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Challenges and Solutions in E-learning Implementation – Part 1

Large organizations turn to e-learning to train their employees, considering the advantages it offers over conventional training methods. Training managers however, are aware that implementing e-learning comes with its own set of challenges.

This blog presents some of the typical challenges faced by large organizations and how best they can be overcome.

Managing Employee Resistance

Large organizations do not realize that e-learning implementation means making changes in the way training is delivered.

  1. Trainers have to change their method of instruction
    • They need to think from the perspective of teaching the invisible learner
  2. Developers have to learn how to use new tools
  3. Managers have to learn new ways to manage
  4. Employees will have to think about learning differently
    • They will not be attending physical classes, but learning at their desks, even during non-work hours

Obviously, these changes are bound to be met with resistance. How does one deal with it?

  1. Make everyone involved understand the importance of e-learning
  2. Tell them why it is being introduced and emphasize their role
  3. Mentally prepare learners to accept the changes e-learning will bring to their training – self-paced learning, collaborative or group learning experiences, the lack of an instructor, etc.
  4. Ensure employees are technologically equipped to use this training methodology
  5. Provide training, if required
  6. When hiring, look for candidates with these skills

Employees should be given opportunities to voice their concerns, and solve their queries regarding the new training initiatives. Management must provide employees feedback forms and conduct surveys to gauge their reactions. These should be reviewed and responded to, in order to mitigate employee resistance. This information can also be used to modify the implementation plan and alter training programs for the future.

Choosing the Right Topic

In the zeal to implement e-learning, organizations make the mistake of converting all their training topics into e-learning, without analyzing whether it will work. When the training does not meet its objectives, they scramble to the drawing board again.

Ideally, in large organizations, training areas must be aligned with their strategic goals such as the long-term growth of the organization, reducing employee turnover, reducing risks, or improving employee skills.

E-learning topics that are aligned with these strategic goals include:

  • Product training
  • Compliance/ethics training
  • Safety training
  • Software training
  • Diversity training
  • Soft skills training

When choosing a topic, ensure it is suitable for an e-learning approach and check whether the training is skill-based or topic-based. You can decide the suitability, based on the answers.

The point is to choose the correct topic, based on your organization’s goals and your understanding of employees’ training needs, if e-learning has to have the right impact.

Sourcing Content

After deciding to implement e-learning, large organizations are unsure of where to source content for their courses. You may have content such as training manuals, PPTs, ILT training materials, etc. However, you may not know how to classify them or how best they can be converted for e-learning purposes. The content you choose for your courses must meet your learning objectives, appeal to different learning styles, and meet learner expectations.

You should understand there are two types of content for e-learning courses – generic and specific. Generic content usually comprises topics such as compliance training, while specific content is related to your business. Divide your training topics into these categories to help you decide how to source content. The content, while being of high quality, must be suitable for your learners and fit your delivery infrastructure.

Generic content can be purchased from vendors who provide off-the-shelf courses on such topics. This will be more cost-effective than creating your own content. Content for specific courses can either be created in-house or outsourced to a custom e-learning solutions provider.

These are some challenges you might encounter while implementing e-learning in your organization. I will be back with some more challenges in my next post.

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