Implementing eLearning in an organization is a lot like giving birth to a baby. When you are expecting a baby, you plan for its arrival, prepare the nursery, child proof the house and if there is already a sibling, get him involved in the process to ensure the baby is welcomed and accepted.
E-learning is like a baby for organizations that are planning to implement it for the first time. SMEs or training managers, who have been helping with current training programs, are like older siblings to eLearning who need to be roped in to ensure eLearning is welcomed and accepted by all. You also need to take stock of the preparedness of the organization to initiate eLearning.
Here are a list of questions you need to answer that will help you in the eLearning implementation process.
1. Do you have an efficient project team to supervise the eLearning implementation?
E-learning implementation involves a lot of coordination between instructional designers, multimedia developers, SMEs and other stakeholders. A good project team will be in a position to coordinate and keep track of deadlines to ensure smooth launch and implementation.
2. Do you have experienced instructional designers who can align learning requirements well with technology and web resources?
Learning content needs to be curated and presented in a way that works for the online medium. Experts in multimedia development and authoring tools may lack insights into learning design strategies, adult learning principles and learning styles. Experienced instructional designers, who also are well versed in authoring tools and learning platforms, will be able to provide a holistic perspective to eLearning.
3. How are you going to involve existing training managers, SMEs or stakeholders in the implementation process?
E-learning can be met with resistance from existing training managers. They might feel threatened that their jobs would be made redundant. Therefore, it is important for organizations to get their buy-in and explain to them that eLearning only complements and supports their efforts. They need to be made relevant even in the new context.
4. Can you define your implementation strategy?
No new initiative can be successful, if there isn’t a proper implementation strategy. If you are planning eLearning across the organization, it is better to start with a pilot project, iron out the teething problems and then scale up on a larger scale. It is also important to educate the end-users about the benefits of eLearning and the objective of the initiative. “What’s in it for me” is a normal question that employees might ask. Therefore, you need to roll out a campaign even before the launch to sensitize and educate them about the purpose of the initiative and specific benefits that are expected from it – both for employees as well as the organization.
The answers to these questions are not simple and straight forward. Neither are the answers unique and standard for all organizations. Every organization will have a unique situation and solutions need to be compiled based on the existing factors. Therefore, a careful analysis of your current situation together with the desired outcomes will enable successful eLearning implementation.