What is eLearning?
eLearning is the general term to describe the fields of online learning, web-based training, and technology-delivered instruction.
How can my business benefit from eLearning?
The popularity of eLearning continues to grow as businesses look for ways to meet diverse and complex training needs, reduce training costs, meet customer service demands and increase efficiency. Leveraging the Internet allows companies large and small to successfully address these challenges.
Your company needs to hire and train several new employees that will be working from locations across the country. You have a limited budget to spend and need to get everyone up to speed quickly.
Developing a simple eLearning program to be deployed via the internet would allow your company to save travel costs, time, and it would ensure consistent, efficient use of training resources.
Your customers often call in trying to get more information about how to set-up or use one of your more complex products. This creates a lot of wasted time internally and customers are frustrated at not being able to successfully implement the product independently.
An eLearning solution like the use of online tutorials with video instruction would allow customers 24/7 access to easy-to-understand, self-paced videos that take advantage of multiple senses in demonstrating the solution.
Positive Reasons to Consider eLearning:
- Get your customers & employees up to speed quickly
- Vastly improve your customer service
- Offer Continuing Education
- Prevent high value employees from answering the same questions
- Provide a consistent high quality training program 24/7
eLearning can help businesses cost-effectively train their employees. When compared with traditional instructor-led programs, training times can be reduced by anywhere from 20 to 75 percent. It also allows companies to educate customers and minimize customer support issues by providing self-serve solutions. Studies have shown that companies using eLearning to aid in the use of complex machinery or instruments, detailed procedures, production processes and safety are producing more productive and efficient employees. Also, when similar learning tools are extended to customers or end-users, businesses find consumer satisfaction and retention is significantly improved.
Check out an example of a very basic, affordable and customizable eLearning tool we have created to demonstrate the ability to use registration processes, multimedia content, and evaluation / feedback all within an easily accessible and simple format: eLearning Demo
Additional Benefits of eLearning
Increases training effectiveness
- Training is delivered in a standardized, consistent and objective instructional format.
- Personalized interactivity increases content retention.
- Flexible navigation provides individualized, self-paced instruction.
- Interactive exercises provide unlimited practice.
- Well designed computer-based training is easily updated.
Saves time and money
- Reduces training costs.
- Is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Reduces need for dedicated training facility.
Tracks learner progress
- Training can be designed to supply the learner with immediate feedback about his/her performance.
- Automated record keeping and reports provide accurate and timely information to managers.
Implimenting a Successful Program – The Basic Rules
Start with the end in mind:
Yes, you’ve heard this one before. But it is a very important first step. It can’t be emphasized enough how important it is, not only to be very clear in defining the problem that needs to be solved, but also to be sure that a training solution will be a valuable contribution.
Don’t skimp on the creative design:
The creative design is also called the front-end development. The front end is what the learner sees on the computer screen as they navigate through the course. It is very important to capture the attention of the learners as quickly as possible and to engage them to a level that makes them forget for a bit that they are taking a course on a computer. eLearning, by nature, is interactive, and multimedia gives this form of learning a great advantage over other media.
Use the right tools:
We always have the choice to use the “Right tool for the job.” When video is necessary to model human behavior, provide it. When an animation is the best way to demonstrate a concept, use it. Music, sound effects, voice and photographs can be effectively used to support text on the screen. Program designers should use every media available to capture attention and maintain a high degree of engagement throughout a course.
The best instructional design will fail if learners can’t engage with it and they won’t take or complete a course. And conversely, the most engaging experience money can buy will not deliver training if it isn’t there to be delivered.
Don’t forget the back end:
Programmers provide the engineering that makes the whole eLearning experience work. It is this back-end engineering that provides a lot of the value that eLearning provides over other forms of learning. The back-end development provides all of the functionality we don’t necessarily see on the screen. The most common functions are registration, bookmarking, scoring and reporting.
The back end can be a full-blown Learning Management System (LMS) designed to accommodate many students, departments and courses, or the back end can be a simple administrative program integrated into a single course. Besides the common features listed above, the back-end programs can provide much more support.
Supplemental Information on eLearning: