5 Top Tips - How to Begin to Use E-learning to Train Your Team
Companies that want to begin to use e-learning for staff training face a bewildering array of jargon, different systems and new technology - the path to a great solution that delivers both high quality training and a clear return on your investment may not be obvious.
Here are some tips to help you find your way:
- Get familiar with the jargon - learning management systems, SCORM, mobile learning etc. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes and the key bit is to understand that in most systems there’s a separation between the e-learning content and the back-end system that does the tracking. That means you can buy a learning management system from one vendor and e-learning content from another - the two should work together. SCORM is just a well established specification that describes how learning management systems and e-learning content should exchange progress information.
- Avoid Moodle and look for a lightweight commercial learning management system instead. Moodle might be free to download but you’ve still got to invest time and money into installing and running it. Moodle’s background is education - it’s better suited to that world - and there are now more hosted (software as a service) commercial solutions available that are a much better fit for the corporate world.
- Start with off-the-shelf e-learning content but try to avoid hours of very generic, dated content. Less is always better. Content also dates quickly - particularly if it uses video - so buy e-learning content from a supplier that keeps its catalogue current. Some e-learning courses - Health & Safety for example - are inexpensive but the content may be out of date and poor from a user experience point of view.
- Organise learning into bite-sized chunks. Ten minutes of learning at a time is reasonable, anything more is going to be hard work for most busy staff. Seek out honest feedback from staff who’ve tried the e-learning - you need to know if the content motivates them - and then begin to improve things.
- Take a slightly longer view and think about how you could create more bespoke content. Find a local e-learning content developer and find out what it would cost to create some bespoke content. A freelancer will be much more affordable than an established e-learning company and you can help keep the costs down by doing a lot of the writing/content design. Tailored content that is current, has your company brand and uses examples from your business will have a greater impact than off-the-shelf generic content.
The secret is to keep things simple in the beginning - roll out a small course to single team. Get some feedback, improve and then widen the roll out to more staff.