With eLearning taking center stage as one of the hottest tech trends in business, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement. But eLearning isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and there’s still a time and place for ILT (instructor-led training). 

That said, eLearning does have quite a bit to offer to organizations interested in a more flexible, efficient way to train. So, when is eLearning the right solution—and how do you move existing ILT to a digital format? ​

Moving from ILT to eLearning is a commitment, but with the right strategy and preparation, a successful transition is possible. Here’s your guide to getting started with eLearning.

The case for eLearning

First, let’s start with the basics: what is eLearning? eLearning is technology-based training that replaces or supplements traditional classroom learning. Instead of instructor-led training, eLearning puts the learner in the driver’s seat to learn when and where they want. 

eLearning offers plenty of benefits for organizations, particularly in the following three areas:

Flexibility

eLearning gives learners the flexibility to study when and where it’s convenient for them. Because there are multiple formats available, learners can access content from an LMS, a mobile app, or an online course on desktop. While ILT is usually constrained by time and space, eLearning has seemingly endless accessibility.

That’s not to say you can’t deliver time-constrained content via eLearning. Compliance training and other required learning is often more engaging in digital format. You can motivate learners and boost engagement by delivering otherwise monotonous information through games, interactions, visualizations, and simulations that are more memorable for learners.  

Design

The design of eLearning is part of what makes it such a flexible format for learners. Attentive learning design makes it so that courses are screen-flexible, which means that learners can move from a work desktop to a personal phone without missing a beat

Likewise, eLearning is designed to provide continuous learning and performance support. When you have material that you want learners to be able to access when and where they need it, eLearning is usually the right fit. 

Analytics

How are you measuring comprehension and retention for ILT? eLearning offers in-depth data and analytics for assessing knowledge and evaluating training effectiveness. Digital learning also offers more opportunity to administer assessments, track scores, and keep tabs on learning progress. With a deeper understanding of individual strengths and weaknesses from that data, you can identify gaps and deliver highly-targeted training.

Ready to start shifting some of your ILT to eLearning? Here’s what you should know about getting started with eLearning.

5 steps for getting started with eLearning

1. Inventory your ILT

The first step to get started with eLearning is auditing your current learning material. Conduct an inventory of your materials and pull in everything currently being used. We’re talking PowerPoints, workbooks, pdfs, handouts, and reading material. 

Review those materials to fully understand what learning is being used, who’s using it, and how people are using it. You should also consider how long different materials are relevant and for what duration they’re being used. By the end of your audit, you’ll have a better grasp on the current landscape of your training material.

2. Evaluate learning content

Once you have an idea of the training content that exists, start evaluating if it’s working. We know this isn’t as easy as writing that previous sentence, so lean on your instructors and trainers for support. After all, they know the material best and can share valuable information about how they present and deliver material. Consider attending a class to see how the training plays out in real time. Have a conversation with current learners to find out what’s working and what’s not. 

It’s also important to consider if all of your current learning material is still relevant. Is the information up-to-date? Is it being taught consistently across your organization? Is there a better way to deliver it? 

This is a time to explore the different learning formats that are possible with eLearning. What would happen if you reimagined existing content into an interactive course, a short video, or a game? There are all kinds of ways to engage learners today—like text, animated interactions, branching scenarios, videos, and assessments—and research suggests that eLearning is a more effective, engaging way to learn

3. Find an eLearning partner

Feeling overwhelmed by the vast possibilities of the digital frontier? You’re not alone! While the transition to eLearning is exciting, it’s also a complex undertaking. That’s why many organizations turn to an eLearning partner to lead the restructuring of learning content to get started with eLearning.

Successfully switching learning formats requires, at a minimum, a fantastic graphic designer and a top-notch instructional designer. Depending on the complexity of your project, you might also decide to engage a team that has media and software professionals on hand. Basically, look for an experienced partner who eats, sleeps, and breathes eLearning and technology. In the end, it’ll cut down on costly outsourcing and lead to a smoother, more seamless transition.

4. Overhaul your learning program

Good news: if you’ve made it this far, you’ve likely passed the baton into the hands of highly-qualified professionals. At this point, they’ll take the information you gathered during the audit and evaluation to overhaul your learning program. 

But your job is not over yet—your learning partners should be updating you regularly and soliciting feedback. Many developers follow an agile design strategy, which allows you to track progress and provide feedback on a daily basis. Now that’s true partnership.

5. Incorporate learning analytics

Remember those eLearning analytics we mentioned earlier? Before your learning overhaul is complete, make sure you set up a detailed, user-friendly analytics system. Think about what kind of data will be most useful to your admins and the easiest system for them to access it. Some of the most useful eLearning analytics are around learner engagement, long-term retention, and individual progress. Plus, analytics are often your most effective tool in convincing higher-ups that you need more learning updates in the future—you can’t argue with cold, hard facts.

Updating your learning is a lot of hard work, but the returns are impressive. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task, get in touch with a learning partner and find out how they can help. It’s all about figuring out what’s right for you and your people, and often, it takes a village. But if you follow the five steps we’ve covered here and maintain a learner-centric attitude, you’re bound to get great results.

Don’t you want great eLearning experiences, too?

We can be your partner to help you transition from ILT to eLearning.

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