By understanding what elearning is and why it is a growing trend, you have the tools to decide if elearning works for your training program.
- [Instructor] Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn't mean it's right for you. There are a lot of training programs out there that are moving from an in-person to an online space, so before you jump on the Elearning bandwagon, let's explore if it's a good fit for you. Before we cover how to adapt and migrate an in-person training to an Elearning one, let's discuss similarities and differences to give you some perspective of what Elearning is and what it is not. Regardless of the delivering method, in-person or online, some elements are the same in any type of training.
In both formats, we will have learning objectives, the goals of the training and what we want the learners to take away. Training content, elements of a training, such as text, graphics, quizzes, exercise, and tests. Information that is presented to the learners. This can be in the form of lectures or presentations. At the core, these type of trainings are very similar but that doesn't mean you can just throw up your in-person training materials on a website. There are many other things to consider.
So now, I wanna highlight some differences. The first is logistics and cost. In-person learning usually requires the training and the participants to be in the same place at the same time. The company usually covered these accommodations and travel expenses, not to mention the cost for scheduling and coordinating. This can all get quite expensive. On the other hand, online learning expenses can happen on the front end, whether you are creating the content or buying participant access in the form of seats.
Otherwise, the costs are pretty minimal to keep the training running. So, when you do the head cost per learner, you're likely to spend much more in-person than online. The second difference is focus. In-person training is trainer-centric. Learners focus on the trainer and the information as it's presented. There's no opportunity for the learner to stop and review what they've learned unless they stop the instructor. On the other hand, online learning is learner-centric.
The online learning format is self-paced and gives learners a lot of control over their own learning experience. And the third difference is when and where the learning happens. In-person training sessions are usually confined to a physical classroom and hence, offer very little flexibility to learners in terms of place and time. Online learning provides access to learning experiences on demand, which means the learner can access it any time. Let's look at the core benefits of Elearning.
Elearning provides convenience. Learners can usually jump into a training platform anywhere they can get online. It provides access. Learners, wherever they are, can take the training program. And it provides personalization. Learners can be self-paced and adapt their content to their own learning style. And to that end, the common types of Elearning training programs are, first, skill-based instruction with outcome expectations. These programs are focused on procedures and how to do something, for example, compliance training.
Second, information delivery with no performance expectations. These programs are more information sharing and awareness building focused. And third, problem-solving guidelines. These are the most challenging programs to design because you are teaching principles or guidelines. For example, training a manager on how to have difficult conversations. If your training falls under one of these categories, great. You can move on to deeper consideration. And if it doesn't, you can still play with the idea of creating an Elearning training program.
Either way, you will want to look at the nature of your content, next. Once you have determined if your training content is a good fit for Elearning, you need to consider which delivery method is best for the type of content. There are two types of delivery methods, asynchronous and synchronous. The first is asynchronous, which is characterized as anytime, anywhere. This is usually the choice method for online learning because of its benefits. For one, asynchronous provides flexibility for the learner to come into the instruction on their own time.
Also, this option allows you to build the training content ahead of time and then not have to touch it until you have an update or two. The second delivery method is synchronous learning. This is characterized as live learning and usually occurs over a set period of time. While this does require the learner to be available at specific times, which can be seen as a negative, it can help the learner stay on track with a dedicated training time. It also allows for learners to interact in real time, which can help emulate the classroom experience.
Additionally, if you are sequencing the training, you can also build the content as you go, so you don't need to have everything done upfront. So, in-person training versus online training. Asynchronous versus synchronous. You have many options that come with unique benefits. What's important, however, is keeping your objectives and learners in mind. So, the next time you're designing a training program, consider all of your options and ask, what best meets the needs of my learners?
- Finding the best elearning platform
- Applying instructional design models and theories
- Identifying your learner
- Defining the scope and learning objectives
- Designing elearning content
- Addressing accessibility and inclusion
- Integrating gamification
- Creating an online presence
- Designing effective assessments