How to Get Your People on Board with eLearning
eLearning has been around for some time, yet, for some organizations, it's a new way of delivering training. How do you get your entire team on board with eLearning? How do you motivate learners to adopt new learning initiatives?
There are many reasons why organizations choose to convert instructor-led training to an online course, including flexibility, accessibility and cost effectiveness. In fact, some estimate that eLearning could be as much as 50% less expensive than traditional training.
eLearning works and it will be around for a long time to come. Eventually, as a younger and more computer-literate workforce becomes the norm, the issue of getting people on board with eLearning will be a non-issue. But, for the time being, there will always be some that need to be convinced.
Switching from conventional, classroom delivery to online delivery means change. Getting people on board with eLearning might be a change management issue, it might be a marketing job, or, it might be a bit of both. Your job is to dig in, do some research, find out what you are up against and create a strategy.
In this article, we will briefly introduce change management and provide some tips to get your entire team on board with eLearning.
What is change management?
Resistance to change can also be a matter of corporate culture, where something such as training has been done a certain way for so many years that the learning audience will not accept anything else. In both cases, the change has to be carefully managed. You can learn more about change management by reading these articles:
- Choosing Strategies for Change by Harvard Business Review
- Communicating Change in the Workplace by Knoll
- Kotter's 8-step Change Model by Mindtools
But, getting learners involved and creating enthusiasm for eLearning also involves enhanced content and promotion. Here are some strategies that will help get your people on board with eLearning.
1. Enhance your content
There is no point in replicating classroom material for eLearning - you may as well stick to facilitated sessions. eLearning allows you to do more with your content. Use your imagination and think big picture! Here are some other ways that you can enhance your content:
- Use animation to explain learning points.
- Add video to tell your stories.
- Include fact-based case studies or scenarios to illustrate the importance of lessons.
- Include forums where learners can exchange ideas on how to apply what they've learned.
- Use gamification -- create games that reinforce learning points.
- Use open badges as rewards and acknowledgements of achievements.
2. Promote eLearning
Getting your people on board with eLearning will take some salesmanship. Promote your eLearning product just as you would any other product. Sell it to the people!
First, you'll have to explain the benefits of eLearning. Tell them about individualized learning paths. Point out the advantages of mobile learning and how they will be able to learn when and where they want to. Let them know that they will be able to review the content at any time.
You may need to hold information sessions or circulate emails introducing eLearning and how it works. But, in the long run, the more your learners know about eLearning, the more willing they will be to get on board with it.
3. Hold Sample Sessions
Showing learners how eLearning works may be necessary, especially for those who are not as computer-savvy as others.
These sessions can be done in small groups where everyone has computer access. Walk them through a sample module, explaining how the navigation works and let them experiment on their own. Remember, we all learn from our mistakes.
4. Explain that Learner Support is Available
Assure your learners that support is available. It may be in the form of online tutoring. You may have a help desk available. The eLearning platform may include a Help function. Or, you may use a combination of these supports.
Make sure that your trainers and your IT staff are familiar with the eLearning platform and content navigation so that they can offer the help learners need.
5. Share Learner Feedback
While you might want to have glowing reviews from successful learners, it may not be the best way to promote your eLearning.
Learners want to know what they are getting into. Use:
- Surveys and questionnaires to find out what learners think of the eLearning and what their online learning experience was like.
- Positive feedback to help promote your eLearning.
- Neutral and negative feedback to look for opportunities to improve your online product.
6. Use the Internal Network to Keep Learners Informed
Promotion involves sharing information. Use email to inform learners about when courses will be available and how to access them.
Why not use your organization's internal network to share news about eLearning developments? You may want to make announcements about individual achievements or use a chart to show which departments have completed the most courses or achieved the highest scores.
In this article, I've shared a few ideas about how to get people on board when it comes to eLearning. There are many other suggestions and articles on the web and, if you are having difficulties selling your eLearning to your learning audience, it may be worth your while to do a little digging. Become informed and be creative and you are sure to be successful.
Shauna graduated from the University of Toronto in 2002 with a Master of Arts in English before moving home to Calgary to work in the fast-paced, detail-oriented oil and gas industry. Now certified as a technical writer, Shauna is comfortable writing in a variety of styles, and for a variety of audiences.