|Let me start out by saying that online training is not better than classroom training. It’s different! Both are effective ways of motivating and transferring information. You need to determine your training goals to determine which one is best for your organization. This article is not about comparing eLearning and classroom training but here are a few factors that you may want to consider:
How dispersed is your target audience? Are they in clusters or spread out individually? How much travel would be involved? Would the trainer go to them or would they come to the trainer?
- Trainer resources
Do you have people that can spend time as trainers? Do they have the presentation and subject matter expertise to train the course?
How often will the course change?
Does your target audience have computers, audio, network connections? Are they comfortable using them? Can they view video or hear audio? How’s your network bandwidth? Do you have the software needed to build the course?
Do you have training rooms? Are they equipped with the needed equipment such as projectors, whiteboards, etc.?
How many people need to be trained? How quickly does the course need to roll out?
Once you decide that eLearning is the right route for your organization or course then it’s time to make some decisions. This article focuses on things to consider when building an eLearning team. Note: Many organizations decide that a blended approach is the best. Some of the pre-work may be online and followed by classroom training. At times the basics may be online and followed by more advanced classroom training. There are many ways to blend the two.
|Categories of eLearning
There are various types of eLearning and some of the categories combine (blend) at times. Here are 3 main categories:
- Virtual Classroom/Distance Education
There are many different universities and companies that offer online courses where you watch/listen to a presenter. Most of the time you log-in at specified times and interactive with online participants. Many of these have portals that allow students to view assignments, read articles, discuss topics with peers, and interact with instructors.
- Online Presentations/Manuals
There are some courses that are more like presentations. You sit back, relax, and watch. There’s not any real engagement. This could also include reading an online manual or book. There is a time and place for this but it is not the most effective learning method but it does a good job of presenting information.
- Interactive eLearning Courses
This type of learning can be taken at any time when it’s convenient for the learner. These courses engage the learner, have them interact with the course, and motivate them to learn on their own. Content may include simulations of systems, games, scenarios, quizzes, videos, etc. Theses courses are the goal of many eLearning course developers.
These categories are by no means set in stone but they are broad categories that help explain some options in the marketplace. This article will focus mainly focus on resources needed to build interactive eLearning courses. (The same resources could be simplified to create online presentations and manuals.)
to be continued…