development of technology and affordability of creating different types of multimedia like videos, graphics, audio, all of which aid in learning very well.
4. Sophisticated Learning Management Systems
The advancements in LMS’s have allowed organizations to have their own LMS and use this to execute their learning strategies.
Here are the seven steps in ensuring that your e-learning strategy is implemented correctly:
1. Assess e-learning readiness
It is very important to assess your organization’s readiness to e-learning before implementing it.
Here are the seven readiness factors to implementing e-learning:
- Psychological readiness or your employees’ attitude towards self-paced learning.
- Social readiness or your employees’ ability to work collaboratively with each other.
- Environmental readiness such as policy, contract issues, legal issues, language and cultural needs of the learners.
- Human Resource readiness or the availability and readiness of employees who will support the transition and maintenance of the e-learning strategy.
- Technological readiness or the technological knowledge of your employees to use the e-learning.
- Financial readiness or the budget for the IT infrastructure, the vendor, and additional resources needed for implementation.
- Content readiness or the suitability of the content to be converted to e-learning material.
2. Make a business case
Management has to be convinced that the e-learning strategy is the way to go. To make a business case for the implementation, align it to the business objectives of the organization.
Quantify costs, effectiveness, and return of investment in terms of numbers and highlight the less tangible and long-term benefits e-learning will bring to the organization.
3. Overcome barriers
Examples of barriers that you have to overcome are employees who find it difficult to move to the self-paced learning method, connectivity and technological barriers, availability of employee to take on implementation and maintenance of the e-learning materials and system.
4. Assess your resources and make a buying decision
Your organization has to choose whether to buy or build your own e-learning materials.
Opt to buy off the shelf when your learning needs are clearly identified and are generic. Build when you have the resources to build your own and your learning needs are very specific to your organization.
5. Choosing your partner
If you have decided to outsource your e-learning development to a custom e-learning solutions provider, you have to choose a reliable vendor. Internal policies for vendors is something that has to be taken into consideration. Also consider having a criteria for choosing your partner vendor.
6. Starting with small steps
Consider starting with a pilot team to test the waters and get proof of concept. Launch the e-learning strategy to get
7. Evaluate the strategy
Include an evaluation of the whole strategy in your project deliverables.
The types of training that your e-learning strategy can apply to are the following:
1. Employee training such as new hire training or improving employee performance.
2. Compliance training which is a necessity for most organizations. Tracking of completion will be easier with the use of an LMS.
3. Customer training
4. Partner training or reseller training
Choosing to implement an e-learning strategy for your organization can be daunting. It is a project that will require tons of planning, coordination with different teams within the organization, hiring or reallocating resources to set up and maintain the system and the materials.
The return of investment will come and your organization will reap the rewards of e-learning if planned and done correctly.