The 7 Step Plan to To Maximize Your Startup eLearning Strategy
There are many different ways in which an eLearning strategy can be developed, and plenty of metrics that can be used to determine its effectiveness. But ultimately there’s one bottom line which needs to be used when judging the true value of an eLearning strategy – its return. Effective courses will bring about a return on the investment you made. Too often, though, companies embark on eLearning without ever seeing any real return on the investment.
Therefore, we've created this Seven Step Plan to Effective eLearning and whether you use it to create your first strategy, or you use it as a way of analysing the different stages of your existing strategy, we hope that you will agree that these seven steps form the foundation for every single effective eLearning program which does generate a worthwhile return.
Whether you are just getting started with eLearning or you want to brush up on the basics, this post can serve as your essential guide to success. So let’s get stuck in.
1. Set realistic goals
Consider what you really want to achieve through eLearning. What are you trying to convey with the course? Inform? Educate? Educators call this backward design. You begin by determining the essential skills learners need and design learning targets and activities based on those goals. Embarking on eLearning efforts without understanding your end goal sets you up for failure. If your courses don’t have a purpose, then you’re wasting your money and efforts! Decide what you're going to accomplish and how you're going to get there and write that information down.
2. Understand your learner
When you know your learners, their nerepeds and their concerns, you make your courses learner driven, which creates successful learning environments. Learners who feel their needs aren't being met, rarely invest themselves in the process and your investment fails from the outset. The best way to avoid this is through careful market research at the beginning of the project. So, start to get to know your learners and what they need and expect from the eLearning experience. Then, tailor content to fit both the knowledge students have, and the knowledge they seek in a course. eLearning programs should focus at all moment on the learner and what they need to do with all of the information.
3. Create engaging and quality content.
This flows naturally from setting realistic goals and understanding your learner. The insights you learn from these two steps will form the basis for your content and help you strategize how to engage learners in your eLearning courses. Quality trumps quantity any day. You can only maximize what you are creating that is good and relevant to your audience. You must get in their head, know their objectives, what keeps them up at night and how you can help them solve problems. If you know why they should give a rip about what’s in your course then it should be fairly easy to create eLearning courses that will help them solve problems in their daily work. You can never go wrong by investing in learners and their needs.
4. Develop a clear communication plan.
Nothing frustrates learners more than a lack of communication during the learning process. Develop a plan of what you will communicate to your learners and when you will do it. Base these communications on your end goal and deliver the messages in ways your learners want to receive them. Also develop a strategy for responding to learner inquiries including who will respond and how. Be sure to maximize the investment you are making in building relationships by continuing the conversation with learners.
5. Solicit learner feedback.
Effective eLearning goes through a constant process of reflection and revision based on various data points including learner feedback. Your learners can provide valuable insight into the success of eLearning by telling you what they learned, how they have implemented what they learned and the results of those efforts. Use your learners to discover those successes as proof of the ROI of eLearning.
6. Remain flexible.
The benefit of eLearning is precisely its flexibility but too often companies lose sight of that key asset. It's important for effective eLearning to react to changing circumstances. When it comes to eLearning, there is no "one size fits all" or edicts etched in stone. Retain the key advantage of eLearning by remaining open and flexible.
7. Measure your eLearning programs.
Another key benefit of eLearning is the ability to track exactly what a learner does in a course. You can measure enrollment, the pace learners move through a course, course completion and scores. This data will then inform the effectiveness of the course. Companies can use the information to make changes to content, assess learning goals or determine the impact a course had.
Are you ready to reap the benefits of eLearning? Your company can definitely reap the benefits of eLearning if it implements effective eLearning programs. Thus, follow these basic steps and see a greater return on your eLearning investments!