eLearning is technology-enabled learning and can be of two types: synchronous and asynchronous. In asynchronous eLearning, learners can learn at their own pace accessing learning material anytime anywhere.
Asynchronous, self-paced eLearning addresses the need for training to be available at the moment of need. It is consistent in the sense that it is not dependent on the individual personality of a trainer and the same standard of the content can be maintained across various locations.
It is faster to deliver through various means such as the intranet, email and so on. Especially for learners who travel frequently, such as sales people, courses can be made accessible on their PDAs and mobile phones, thus enabling learning on the go. Deploying a learning program across a wider audience across different geographical regions is quicker when using this method.
The major shortcoming of this is the high-dropout rate. As there is no physical monitoring or motivating factor, it is seen that employees tend to drop out mid-way. To be successful learners, learners need to be self-driven with very high motivation levels – which cannot be expected as a norm.
To overcome these shortcomings, a blended approach is adopted where personal instructions are interspersed with online courseware content, especially relevant when complicated product features need to be explained. If the instructor is using multimedia such as a video or online simulations, especially with respect to product features, it reduces the monotony of a classroom instruction method and makes the learning engaging and interesting.
Sales people are usually on the move and it is difficult to coordinate the schedules of multiple persons to organize classroom training. Therefore, eLearning is a viable alternative which gives the flexibility of reach and ease of access to sales people who spend more time on the field than at the desk.
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It is an accepted truth that employees are the valued resources of any organization. Organizational success depends entirely on the performance of the employees. In order to face their competitors, organizations have to ensure efficient employees who are capable of updating themselves in the continuously changing business environment. Now, companies spend lots of money to train and educate their employees. The importance of training and developing the employees’ skills is rapidly growing.
According to a report published by Docebo, eLearning revenues from Europe are likely to touch $ 8.1 billion by 2016.
Small and mid-sized businesses are finding it easy to provide technology-enabled learning to their employees at affordable prices. Moreover, online courses can be taken anywhere, anytime, and this useful feature helps overcome barriers such as availability of time and space.
Instructional design is the most significant aspect of a good eLearning course. Being an instructional designer or a learning technology professional, you need to design the course in such a way that it should assist the learner in applying what he has learnt to his work.
As we know, every organization follows a set of rules and regulations. Employees need to be trained on those rules and regulations to have a basic knowledge of their standards toward the organization and customers. And, they have a clear understanding of what they can do and what they cannot. So, organizations may not be at risk when their employees know about their legal duties.
E-learning is a cost-effective and an easy way to train employees, when compared to the traditional methods of teaching. So, most of the organizationsare using eLearning to fulfill their training needs. The healthcare industry makes extensive use of the online training medium.
Training managers put a lot of effort while rolling out an eLearning project, as it involves many complex tasks.
As an eLearning professional, I often work with many training managers and admire their managerial skills. It involves a lot of work like training needs analysis, collecting content, dealing with Subject-matter Experts (SMEs) and developing the course for the stakeholders and learners.
Every organization needs to use their resources well to meet business goals and enhance productivity. As we know, the pharmaceutical sector is highly regulated and non-compliance to applicable laws and regulatory norms could be costly. So, you have to train your employees about rules, regulations, standards and recommended guidelines to avoid mistakes.
In my last blog, we have seen how E-learning, webinars and Mobile apps can be used to impart product training. In this blog, we will look at some more methods.
E-learning is the continuous process of learning through electronic media. Instructional design is a systematic process of learning, and this learning facilitates achievement of the intended goals. Many think that instructional design is all about using technology, but this is not the case.
“A major challenge we face today, therefore, is to create a desire in people to learn; and to foster and facilitate this desire throughout their lives.”
- Bryn Holmes(Author, eLearning Concepts and Practice, 2006)