Considerations for Integrating eLearning into Your Learning Strategy
Considerations for Integrating eLearning into Your Learning Strategy
There are many benefits of having eLearning and blended learning approaches as part of your organisational learning strategy. In our discussions with potential customers, many ask if we believe you can ensure that the eLearning solution is engaging enough to deliver the results needed. At MGI, we’ve shown that eLearning can achieve very high levels of engagement and deliver excellent outcomes and business success, particularly when combined with a blended approach.
In our experience eLearning can be a very effective way to build skills that underpin even major change initiatives, especially if we mirror the planning and implementation activities that characterise more traditional in-person training programmes, and complement these with important considerations specific to digital learning. Below we outline the actions that we have found to set these programmes up for success:
The rationale for the training
Any online learning requires the learner to take a higher level of personal ownership and responsibility for starting, following through and completing the learning than when they participate in planned in-person events. Therefore, it is even more important to fully engage them in the reason for the training. When people are booked onto an in-person event you expect them to turn up and you then have them as a captive audience that you can enthuse during the opening of the event and throughout the day. With eLearning this is different. So it is critical to take the time to truly understand and communicate the reasons for everyone to engage in the learning, to take the action needed to log on and make a start.
Spending time researching what would make a compelling rationale for your learners at all levels of the organisation and then using that to engage them to take part is an important foundation to a successful programme. Putting the time in to promote the reasons for the programme, the expectations of all learners and the benefits they will gain from it either through in-person briefings, engaging launch communications or videos will all help get buy-in and the kick start needed.
Engage leaders and managers and build into management process
As with any major training initiative, senior level sponsorship and management buy-in gives a valuable momentum to the programme. Leaders completing the programme, sharing their experience, endorsing the value of the learning, for example on organisational social media and in other communication forums, and demonstrating the use of the skills learned will encourage others to focus their time on this too. Linking the completion of the learning and the use of the tools to performance appraisals and objectives reinforces this focus and recognises those who actively participate.
Promote the operational benefits of eLearning modules
Most eLearning programmes are written in manageably sized modules that can be fitted around the organisation’s operational needs. Empowering people with the ability to fit the learning into their day, around other activities, or by setting time aside for them to complete the learning can help to manage objections about not having the time to invest in training.
eLearning, when accessible on any device and on the go, can further empower participants to complete bite-sized modules in between other activities. The learning can build over time alongside the day-to-day operation.
Variety in the Learning Journey
The modular approach of eLearning lends itself to a great variety of activities to keep learners engaged and to tap into different learning styles. Our customers tell us that a video experience with a competent and engaging presenter far exceeds audio with text and graphics, static pictures and cartoon characters on screen. Having a high-quality presenter delivering the content is a real tipping point for engagement.
Interspersing video-based learning with activities and opportunities to practice the use of the tools throughout the Learning Journey has proved to be a valuable way to deepen understanding and increase adoption of the newly acquired skills.
Track progress, check knowledge and use this valuable data
In any training intervention, ensuring that participants actually learn and apply the skills taught is essential to delivering the required outcomes achieved by having those skills. eLearning programmes can be monitored and tracked very easily, and with good management buy-in and by linking achievement of the milestones in the Learning Journey, it is possible to see how well people are progressing. This valuable information means that action can be taken to maintain momentum. Using digital quizzes and knowledge checkers also enables you to collect good data as you work towards the goal of people confidently using the skills in their day-to-day roles.
Bring the learning to life
Finally, having in-person activities in groups to discuss, practise and collaborate on the learning helps to bring a social or team-based aspect to the learning. In-person, team-based, manager or coach-led activities bring the learning to life and encourage participants to discuss what they have learnt, the value it provides, raise any questions and share their experiences.
By planning carefully for a major eLearning programme with supporting in-person activities, organisations can enjoy the benefits that eLearning brings. Training can be integrated into the organisation’s operational activities in a flexible manner, costs are saved on venues and travel for in-person events, material can be regularly reviewed and progress towards your goals is tracked. The key is to orchestrate the learning so that the reasons for it resonate with participants, leaders promote and role-model it, it is made operationally manageable and is brought to life through targeted team-based activities to apply learning.
Get in touch to learn how MGI’s eLearning programmes based on the Mindset, Language & Actions Toolkit can help your teams to deliver customer service excellence.
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