eLearning has gained a lot of importance in the last few years and organizations have recognized the need to make learning available easily for employees. There are increasing attempts to supplement classroom training with online training as they are recognized as performance enablers. The easiest option for organizations to implement eLearning is to utilize some of the off-the-shelf courses available in the market. However, these decisions have to be taken after a great deal of thought because off-the-shelf courses can’t meet every training need.
Imagine an organization that invests in a huge library of catalogue courses. The training manager perhaps will send out a standard email to employees informing them of the courses available, giving them the access details. A few self-driven employees might decide to check it out but most employees might choose to ignore it. The few employees who manage to access the catalogue courses library may find themselves disoriented by the information overload and might end up being intimidated.
Only the most determined and driven employee might take the initiative and take up the courses in the virtual library. All said and done, employees have to deal with their own daily pressures and targets that they may not have the time to browse through the available courses and identify what best suits them. The result being that most employees might just not find the time for it and be fully occupied with their pressing work-related deadlines.
This cookie cutter approach to implementing eLearning may not be suitable to all organizations because every organization is different with varied training needs. Employees also differ in terms of their motivational levels, expectations and training perceptions. If learning material is designed in the organizational context, using jargon and lingo employees are familiar with is better understood and assimilated by the learners.
That said, off-the-shelf trainings may be suitable for certain standardized technical know-how (such as ISO 9001, Android OS, .NET technology and so on), but might not be viable when it comes to addressing specific needs of an organization. So how far can standard courseware be effective in training individuals in a particular organization? Please share your views and experiences.