Asynchronous versus synchronous eLearning: While the words may make your brain hurt trying to figure out what they mean, they are words worth knowing and understanding if you’re an educator or eLearning provider.
Despite its share of skeptics and at times somewhat outlandish expectations, eLearning has managed to deliver the goods since its grand entry onto the corporate learning landscape. Opinions swung in extreme directions initially, but with the state of eLearning maturing and reaching stability, even the most hardened critic may be forced to admit that there are multiple benefits to implementing eLearning. Let’s explore a few of these.
Conventionally, mentorship refers to a relationship between a mentor and a protege for personal development of the latter using the former’s experience and knowledge. “Taking under the wing” is a phrase that aptly describes mentorship. Mentoring in itself is a process where in there is an informal exchange of ideas, communication about experiences, wisdom, social knowledge, psychological support and guidance from the more experienced mentor to the lesser experienced mentee.
So you’re thinking of implementing eLearning… welcome to an exciting, sometimes bewildering world of impressive options!
The first question we need to ask ourselves is – why do we want to deploy eLearning? We then need to ensure that we capture our answers accurately. eLearning, as with other forms of training, needs to meet certain needs, and this in turn needs to have some impact on the business for the better. But where does one begin? Sometimes the training department is flooded with an overwhelming number of requests for training – which the organization may or may not be able to have a budget for. How does one decide what is important and pressing and has maximum business impact? If the answers to these questions are not clearly defined, there is a danger of getting carried away with the plethora of eLearning courses being offered as ‘easy’ solutions to your training problem. Without thinking through the strategic alignment of our eLearning with the key business requirements, we end up shopping for courses that are at best ‘nice-to-have’ and are nowhere near the ‘critical-to-business’ category.
To understand workforce ‘engagement’ better, it will help to know about ‘disengagement’. Disengagement can be best explained by the mere physical presence of the employee at work while leaving his most valuable part – his real heart and soul – elsewhere. While a disengaged workforce can play havoc with an organization’s productivity, profitability and the workplace atmosphere, a totally focused and engaged workforce can create wonders.
In a world increasingly driven by hard business results, organizations have never been more focused on making every dollar count. Most so when it comes to training. With eLearning forming a sizeable chunk of the training spend, it is not surprising that its value and viability is under the microscope like never before.
After the huge success of the 2010 eLearning webinars, CommLab India is back with its next webinar series 2011. Eight webinars covering the complete eLearning strategy from eLearning planning to development to implementation and evaluation.
Life is akin to a tight rope walk for most of us. It’s always about balance, about maintaining the right gait, posture and speed to reach where you need to, at the time you think you should and in the best possible shape. This applies to the two most important spheres of our lives – work and personal. But this balancing act takes a toll on us at the end of the day and we tend to veer one way or the other. We must aim for consistency. It may take a few years to realize what that is and a few more to achieve it and the rest of the time may be consumed in maintaining it. Nevertheless, the balance is something so beautiful that at the end of the struggle, you still think it was all worth it!
When you are considering developing a training program for your employees, you would primarily focus on designing a training program that would impart the desired skills to your employees. Your primary focus would be on the ‘what to teach’ aspect of it. And you may overlook the other crucial aspect, i.e., ‘how to teach’. However, you need to respect the fact that a single pedagogical strategy cannot cater to the needs of all learners. You need to devise a multi-pronged instructional strategy to suit your learners’ learning styles and preferences. In short, if you want your training program to be effective, you need to recognize the different types of learners.
Evaluating training effectiveness is important because it sheds light on four aspects. They include:
- How well the training program met the learner’s needs and objectives
- What knowledge and skills it has imparted to learners
- What desirable change it has brought in the learners’ performance
- What organizational benefits it has yielded