Monday, September 2, 2013

How do you get started with e-learning?

So, you want to get into eLearning? It's important to decide on your strategy. What approach are you going to take?
  • Self-paced modules?
  • Virtual Classrooms/Webinars? or
  • Online facilitation via a Learning Content Management System?
Don't try and roll out all of them together choose one and then start with a little bit at a time. Let people get use to a little bit at a time as opposed to overwhelming them with all sorts of possibilities. That's also a huge advantage for you, otherwise you may find yourself overwhelmed with trying to keep up and develop consistent, engaging and beneficial e-learning. Advisable to start with one of your second tier products or service, not your main one. By choosing a 2nd tier product/service, you are still getting to play in the e-learning space, and you aren’t jeopardising your 1st tier products of services until you have effectively ‘practiced’. When the time comes to look at your top tier products/services you will know what works and what doesn’t. Whatever you decide, get a small group of your top performing people leaders. Get them involved in evaluating the delivery you choose. This will assist in getting their buy in. Once you have converted them, they will become the advocates for you and promote the delivery method. Is e-learning the answer to life the universe and everything? (I thought the answer was 42…) The answer is... NO! (sorry that was a little loud) Sometimes face to face delivery is the better option. In my experience, most e-learning is better as part of a blended delivery. The delivery is broken into some e-learning components and some instructor led face to face sessions. It depends on:
  • The learner
  • The content
  • The outcome (where do you want to be at the other end?)
So how do we decide what should remain face to face, and what should be converted? Learning & Development activity can be generally broken down into giving participants Knowledge and Skills about something. As a general rule of thumb the knowledge component is ideal for e-learning (background information, theories, legislation etc). The skills component, may be better suited to face to face and/or performance support e.g. coaching. The application of the knowledge on the job) For example a blended delivery surrounding a counseling course: The theories, history and models of counseling, the knowledge components, are delivered via a self-guided e-learning module. The participants then meet in a face to face session and apply the various models etc via role plays or coaching. OK. You’ve worked out your strategy. You’ve selected your product or service you would like to develop your e-learning around. You’ve got a heap of PowerPoint decks from your existing face to face modules. So do we just throw them up on the intranet and tell people to help themselves? Not quite. There are a few more things that need to be considered before you open for business. Check out my next blog post on ‘Transforming your content into an experience’ soon.

Note: This blog has been posted by Raptivity Marketing Team on behalf of Matt Blackstock. 

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Matt Blackstock is a husband, dad, consultant, learning & development specialist and self-confessed geek. He prefers laughing while learning, not taking himself too seriously and promoting learning as a fundamental understanding of the ‘whys’ as opposed to “do these three steps” or “remember these five tips”. LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattblackstock Twitter - @mattybee https://twitter.com/mattybee Blog http://blog.virtuallore.net.au/