The value of eLearning is abundantly apparent to those of us working in the training and development industry. We could list hundreds of ways that it benefits learners and the larger institution. However, while we see the benefits and advantages of using eLearning, that doesn’t always mean that an organization is ready to embrace eLearning with open arms.
Here are three clues that indicate your organization is ready for eLearning:
- Leaders and managers will engage in discussions to reinforce the learning.
During a workshop, an instructor engages participants in conversation about the topic which extend the learning and help illustrate how the content applies to everyday experience. Ideally, managers and leaders keep the learning going by asking employees about any training in which they participate. Without a facilitator present in an eLearning course, leaders and managers following-up with learners after they’ve completed a course is a critical part of eLearning success. They should ask the questions and facilitate the conversation to help learners apply their new knowledge back on the job. An organization’s eLearning readiness depends on managers and leaders being willing to connect and engage with employees in discussions around the topics covered in eLearning courses.
- Learners are ready and able to embrace online learning.
A designer can build the most amazing eLearning course, but if members of the audience aren’t willing to take part in online learning, that course won’t have any impact. Furthermore, if learners aren’t savvy about how to use technology, their fears or lack of online proficiency can inhibit their capacity to finish—or even start—a course. An organization’s ability to deliver eLearning courses is contingent upon learners’ technological skill level.
- You have the budget to support eLearning design, delivery, and tracking.
If everything else is in place, an organization’s readiness for eLearning comes down to the money. Can your business afford to put the benefits of eLearning to use? To put a robust eLearning strategy in place, you must consider whether or not you have the required budget:
- Can you pay for an in-house eLearning designer? If not, can you afford to hire a freelance designer as projects come up? Or, maybe there are off-the-shelf courses that will meet your needs?
- Do all learners have access to the devices (e.g., laptops, tablets, desktops, etc.) they need to log in and complete the training? Are the devices up-to-date, with everything required to deliver the content? Will you need any software updates to facilitate content delivery?
- To demonstrate the value of eLearning, how will you track (and analyze) the results it delivers? The most efficient way to do that is by using a learning management system (LMS) to store content, enroll learners, and track completion. Investing in an LMS isn’t cheap, but there are options available for most budgets. Even if your immediate strategy doesn’t include having an LMS, be sure it’s part of the plan; once you have a few courses developed, you’ll be more than ready to start using an LMS.
If you find that your organization isn’t ready for eLearning, use these three clues to help identify ways you might be able to influence a shift. When you communicate the benefits and advantages of eLearning, your leaders, managers, and employees will be more likely to embrace eLearning with open arms, and provide the budget that will make it a reality.
Liz Sheffield is a freelance writer with a background in training and development. She specializes in writing about everything related to the human side of business. You can contact her via LinkedIn or Twitter.