What makes it so difficult to decide the best way to develop your people – at all levels of the organization? With the advent of quality eLearning products, traditional instructor-led classes, and blended learning that uses both, we get a multitude of questions from our clients. Some of the most common include:
- What really works (and doesn’t) when you use e-learning?
- What is the right balance of instructor-led vs. elearning options or when do you combine your approach?
- How would we manage/organize/track virtual learning in our organization?
While the answers vary depending on the level of learning needed: front line staff, supervisors and managers, or senior leaders), goals for development, and resources of the client, some common themes have emerged. Bridgewater Group’s “Top 5” list for virtual learning includes:
1) Start with a definition of what you/your organization means by “e-learning,” based on what you need.
2) Avoid the PowerPoint/”talking head” version of virtual learning – it’s often slow and boring. Look for e-learning that incorporates video or animation and allows the learner to navigate through the content. For more ideas about what to look for, check out this post:
3) Be careful of length – most experts say e-learning should not last longer than 30 minutes at a sitting, and m-learning should be even shorter. The best m-learning modules we’ve seen are five minutes plus or minus and visually (usually video) based.
4) Work with an internal or external training professional to create a blended solution, incorporating the collaboration and customization of a “live” interaction (which can still happen virtually) with the information and flexibility of an online component.
5) Carefully consider your needs and resources before selecting an LMS (Learning Management System) for the organization. We regularly hear from HR and Training managers that the system they have does not have features they need or is sorely underutilized.
While we see many of these issues with our clients first-hand, we also highly recommend this overall view of the virtual learning landscape from certifyme.net: http://www.certifyme.net/osha-blog/elearning-statistics-2013/
Good luck with your e-learning initiatives, and let Bridgewater Group know if we can help!