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James Smith

Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Training Officer

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Marketing e-learning internally – inspiration required


Hi folks,

Looking for some inspiration/hints/tips/stories around marketing e-learning internally in organisations. Both at the higher level of general e-learning and specific initiatives around specific e-learning interventions.

I want desperately to get away from 'push' (The ''Why won't people engage with our fantastically sophisticated, witty and clever e-learning solutions model) to more 'pull' from our staff. I am also really wanting to promote Just In Time and Informal learning.

My organisation is 11,000 strong (and reducing quickly!), public sector and firmly entrenched in a "learning means a trainer-led day out at the learning Centre with a nice lunch" mentality.

Look forward to hearing from you all.

9 Responses

  1. Subject areas?
    Hi James

    You didn’t mention the subject areas you are interested in?

  2. Not that specific

    …really. But if it gets the juices going how about a range of packages to support staff through the massive restructure/downsizing/axe wielding we could well be facing very shortly?

  3. Blimey
    “massive restructure/downsizing/axe wielding we could well be facing very shortly?”

    I am guessing that if I was faced with the above the last thing I would want to be doing is e learning!

    I would explore Communities of Practice and Mobile Learning (for inspirational / motivational messages that will be needed I am guessing!). SkillPill are very good for mobile and your IT should be abale to help you with a site you could use to set up communities. (I run 4 Communities so happy to help if I can)

    A Mentoring Scheme would also help and this is easily “bought in” if you don’t have specialists within your organisation.



  4. Give Them A Reward


    As crazy as it sounds, we found that when there was a "certificate of completion" offered for the various tracks more people went through and completed these on their own. Participation in using e-learning increased, when someone in one of the offices completed a track and received a certificate, all the sudden everyone else in the office was going through and completing the same track. 

    Now by no means am I saying this is the right reason for them to go through the various tracks, however, people love having certificates on their walls showing their accomplishments. 




  5. tiny tips



    Alchemy send out a weekly management tip to all subscribers: this isn’t hugely sophisticated, so it is a minute read at most for receipients.  It may be a "did you know" or a little parable or event a question that then links to the relevant topic (  isn’t pure elearning, it is a "management toolkit"). 

    This historically produces a flurry of visits to the site by registered people, many of whom go through the whole section of the relevant topic.

    You could use this approach for specific initiatives as well as general usage.


    I hope this helps


  6. Embedding E-learning into the Mindset of the Organisation

    I’ve never really been a fan of "marketing" e-learning internally, as with so many different types of learner, with different needs and aspirations, it’s always going to be a hard slog and marketing campaigns take up a lot of resource time.

    Instead, I’ve always favoured a steady approach to embedding e-learning resources into the mindset of the organisation.

    If you haven’t already started to blended e-learning with other methods, then now is a good time to start.  But don’t just add one or two modules to an existing programme – your audience will see straight through this.  Instead, project-by-project, redesign these programmes to create meaningful blends.

    Also look for opportunities to link specific courses to things that are going on in your organisation.  If you have an intranet, have links put on specific pages, where you offer useful related content.  I spot things I can relate to one or more e-learning courses almost on a daily basis.

    Whenever you get training requests, first of all consider, whether the enquirer could get cracking straightaway with an e-learning module, while you search out a face-to-face course or they are waiting for the next time a certain programme is run.  If you’re feeling brave, insist they try the e-learning course first, then come back to you with a list of the specific things they still have gaps in.

    Do also take a long and hard look at your e-learning portfolio.  If there are modules that never get used – and don’t appear to fit with your oranisation and its everyday needs, consider de-activating them.  I’ve found that the more focused the portfolio, the less daunting content selection will be.  And if it looks relevant, people will not be so quick to dismiss it.  If you find you have content that overlaps or even duplicates, then try to remove any possible sources of confusion.  Learners get quickly frustrated if, when faced with unclear choices, they make the wrong initial selection.


  7. Re-designing offerings
    Hi James. We’re in the middle of re-designing our management procedural offerings and have built the face to face training to complement e-learning. E.g. Managing Sickness Absence is an e-module with procedural and process input. This is supported by a half day around skills of the manager in this situation. It’ll take an age to ’embed’; it will, however, raise awareness of the elearning.

  8. some ideas

    Based on my experience implementing elearning in organisations in Australia, here are some thoughts:

    • promote the benefits of the courses on offer, rather than the fact that they are offered via elearning. One most successful implementation launched a series of new training resources, with the fact that they were elearning almost an aside. The benefits of the course offerings drew people to try elearning
    • consider the issue of ‘trialability’ – how easy is it for your staff to give elearning a try? Remove barriers such as a complicated request/enrolment process; courses which feed back assessment results; and use of course completion statistics as a measurement of elearning effectiveness
    • make sure that your training team is supportive – you can’t assume this to be the case. If the training team is not happy to use and promote elearning, this will influence other stakeholders
    • make sure your course offerings are relevant to the jobs performed by your target audience – if they can’t make the link between the course and their own job role they won’t be motivated to give elearning a try. Consider designing a course tailored to a particular organisational group and use the results of that course to promote elearning effectiveness to others
    • make sure elearning is well designed – to be engaging and to deliver the promised learning outcomes. One bad experience with a dull, badly designed course will negate all of your marketing efforts.
  9. Lots of great advice!

    Wow thats a lot of brilliant tips there.

    If I may add a few…

    • Get volunteers to form a Pilot Group so you can test out the courses and management system before rolling out to the full organisation. Get a good cross section of staff with different seniority levels and competencies.
    1. This will iron out any creases in your system and/or courses
    2. Will help with ‘word of mouth’ advertising within the organisation
    3. Will provide feedback on e-learning for you to adapt your roll out with.
    • It is a great idea to ask for volunteers to become advocates for e-learning, we call these e-champions but you could call them anything! E-Champions will have to have completed the relevant e-learning courses and know how the system works enough to answer learner questions. The role of an e-champion is to:
    1. Provide support and encouragement to learners
    2. Allow learners in remote locations to have face to face support without the need to travel
    3. Be involved with small administrative tasks to take the weight off of training professionals.
    • Brand the e-learning training so it becomes a recognisable ‘brand’ within your company.
    • Talk about e-learning in subsequent face-to-face induction programmes for new staff so it is ingrained from the outset.
    • Run a series of face-to-face sessions where staff can come and try e-learning in a supported environment.
    • Organise your roll-out. If possible try and induct small sections of your organisation at a time. This will make administration easier and will also mean that any problems or hitches will be constrained to a smaller group of learners.
    • Have a dedicated helpdesk. An email address or a number that can be phoned for technical support to do with e-learning. If a learner has a technical problem that doesn’t get resolved, they are less likely to continue with e-learning as a form of training.
    • As someone has already mentioned, competitions are always popular, first five learners to finish all assigned courses could win £20 M&S voucher or similar.

    The main thing is for all stakeholders to understand what e-learning entails to be comfortable and enthusiastic about it. If the Managers aren’t enthused then the rest of the workforce is unlikely to be either. Setting up a bit of departmental competition is always a good idea!

    Hope these tips were helpful!

    — Housing e-Academy – Please visit our blog

    Driving the Adoption of e-learning within the Housing Sector.

    Please visit

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James Smith

Training Officer

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