Corporate learning is undergoing a transformation. Personnel development is more important than ever due to constantly changing markets, technological advances, specialization, increasing difficulty recruiting and increased competitive pressure. This is also reflected in the personnel development and technology budgets. But despite increased investments in new e-learning solutions, most companies are not seeing significant progress. But what's the reason? In this blog , you'll learn the basics on corporate e-learning, what to look for when introducing e-learning and how to successfully implement digital learning forms in your company right from the start.
You probably heard of it before. Simply put, electronic learning, or e-learning for short, is any type of training, learning, or education on electronic devices. With e-learning, educational materials can be delivered and consumed on electronic devices such as computers, tablets, and sometimes even smartphones. Examples for e-earning are watching a video tutorial, reading an interesting article on the internet, or taking part in an online quiz - it is basically any form of delivery of learning and training through digital resources.
We use e-learning every day to develop ourselves as individuals. Universities and companies, from small start-ups to large enterprises, use e-learning to train their employees or students and optimize their internal processes.
An e-learning platform is an information system that organizations and institutions use to provide their users with learning material. For example, a Learning Management System (LMS) is an e-learning platform. Most courses you can find on these platforms are often filled with pre-recorded videos, texts, or academic papers and sometimes even with interactive online services like quizzes and games.
The majority of online learning platforms offer different types of programs, here are 3 examples:
This is the smallest type of all programs available. Individual courses can be 1-off classes, once-in-a-while classes, regular classes, or courses available all the time. When choosing to learn with individual courses, you often study alone and are largely on your own. And if you have any questions, there is a group discussion forum in most cases. The typical duration of these courses ranges from just a few weeks to a couple of months.
Course bundles are, as the name suggests, a collection of courses about a specific topic, e.g. data science, product management. On many online learning platforms, they are called Learning Paths or Nanodegrees for which you can earn a certificate.
On some e-learning platforms, you can even get a traditional bachelor’s degree from renowned companies and partner universities all around the globe. But hold on! Most online degrees start at a total sum of $22,000. Sure, this is cheaper than on-campus degrees but it is still expensive for many people.
When comparing different e-learning platforms, the main flaw is immediately apparent: There is no such thing as a personalization of the educational content. That means the content you or your employees learn is the same for all learners, independent of their current skills level.
Naturally, it makes sense to focus primarily on digital learning, as remote work becomes the new normal. Most companies are increasing their technology spending to support a better complement of digital learning activities. The learning vendor landscape is fragmented and can be confusing if this isn’t an area you’re familiar with. To select the right solution for your organization, use this overview.
Learning Management Systems (LMS) are software applications that allow you to manage, track, report and deliver educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs.
A Learning Experience Platform (LXP) is a learner-centric software intended to create personalized learning experiences. It combines a mixture of learning content and uses artificial intelligence to personalize learning paths for each learner.
Microlearning platforms provide learning content in the form of short and entertaining learning nuggets. Content can be accessed from mobile devices, making it convenient for employees who want to integrate learning into everyday life or who are on the move.
Virtual reality (VR) provides computer-generated environments and simulations that immerse users in a virtual scenario and/or situation. VR training is often used in production today, as processes can be mapped realistically and employees can be more effectively trained or retrained.
Learning Record Stores are data stores that extend the reporting and analysis capabilities of a Learning Management System by capturing a wide range of learning experiences and activities.
Learning Content Management Systems are the place to create and edit learning content, then store it for reuse and evaluation.
Virtual classrooms are an online learning environment where mentors and learners can present course materials, engage and interact with other members of the virtual class, and work in groups together.
Content Libraries offer pre packaged content libraries, courses, videos, and books that are licensed to you for use in your organization.
