Ryan, the training manager of a manufacturing firm was excited because he had obtained management buy-in to roll out e-learning to train his employees. Ryan had meticulously analyzed the training needs and was convinced e-learning could best meet these needs. He had even chalked a plan for e-learning implementation.
Being a conscientious person, he decided to check with his friend, a training manager in another organization that had a successful e-learning program. During their discussion, Ryan realized that the journey from the drawing board to the execution of e-learning is not easy and comes with its own challenges. This blog will tell you about five of these challenges and the solutions.
Challenge #1: Creating courses in a short span of time
Developing e-learning courses in a short span of time is a major challenge. With companies launching products in shorter windows, and quickly updating existing products, it becomes necessary that employees, especially sales personnel know about the products well, to sell better.
If a new machine or device is launched, service technicians need to know how to repair and handle the parts. All this means, developing courses even before products are launched and delivering to learners at a short notice.
This is possible only if the training manager has an e-learning development team on call that can develop courses as soon as a product or service is launched.
Challenge #2: Choosing and constantly updating content
Finding the right content for the course is another challenge. If the course has to engage the learner, the content has to be appealing, relevant, and interactive. More importantly, it has to meet the learning needs of employees. The right content has to be placed ‘in context’ to increase its relevance. This requires knowledge of the right instructional strategies to use in the course.
Talking about content, it will often have to be updated in e-learning courses. For instance, some courses on compliance training need to be updated when new laws come into place. This is required if employees are to be abreast of the latest changes in compliance laws.
Challenge #3: Choosing content, format, and mode of delivery to suit Gen Y workforce
With millennials expected to comprise 50% of the global workforce by 2020, the challenge for training managers is to make e-learning courses appealing to this generation. For a generation with a short attention span, that is always on the go, an e-learning course delivered on the conventional desktop will not work. They prefer information that is delivered in small bursts, which does not consume too much of their time, and can be accessible anywhere, anytime.
Challenge #4: Evaluating the effectiveness of training
A big challenge is evaluating whether the course is having the desired effect on learners. The training manager has to find out if e-learning implementation is achieving the intended goals. For this, proper evaluation methods such as formative and summative assessments have to be designed. More importantly, it is necessary to get statistics on the number of employees who have enrolled for the course, the number of employees who have stopped mid-way and completed successfully. For this, it is necessary to track learners’ progress and scores.
Challenge #5: Budget constraints
Finally, an important challenge is the budget constraints a training manager has to deal with when implementing e-learning in his organization. Building courses in-house involves having a qualified design and development team. The challenge here is to find the right people and develop courses within budget, which includes the cost of creating courses and salaries of team members.
Meeting these Challenges
As a training manager, you know that e-learning development is certainly not a cakewalk.
Having an in-house development team may be a good idea, provided they have the expertise to build and manage e-learning courses. The team has to be qualified to meet the challenges of developing courses rapidly, updating them, and designing modules that appeal to different generations of learners.
To train the millennial workforce, microlearning modules that can be delivered through mobile devices need to be created. This provides them the autonomy to access the course on any device. These short modules do not disrupt their work activities and they can access them as many times as they wish.
Outsourcing your e-learning requirements to a vendor who can deliver customized e-learning modules will solve most of your problems. When you outsource, you get instant access to a team of experts who can create courses as per your specifications, because they know the best-in-class practices and are aware of the latest technologies. Also, your internal teams will have the flexibility to focus on your core business.
Outsourcing saves you costs on manpower, operating costs, and training costs. You save on investments in technological resources required to develop your course. Time is saved because a vendor will deliver courses with a faster turnaround. Try and find a vendor who can fit your budget and also host your courses on an LMS.
Microlearning and outsourcing can therefore, be the solution to e-learning development challenges. Ryan decided to outsource his e-learning course requirements, and was more than happy with the results.