It can be easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest trends, technology, and techniques of digital learning, and forget an important fact. ILT remains a learning staple in the business world, and it’s a great choice given the right context and constraints. But with the latest and greatest technology improving by the day, many businesses are looking to exchange their ILT for the more flexible and efficient option of eLearning.
Making the change can be intimidating, but with preparation and a solid knowledge base, you can make a smooth transition to a more modern form of learning.
What is eLearning?
eLearning is facilitated by technology and moves away from traditional classroom learning. It’s a flipped classroom that puts the learner in the driver’s seat. Done right, it can allow learners to access content—anywhere, any time.
Why make the move to eLearning?
Whether it’s delivered via an online course, an LMS, or even a mobile app, eLearning allows learners to have the flexibility of studying when and where it’s convenient for them.
While some courses (say, compliance related) need to be completed within a certain timeframe, that doesn’t mean they need to be boring and unengaging. Courses can be built to include games, interactions, visualizations, and simulations that present the same compliance training to learners, but maintain and even increase learning motivation and engagement.
Same goes for continuous learning and performance support. Why not make it accessible where and when the learner needs it most? With attentive learning design, you can create learning that’s screen-flexible, allowing you to move from your work desktop to a personal phone without missing a question. This lets you access the learning you need at the time that works best.
Another important reason to shift to eLearning involves data and analytics. You can measure comprehension and retention later on, as well as track assessment scores and practical knowledge. This gives you the ability to tailor eLearning to your learners’ strengths and weaknesses.
As technology changes, the landscape of corporate learning keeps rapidly shifting towards eLearning. So, if you’re looking to make the move, where do you start?
Where to get started
1. Take stock of your current learning
What learning is being used in your ILT? Take an ILT inventory and find all the materials currently in use. This could be PowerPoints, handouts, or actual books. Study the material and get a good grasp on what learning is currently being used, who’s using it, how people are using it, and the duration of time it’s effective.
If possible, talk to the instructors and see how they present the material. Sit in on a class and study how the learners engage with the material (and instructors). Talk to your learners about possible pain points or trouble areas. Where is information missing? Is there anything confusing about the material?
When you begin evaluating all the content, this knowledge gives you a clear perspective on whether to keep moving forward during evaluation.
2. Evaluate your learning material for relevance
Is the learning material your gathered still relevant and in use today? Just because you still have it, doesn’t mean it’s the appropriate material for learners to use moving forward. You can also check to make sure the material is taught consistently from location to location (if you’re part of a larger company).
During this evaluation phase, you’ll also want to explore what learning format best fits both the learning content and the needs of your team. Common formats include interactive eLearning courses, video, and games.
Today, most eLearning courses involve mixed media, which includes text, animated interactions, branching scenarios, videos, and assessments—all organized to maximize learning engagement.
3. Prepare for a learning overhaul or find a learning partner
Restructuring your learning content from ILT to eLearning isn’t as simple as copy-paste (as nice as that would be!). Getting a good instructional designer and fantastic graphic designer are critical steps toward making a smooth change from one learning format to another.
If you’re looking for a hand in the eLearning, look for an experienced partner who eats, sleeps, and breathes eLearning and technology. It’s even better if they have a media and software team on hand—this eliminates outsourcing and helps your learning project move forward quickly and efficiently
4. Transfer your learning to your partner
If your learning evaluation’s gone well, this part should go smoothly and be out of your direct hands. At this point, your instructional designer or learning partner will have all of the necessary information to start converting your ILT into fantastic and engaging eLearning.
Your learning partner should keep you up to date with progress every step of the way, and if they follow an agile design strategy, you’ll have the ability to review the work every step of the way.
5. Set up learning analytics
Before you launch your new learning, make sure to make your admins happy with detailed and useful analytics. This should be simple and easy to use—just like your new learning. The information gathered should indicate what changes (if any) need to be made to the content, how your learners are progressing through the content, and if you see a solid return on your investment.
Often, if you want to convince your boss to update more learning in the future, your analytics will be your superpower.
What’s best for your organization?
Seem like a lot to digest? Don’t worry about it. Lots of companies are in the same boat, and it’s all about figuring out what’s right for you and your people. The learning format that your business chooses might not be right for someone else—that’s why the evaluation phase is the most important step.
Take the time to do your learning right, put your learners first, and make sure your content is aligned with your goals. If you do this, the results will be sure to surprise you.
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