By integrating ILTs into eLearning, you can develop a comprehensive curriculum approach to learning rather than dispensing discrete bits and pieces of instruction. You need to whip up the best blend for each training requirement so that your organization can stay on the cutting edge. And to do that you have to take decisions after a great deal of thought. Here are a few guidelines and recommendations for designing your perfect blend.
- Move as much of your content online as you can. Depending on your available time for the ILT component, optimize the classroom time by making sure that only critical content or learning activities are included in the ILT component. Use eLearning to provide fundamental concepts and pre-training preparation. Later get learners together into classroom learning for advanced concepts, practice and hands-on exercises.
- Check the organizational culture. If you are very enthusiastic about ILTs but your CLO is keen on moving to eLearning in a massive way, see what components cannot be met by eLearning and have a separate plan for them in your overall blended solution.
- Do not pre-select your learning delivery format without doing a thorough content, audience and task analysis. Maximize the potential of each delivery format.
- Cost is not always the best deciding criteria. Organizations are increasingly moving towards blended solutions – not in a bid to minimize costs but in a bid to provide the best possible learning solution.
- Get ready for converting most of your existing ILTs into eLearning. Your organization has a wealth of existing resources that can be utilized for your transition to eLearning. Check out a few rapid development tools such as Lectora, Adobe Presenter and Engage, and Captivate to help you convert your existing materials into eLearning. If this skill set is not available, consider hiring experts who can cut down on development time dramatically, leaving you to focus on critical components such as needs analysis and evaluation of training solutions. However a word of caution here, convert ILT into eLearning only is you see a real value addition and not for the sake of doing it. While you are designing your blended solution, you might also want to re-haul those ILT components you plan to retain.
- Long courses are likely to have more dropout rates. Go with the trend of keeping courses short. Nuggets of information are easier to handle than huge mountains of content.
- Be prepared to alter your course of action. Maybe you had decided on certain content being best delivered by a particular delivery format, but on closer study of the materials you decided it was not worthwhile. At this point don’t write it off as a wasted exercise- your learners will thank you for keeping them from an ineffective solution.
- Be realistic. You know intuitively what works with various audiences. Be realistic in your expectations from various groups. For instance, don’t expect your sales engineers to take hours of eLearning courses before they come in to attend classroom training. Knowing their preference, you might want to keep the eLearning component very short so that they can take them on their mobile phones even while travelling and then use the classroom component for advanced discussions. While we are not encouraging that you stereotype your learner groups, we do encourage you to identify core learning preferences that will in turn help you to decide on the best delivery format.
- Use assessments well. Whether you are using ILTs or eLearning, ensure that your learners are assessed at relevant points. The feedback on these assessments might just help them revisit basics that ideally should be available to them at all times. Assessments will also help them see where they stand and which bits require more focus. Their feedback to you will also prove to be valuable in further improving your learning solutions. An increasing trend especially in the case of standard trainings such as compliance trainings is to move all assessments online.
- Don’t camp around past victories. In an attempt to arrive at the right formula, we might be tempted to repeat the exact strategy we followed in the past that was successful. Do remember that your audience, content, learning goals vary, so your solution cannot be blindly applied.
Subscribe to Our eLearning Design Blogs
Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:
A Subject Matter Expert (SME) is an expert in an organization on a particular area or topic. To create good e-learning courses, inputs from SMEs are vital. To get the best out of your SME, you need to first understand him and know his role. The SME’s role is to help instructional designers (ID) understand the content. An SME is a knowledge hub looking for the best ways to transfer it, and we IDs are the people who lay the path for it. We generally face many challenges while dealing with SMEs such as variation in timelines (the major challenge), lots of changes in the content and few in the GUI, huge variations in visualization, etc., once the course gets developed. In order to overcome all these issues, and to get the best out of your SMEs, you need to follow a few steps. Let us see what they are.
Medical representatives face many problems while promoting their companies’ products to doctors. It’s a well-known fact that doctors are more knowledgeable about medicines than the pharmaceutical sales representatives. So, how can a representative gain as much knowledge as the doctor about the medicine? Well, e-learning is the best solution for this problem because it helps to impart highly effective training.
As instructional designers, we always aim to design courses that reach the target audience effectively. We would never want to hear our learners say that the course was boring. We put all our efforts to make the course interesting and engaging.
But, it is essential that these efforts are put in a right way. Engaging the learner doesn’t mean just including interactivities. It is much more than having a few clicks of interactivities.
In my last blog, 20 Must Know Acronyms of E-learning – Part 1, we have seen some acronyms that are used in the world of e-learning. In this blog, we will look at some more acronyms.
11. JIT (Just-in-Time): Just-in-time learning systems enable learners to access online learning resources at the point of need. Today, what will you do to find directions to a place or find out the movie that is playing in the theatre close to your home? You just go online for information. To employees, m-learning provides a similar facility to access information pertaining to their jobs at the click of a button.
Training enhances skills and abilities of employees to be aligned to changing business needs. It is well understood that assessments are vital components of e-learning courses. They are a medium to measure training outcomes. Assessments not only strengthen learning but also help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of a course.
It is well-known that assessments are a vital component of an e-learning course. Good assessments play an important role in enhancing the efficacy of the online course by helping evaluate the knowledge gained by the learner and reinforce the learning.
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. In order to adhere to food safety regulations, one of our clients came up with a requirement for an e-learning course.
E-learning and m-learning are powerful learning methods; both are dynamic and effective ways to teach people. So then, what are the differences between and e-learning and m-learning methods?
E-learning involves a series of modules with in-depth subject-matter while m-learning involves smaller chunks of information which can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Modules are designed differently, depending on the kind of format used to learn. M-learning breaks the barriers of time and place and provides easy access to courses. E-learning also enables learners to access information anytime, anywhere through a laptop, and a stable environment is needed for the learner to take training.
As a college student, I had an opportunity to read Wings of Fire, the autobiography of the former Indian president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The story of the “missile man” who rose to great heights from humble beginnings is truly inspiring.
The sudden demise of this eminent scientist is a great loss to the country and has saddened millions. The life of Dr. Kalam is a testimony to the fact that determination and hard work can overcome the shackles of financial and other constraints.