Why do we sometimes find ourselves in situations where we feel inferior to others? The answer has something to do with our self-limiting belief. Self-limiting belief is something which restricts our capabilities and shows us an inferior image of our self which we are sometimes conscious of and sometimes not. These false beliefs become barriers in our progress and development. In reality, we can actually do a lot of things through sheer determination and strong will power. However, these limiting thoughts in our mind affect our perception of the world outside.
E-Learning, as with any other change initiative, comes with its share of challenges and it requires a great deal of thought to devise a cohesive strategy that addresses all parts of the challenge. While there is no magic formula, we can overcome most challenges relatively painlessly by adopting a few best practices that successful organizations the world over have used to in readiness of their implementation of e-learning. A few of these are outlined here.
We’ve seen eLearning swing from one extreme to another – from the initial text-based, page turner style of courses, with little or no interactivity to eLearning materials that had bells and whistles on every page. Some have termed this the ‘Las Vegas’ style of eLearning – flashy, clever images, animated graphics and text that actually do little to aid learning. The result being that learners come away from the learning experience remembering nothing more than the Sci-Fi effects or fancy interactive gimmicks. Most professionals would agree that while learner engagement has been an ongoing challenge in eLearning, sacrificing sound instruction on the altar of meaningless glitz and glamour has proved to be counter-productive in the long run.
Ask any training professional about his/her definition of success with any training program and in most cases the answer would be that ‘learners liked the training’. This statement would be backed by decent-enough customer satisfaction scores in the evaluations routinely conducted at the end of any training program. It’s great when learners like the learning program. But most times, the glow from the training usually lasts only for a few days before hard reality sets in. Learners who go back really charged about what they learnt get caught in the everyday grind and that new learning gets pushed onto the back burner. Sometimes, managers don’t ask where the impact is either – they are usually so relieved that their resource is now back on the job that they don’t care either way about long-term payoffs.
In an ideal world, learning strategists and practitioners sold on eLearning would effortlessly decide on the kinds of exciting courses learners in their organization required and immediately get a generous budget sanctioned from executive management (without having to turn cartwheels to sell the idea of online training). They’d then spend an enjoyable time shopping for vendors for design and development before zeroing in on the perfect eLearning provider. Or if they had the talent in-house, they’d build that dream eLearning solution, without any glitches whatsoever.
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.