As already mentioned, eLearning provides you with a huge amount of learning materials easily accessible via the internet. One of the main reasons why people use eLearning is because they want to develop new skills and gain or update their knowledge about a specific topic. In order to do so, they can make use of a variety of content types - I bet you've used more than just one of these before. The most commonly used are:
Getting started: 10 step e-learning guide
There are many good reasons to invest in a new (or better) e-learning solution. Regardless of whether you are just starting with e-learning or want to upgrade your current solution, the success of your e-learning depends heavily on the acceptance and motivation of your company and your learners. After all, learning can only be successful when "having to learn" turns into "wanting to learn." But how can you increase the acceptance of e-learning in your company and the motivation of your learners? For more information, don't forget to check out our 10-step guide.
For a successful corporate learning strategy, follow these 10 simple steps.
Determine your company's needs and goals before you begin your e-learning project. Experience shows that e-learning projects are only successful if they are part of an organization's strategic plan and tied to specific objectives. Thus, it is important to identify the needs and get your decision-makers involved from day one. If you know what problem you are trying to solve, then you can define clear goals, link them to the corporate strategy, and track their progress.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Don’t forget the needs of your learners. Put yourself in their shoes:
Of course, the best way to find out what your learners want is to ask them! Carrying out an open-ended consultation will spark lots of ideas.
Appoint a project manager or team who will take responsibility for your e-learning project before it takes place. They should have KPIs related to the success and adoption of the solution. They should also possess the relevant skills and authority to bring people together and move them in the same direction. You may not need someone dedicated to the project full time, but you do need someone who is accountable.
Your project team should encompass stakeholders from every department if possible. Larger companies will form multidisciplinary project teams, while smaller companies may find it more difficult to dedicate entire resources to this type of project. Your project team may take different sizes and formats, but the most important thing is that a wide range of views and requirements are represented and planned for.
Our most successful clients get their directors or senior management on board with the learning project plans and ensure they also understand and can articulate the purpose of the project. Learning is always successful when you make it part of your broader business strategy and has visible commitment from the very top.
Ensure that your entire organization agrees with your plans and understands the benefits. Involve all departments and stakeholders from the planning stage to ensure everyone feels heard and engaged with the direction of your company. Change often triggers concern and resistance, being open and listening to and addressing any concerns should alleviate this. Communicate the long term benefits and set common goals, and encourage your staff to think about learning as a continual activity rather than one that takes place at set intervals.
Creating your online training program is only the beginning – you also need to see how it performs and if it is actually effective. Set clear KPIs (key performance indicators) that align with your goals and strategy. Work with your project team to define what success looks like for your organization and which KPIs will be key to tracking and monitoring performance.
Think about what you want from your e-learning solution and, more importantly, what your staff want. This is where you separate the "nice-to-haves" from the "must-haves." Consider the following in each instance:
Pro Tip: Guide your product requirements with Job Stories
Create a comprehensive e-learning requirements list with job stories, or jobs to be done (JTBD). JTBD is a clear path to defining the different steps and paths that learners and administrators go through on your platform. For example, if you want to keep learners engaged with a leaderboard, calendar integration, and individual learning paths, you will need to create job stories for all of these paths. Once you have created your job stories, make sure you translate them into features.
The timeline of an e-learning project is difficult to predict. The two factors that will most affect the launch date are the decision-making process and the solution you choose. The decision-making process is often the reason why implementation timelines overrun. To avoid delays, make sure that the people involved in your e-learning project have the mandate to make decisions.
Another important factor when it comes to timelines is your e-learning vendor. Some providers need to be populated with content and custom learning paths, which will stretch your internal resources. Others offer out-of-the-box courses and curated materials that are automatically updated. Keep this in mind when selecting your solution provider.
How much does e-learning cost? There’s no exact figure or even a standard spend. Some basic platforms are free, while others cost thousands of euros. No matter what you choose, you should always consider your total cost of ownership (TCO). As you plan your budget, factor in the cost of the platform but also maintenance costs, in terms of budget for updates but also internal resources. Some platforms might require a team to manually select the right courses and assign them to learners, while AI-powered solutions automate this process, saving you resources and time.
Your learning provider will have extensive experience in e-learning and working with different types of organizations. They also know what successful and unsuccessful projects look like, and why. Take advantage of this expertise!
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 - Corporate E-Learning 101!
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