As a training manager or learning and development manager, you may have been given the responsibility of implementing eLearning across your organization. You might have experienced mixed results when it comes to the acceptance of this new method of training. Planning and administration of e-learning is different from traditional training because of the technological component involved. Not all employees may be open to the idea of a technology-based learning without any face-to-face interaction.
The Australian Flexible Learning Framework published a report in April 2009, in which it documents the valuable support that E-learning champions provide in enterprise-wide implementation of eLearning. According to the report, e-learning champions are able to communicate with a wide range of people focusing on the needs of the end user/ learner and most importantly talk their language. They are thus in a better position to convince the target group about the benefits of eLearning.
So, how do you identify an eLearning champion in your organization? Let’s look at some of the key characteristics of an eLearning champion. He or she should be:
An influential leader: eLearning champion should be an employee holding an important position within the organization and should be involved in strategy formulation and decision making within the organization, either at the top level or at the individual team level. Having such a person endorsing an eLearning initiative will encourage more number of employees to accept it.
Proactive and enthusiastic: Champions should be able to drive the organizational initiative with passion and enthusiasm. They need to be proactive and devise methods to convince their team members to accept this medium of learning.
Technologically savvy: An individual who is not tech savvy will neither understand nor appreciate the potential of an eLearning initiative. Hence, an eLearning champion should not only be aware of the learning technologies but also understand and appreciate its scope with respect to learning and development of individuals within the organization.
An opinion leader: An eLearning champion needs to exercise influence over a large group to adapt themselves to the concept of eLearning. He/ she needs to understand the inhibitions of employees and should ensure that those limitations are overcome.
Committed to the organizational goal: A champion should be in sync with the learning strategy and training goals of the organization and understand the relevance of eLearning in that context. He or she should be able to promote the vision of the organization to the employees, to seek their support and participation.
It is important for you, as an L&D manager or training manager, to identify and nurture eLearning champions within the organization who front the eLearning initiative. Once you identify the eLearning champions, you need to develop a Champion’s Program Framework that provides clear-cut roadmap to them on their roles and responsibilities aimed at wide acceptance of the e-Learning initiative.