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E-Learning – What to look for in a solution


Already, you may have devoured many articles outlining what you need to implement a successful e-Learning strategy but from time to time, all solutions need reviewing to ensure it is up-to-date and still relevant for your company's business needs and more importantly for those people taking a course of learning through technology.

Pro-active organisations will always need their employees to acquire knowledge and skills to improve performance, how they get into a position whereby this requirement is obtained has to be in an organised manner. Many organisations still opt for the classroom method that if successful, is one of the best ways of delivering training. However, there is no guarantee that all seats will be taken thus increasing costs, not all employees will have attended the training, someone always manages to slip the net, either through work commitments, sickness, or a slip-up in administration.

E-Learning is being described as a vast learning community on the internet providing a rich variety of content encompassing self-study, peer-to-peer and instructor-led training. What will make any e-Learning successful is being able to provide material that keeps up-to-date with the technological changes, this will help those organisations actively using e-Learning in becoming more responsive to change.

In order to apply e-Learning strategy within any organisation you need to be able to sell the benefits, here are a few points worth considering:

  • Content should be continually state-of-the-art, a person prepared to learn will only want to know the latest information and that appropriate to their needs.
  • e-Learning systems should have continual input from experts to create an evolving knowledge base.
  • This learning material should have links to other sources of information such as software applications, libraries, newsletters, latest product releases, etc.
  • E-Learning should provide continuous learning to ensure that the employee will continue with the programme because they do actually benefit from the material they are studying.
  • Their chosen e-Learning subject does take into consideration skills that they can actively use within their role.
  • Virtual learning communities encourage relationships with others taking the same course of study.
  • Easy access to mentors on-line to encourage development and make avoid frustration when employee can not get the answer they are looking for.
  • Personalised engines and assessments create learning experiences tailored to that specific employees needs.

If you are considering evaluation various e-Learning systems, ask a series of questions to ensure that they provide what you feel you need to help towards a successful training programme.

    How will the programme:
  • keep the employee interested and motivated?
  • develop the research and exploration skills of that person?
  • provide appropriate simulations and practice opportunities?
  • target the appropriate level of information for that person?
  • provide appropriate challenges to stimulate the learner and keep them wanting to go back for more?
  • offer on-the-job performance support?
  • help the learner to identify their own training needs and requirements?
  • trigger action learning and align with workplace challenges?
  • help the learner identify what they have learnt and that they have benefitted from the experience?

Obviously there will be many more points beyond what have been listed here.

Another issue that is just as important but should not dominate the importance of e-Learning is that the IT infrastructure for supporting on-line learning is available and stable. The importance of good training is to ensure that other features that could lead to hindering the learning process, such as losing connection to the internet regularly, losing the placemark where the employee had progressed to thus meaning starting the same section again, etc, would lead to employees not completing or benefitting from this learning experience.


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