Developing an eLearning strategy is the foundation of any organization’s success, no matter the size of their budget or staff. However, even the most well thought-out and carefully applied eLearning strategy will fall short of expectations if it is not evaluated and assessed frequently. Knowing exactly what to look for during an assessment is imperative to determining the pros and cons of the overall strategy. In this post I go over 10 tips for developing and evaluate your organization’s corporate eLearning strategy.
1. Keep your purpose in mind
Every eLearning strategy needs to have a clearly defined purpose, which is a clear objective for getting your people from where they are now to where you want them to be. So before your staff starts sharpening their pencils, sharpen yours. What new skills do you want them to master and incorporate into their current daily functions? What new level of competency will they attain? By defining your expectations, you will define theirs.
Your eLearning course content must be meaningful and of a high standard, but that counts for nothing if it is not relevant to your target learner audience. Your eLearning strategy has to consider the content delivered, and that content must enable someone to walk away with new knowledge that they can use and implement straight away. Your content must provide the stimulus – the “call-to-action” – providing something immediately tangible and useful.
3. Take Off That Leash
Essential to the eLearner experience is the ability and freedom to simply go off exploring the course you have designed for them. The most effective eLearning courses offer an engaging learning experience. Giving your people something they can interact with, explore and discover through real-life scenarios and overall interactivity will help ensure a successful learning experience.
Your eLearning strategy must include a high level of empathy, one that your people will be able to relate to, one that will elicit an emotional response. This will enhance both engagement and learning. Present real world case studies for situations that they may have previously encountered, be it in the workplace or elsewhere. Include problem statements and solutions with which learners can identify and empathize.
5. How Am I Doing?
The best eLearning provides learners with a way of gauging how well they are learning the material as they progress through the course. Your strategy can achieve this by incorporating interactive quizzes and short tests, even short games at periodic intervals throughout the course. Not only will you be provided with essential data to evaluate your course, but, just by doing so, you will immediately improve information retention rates.
6. Group Therapy
Allowing your learners to be able to relate to one another is an essential part of a modern eLearning strategy. By starting forums and discussion groups, learners will share ideas, thoughts and feedback, making the course itself even more engaging.
7. Looking Good
There is little doubt that a text-only course is not going to “float the boat” of an eLearner. It is not going to engage them visually nor give them an overall enjoyable experience. Therefore, your eLearning strategy should address the aesthetic qualities of the course itself. A visually-appealing layout, the use of informative videos, even your choice of font will affect the quality of the visual presence to your elearning course.
8. Testing Learning
Your eLearner has reached the end of the course. They’re happy because your eLearning strategy has included all the points discussed. They engaged, they discussed, they learned; at this point, your evaluation methods are crucial. By the use of real-life scenarios, where people are given real workplace-based problems to solve as individuals or in groups. If you are tracking learner progress and results you will immediately be able to see whether your eLearning strategy worked and if you have successfully taken your people from where they were to where you wanted them to be. If not, you can use this information to evaluate the course design and make modifications as needed.
9. Workplace Assessing
The overall success of the course you have developed will be evident in the workplace. As the course strategist, assessing improvements and shortfalls is paramount. You have invested money and time; you now need to evaluate the effectiveness of this and how your course has translated from the screen to real life.
Through your evaluations and assessments, you will see the effectiveness of your eLearning strategy. Remember, we are all different. We take on information in different ways. Improve your course with the least-improved person in mind. By improving that person’s learning experience, you will improve learning for all.