The growth of the e-learning industry has been massive in the last decade. With the evolution of communication and development technologies, e-learning has become cost effective and more accessible. The global e-learning market is worth 91 million dollars, with an anticipated 20% growth per annum. (Source)
While this is good news for all, the flipside of it is that organizations are often uncertain about which technology-aided learning to choose. Is it sufficient to create a technology-backed platform of learning and make it accessible to the learners? In most cases, it is not. A latest study by leading corporate strategists Roland Berger reveals that while e-learning is being adopted more widely than ever, technology-enabled training solutions should suit the corporate culture and strategies to derive positive business results.
We bring you some insider tips established from our experiences in creating e-learning solutions for diverse organizations.
A leading direct selling company in the country was facing the challenge of educating and training its sales personnel on their products and selling skills on an ongoing basis. Classroom training sessions were conducted, but as the business expanded, reaching out to the sales workforce spread out in different locations became an ordeal. At this juncture, they decided to complement classroom training with e-learning. But in spite of creating a robust infrastructure, the learning failed to take off. Investigating the root cause, the organization discovered that although the technology-aided solution managed to increase the reach of training, the structure of the learning platform and the course content was lacking. To make the training effective it had to be revamped.
- The first step as developers was to re-design the content to make it more palatable for the diverse learner group. Considering that many of them did not have exposure to computer-led trainings, we kept the language simple but included varied strategies to strike a chord of familiarity and ease with the learners.
- With the introduction of generic themes and real-life images, the learners were able to relate to the course content.
- With the belief that learners imbibe more when content is presented visually, textual content in the course was minimal. The courses were accompanied by an audio-voiceover which compensated for the minimalistic on-screen text. On an average, each course was 15–30 minutes long, comprising graphics, scenarios and audio.
- We also provided downloadable offline learning material along with each online learning course, encapsulating the main learning of the course. This enabled the learners to study offline, when Internet was unavailable. They were also able to take printouts for just-in-time learning re-enforcements, especially required when making sales calls.
- Taking regional diversity into consideration, the courses were also localized into regional languages to cater to learners who were not proficient in English.
- Finally, the structure of the learning platform was made simplistic and the number of clicks was drastically reduced. To increase the learners’ ease of use, we made the conscious decision to include only purposeful clicks – giving the learner more time to concentrate on the course content rather than the details of navigation.
- In addition, we also developed a small 5-minute promotional video, which gave the learner a quick recount of all the training events and workshops in the calendar year.
The resultant outcome:
More than2,50,000learnersactively started using the portal within just 2 years. The completion rate of trainings also touched a new high with 37.4% – a stupendous achievement considering the courses were taken on a voluntary basis.
- It is not enough to create a learning platform – it needs to be designed as per the requirements of the learner to be successful. With modifications in the design of the courses and the platform, we ensured ease of navigation within the course.
- Marketing the learning initiative is as important as launching it. With the promotional video, we were able to divert a lot of traffic to the learning portal.
- Changes in the course content were not phenomenal – but the introduction of themes, images, graphics and scenario-based audio Individual learning requirements stemming out of the workplace environment were also addressed – like the inclusion of downloadable resources for offline study and localized courses in regional languages. Inclusion of personalized learning options increased the impact of the entire learning platform.
There are a variety of instructional approaches that ensure a learning initiative is impactful and effective besides making good business sense. We have shared some of our experiences in this article. To know more about business-savvy ways of e-learning adoption, write to [email protected] or fill the form below.
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