E-learning can be a great way to advance your career, but it can also be challenging to stay motivated and organized when you're not in a traditional classroom setting. In this blog, we'll explore six e-learning tips that will help you succeed in your online learning endeavors. From finding ways to stay motivated to organizing your schedule and materials, these strategies will set you up for success as you embark on your e-learning journey.
It is no secret, that getting your leadership involved in your training programs — be it the C-level, department heads or any kind of managers — has a positive impact on the success of your learning and development projects.
However, when talking to various L&D leaders across different industries, we tend to see a similar problem: When trying to establish a learning culture or rolling out a new (e-) learning program, some managers could be described as quite reserved and unenthusiastic. For starters, not everyone is open for change. But what tends to be the case as well, is that some managers are not the greatest proponents of continuous learning programs that reserve a part of the employees’ work time for learning. After all, they need their direct reports to work on the current, mostly urgent tasks, right?
If a manager cannot see the benefit of your learning program, she will most certainly not become an advocate. Simply emphasizing how important learning is for the well-being and development of employees (and thus for the long-term success of the company) may not be enough. Try to show them, what’s in it for them.
Here are 4 tips to convince your manager:
Highlight the benefits of learning insights. The same way a manager’s insights help you to determine skill gaps and design learning paths accordingly, managers could benefit from your learning programs as well. By actively getting involved in the learning process, a manager is able to get essential information about her direct reports ranging from things like strengths and improvement areas to work ethics or ways of dealing with challenges. In case you are using an e-learning platform you are probably provided with lots of data about the various learners. By analyzing this data you could provide your managers with information that ultimately makes their leading role easier: Which employee possesses which skills? And how do these skills evolve over time?
Being a manager nowadays isn’t just “being the boss” and letting people work for you. Being a manager and thus a team leader — regardless how many members that team has — also means being a mentor. Try to show your managers what course offerings you provide that help them to fulfill this mentoring role. Additionally, give them the possibility to improve in other areas they would like to improve in (be it leadership, soft-skills or even hard-skill courses).
One thing people in leading roles probably won’t have is a lot of time at hand. Their schedules are usually already packed. To convince them to still actively participate in your learning programs, try to ensure that the effort required to get started is as low as possible. If you would like to integrate managers in the learning goal-setting process, think about providing them with templates and methods to do that.
Try to make sure they have exactly the tools and materials at hand in order to easily get involved. It doesn’t matter if you start by simply providing relevant resources on your intranet page or use an LMS system.
Actively shaping an employee’s development is a time-consuming task. But it probably is the one with the highest degree of leverage for your company that a manager can do. So you could think about rewarding them for their effort. Everyone likes to be praised. You could create a platform to promote great internal learning efforts and learning programs. Give managers the possibility to become a role model for the whole company. In case it works for you, you could even hand out trophies. Whatever type of incentive you chose to go with, try to make sure it is visible.
Choosing the right learning platform affects how much your employees enjoy using it and even how effectively they use it. Even though this section actually deserves its own blog article and it is hard to find the "right" e-learning platform, we can give you some food for thought here:
Do not get me wrong, learning always involves theory and, criticism aside, the theory is actually a good thing because it allows you to understand complex issues at a much deeper level. But learning is more than that.
You probably have heard about the 10,000-hour rule: The 10,000-hour rule says that you need to practice for about 10,000 hours to get close to perfection and become a master of your subject. In most cases, you won't become a master of your subject if you only learn by theory. Learning also requires real-life practice. But as well as in school and university, eLearning offers you a huge course catalog of theoretical topics; real-life practice is often sought in vain here.
This learning pyramid illustration from Micheal Simmons shows that learning consists not only of passive teaching methods (Lecture, Reading, Audiovisual, Demonstration) but also of participatory teaching methods (Discussion, Practice Doing, Teach others):
And since teaching is at the end of the spectrum, Seneca said it best: “While we teach, we learn”.
Have in mind that learners feel an urge to discuss their opinions and give feedback. Unfortunately, most eLearning platforms only use passive teaching methods which results in a lower avg. retention rate. This problem can be addressed and fixed by incorporating cohort-based learning and discussion sessions. These tactics truly are important drivers for learner retention.
Content types that ensure engagement have a not negligible impact on the effectiveness of the learning progress. In a nutshell, learner engagement means the participation of learners in your educational courses and is also an indicator of a successful learning experience.
The spectrum of engagement in eLearning ranges from absolutely no participation (also called passive learning process) to highly engaged (also called learner-centered education). You can boost learner engagement within your company by making
As you know by now, eLearning offers you the chance to make your content engaging and interactive. Incorporating gamification in your platform and having an appealing User Interface, result in a better learning experience for the users. Here are some examples of gamification elements:
Moreover, the more engaging the content is, the better the learners remember information and if your workers enjoy learning, they will be able to recall and apply the concepts better.
This is probably the most important aspect which separates a good learning platform from a great learning platform: Do not only make sure your educational content is still relevant and timely but also it is tailored to your employee's needs, and current skills and knowledge, too.
Let's be honest to you, Learning for the sake of checking off a box or visiting an obligatory training requirement will not make a difference. As already mentioned, most eLearning platforms still lack personalization. The content delivered is often the same for all learners. But those one-size-fits-all solutions simply won’t make it in the educational world. To make your training more efficient, you need to provide your employees with the right content at the right time when they need it. Your learning platform should have recommended and mandatory courses based on your employees' previous activities in order to provide clear “next steps”.
Since every person learns differently, you should use multimedia. So break up the monotony of straight reading. Instead, include video and audio elements, meaningful, high-fidelity graphics, etc. to your courses. Your learners will absorb the content quicker if the materials are just right for them and their learning style.
These 6 quick e-learning tips gave an introduction into the corporate e-learning world, but there is so much more to discover. Organizations are emerging from the pandemic with many more challenges than they faced before. In the new candidate driven market, you must respond decisively with measures to attract and retain talent and future proof your organization against a skills deficit. The question is, how do you (effectively) attract, retain, and develop talent? And how can e-learning help?
Find out all the answers in our guide!
edyoucated is funded by leading research institutions such as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).