5 key tips to successfully implement e-learning
The shift towards digital learning is becoming inevitable. The convenience and cost-saving of learning taking place ‘on demand’ at the learners own desk or home is the biggest driver. It is highly likely that there is an element of online learning already taking place within your organisation – quite possibly done by individuals using their own initiative because of the growing wealth of content that exists on the Internet.
Whilst there are obvious benefits to utilising e-learning, often when you apply a universal policy to harness this there becomes resentment to what is seen as a change to “the way things are done around here”. So how do you overcome these views and successfully launch an online learning initiative?
Here are some tips for ideas that have proved successful when we have launched e-learning with clients:
This works on two levels – senior management and line managers. We have seen projects where someone high up in an organisation has acted at the project sponsor and communicated out the importance of completing modules. By launching like this, everyone knew that it was something that was supported in the board room and was necessary to complete.
By making users aware that their line manager is able to monitor completion and educating the managers on how to do so encourages discussion and completion rates are always higher when people are aware their progress is visible.
Consideration of the content is important. If it helps the company (ie it’s a compliance subject that ticks a box) then learners will be less motivated to complete it. If it helps them to do their job better then naturally they will be more inclined to take a look.
It may be the compliance subjects are core to the learning you aim to put in place, but launching with such topics may not help with get the curiosity factor of your learning.
There is often a discussion about whether e-learning should take place on work time or the employee’s time. Our advice would be to set aside some time in the working week for the activity to take place. If someone was due to attend an internal training day then it would be unlikely that this would take place on a weekend, so you’re already placing importance on learning and governing that it should take place in working hours. Online learning should be no different (although it would probably take less time to complete). Agree a time for the learning to take place.
The other discussion is about where e-learning should be completed. In an office environment then most employees would chose to do this at their desks on their own PCs or laptops. If you have colleagues who don’t have access to a PC then it may be worth setting one up so that all staff have someone to access it. This was recently the case with an organisation with warehouse staff who needed to complete a Health & Safety module.
Think about your learners and eliminate the physical boundaries that may prevent them from becoming issues.
Getting back to the content again. Take the time to review all of the content you are offering to your learners and make sure it addresses their learning needs. If they are field-based then content aimed at those in an office or retail store will have less relevance and so you’ll get higher abandon rates.
It is becoming increasingly easier to create bespoke content that can address the specific needs of your organisation and by doing so you will ensure that the content is geared towards your learners.
Launching digital learning is the first step towards a more comprehensive online offering. Therefore it’s important to give learners the opportunity to give their views on the experience and identify what they liked and didn’t like. This will be essential in shaping future content and shaping its format.
If e-learning is well received then learners will start to consider other activities that may be able to shift from classroom to digital delivery. “Could we use this for….” becomes a powerful thought and creating a project map that incorporates these suggestions gets people involved and engaging in the process.
You might not need to tick all of these boxes to make the project a success, but considering them all will help you to create a plan that helps overcome those who don’t like change.
It is also important to understand that everyone has their preferred learning style and the format of the learning you offer to them will be impacted by how they best learn. We have a module on Identifying Learning Styles that is a great starting point when beginning this process.
We also are happy to work with our clients to ensure that e-learning is implemented successfully and offer advice and support to ensure our solutions have the maximum impact. Please get in touch if you would like more information on how we can help you.