Implementing eLearning, in your organization for the first time, can be a daunting task.
Here are some tips that may help you when introducing eLearning in your organization.
Identify your business drivers
Learning professionals today agree that learning in organizations should address “business need” and NOT “training need”. In this context, if you are introducing eLearning in your organization, you need to first understand the business need that eLearning is going to address. Rope in all stakeholders to come to a consensus about key business drivers, which eLearning needs to address.
Freeze the technology you wish to use
The next most important action is to freeze “technology” used for deploying eLearning. There are two options available – Asynchronous and Synchronous.
- Asynchronous eLearning is self-paced learning in the form of online courses, usually developed using tools such as Flash, HTML and Authoring Tools, such as Articulate, Captivate etc.
- Synchronous learning is used when all participants are interacting with the instructor at the same time; through video conferencing, instant messaging, webinars, whiteboards or chat. Tools such as Adobe Connect or Dim Dim can be used for synchronous learning.
- Ideally, you should choose the type of e-Learning based on the needs of the organization and the learner. In most cases, a judicious blend is the best option.
You may also wish to use a technological platform, to manage your learning through a Learning Management System (LMS). The LMS can host all types of courses –asynchronous and synchronous, ready-to-use, custom courseware, and recorded virtual lectures and so on. It can help provide an integrated learning experience, by combining online and instructor led trainings. The learners, can access these courses via unique username and password.
Decide on the content type that matches your needs
The next aspect to take into account is the content. Based on the deployment option you choose, you can decide if you want to develop this content in-house, or outsource it to content development vendors. Alternatively, while examining the existing ILT materials, you might want to see, which of the courses are best suited for a blended learning approach and proceed accordingly.
Nurture an eLearning champion to support your initiative
Develop an eLearning champion at the senior management level, who will spearhead the cause and propel key decisions. This champion will not only give you the management perspective about short term and long term goals of the organization, but he/she will also be able to advocate your cause to management.
Pilot-test before implementing across the organization
Instead of implementing across the organization, pilot-test the project in one single department where perhaps, there is an immediate learning need. Implement eLearning focusing on addressing the learning need and document the results. Success in one department will create positive reactions elsewhere, in the organization, earning valuable grassroots support for your initiative.
The ultimate goal of any e-learning initiative is to improve organizational performance, by improving the knowledge and skills of employees. Therefore, in order to ensure its success, you need to tailor the program to meet organizational business goals using relevant technology and content format. The support and buy-in of all key stakeholders is of paramount importance.