The latest workplace report published by LinkedIn states that companies are increasingly spending their budget for online learning than for the traditional instructor-based learning
Today, with the unprecedented penetration of technology, it is predicted that 98% of all companies plan to use e-learning by 2020.
Hence, in the blog I have included a curated list of ‘not what to do’, instead, I will tell you what not to do when transitioning from traditional training to corporate e-learning.
While transitioning from traditional training to corporate e-learning, the organisation must be very careful and serious in their approach.
But why should an organisation convert traditional training to E-learning?
If you are still hearing the old age question from your manager/boss, make him read through these advantages of implementing e-learning
1. Accessibility: learners can access training anytime, from anywhere in the world.
2. Cost savings: eliminate fixed costs like travel costs, instructor fees, etc.
3. No geographical barriers for online learning
4. Proven increase in ROI
5. Increase learner engagement and interactivity
6. Future proof learning strategy
So here is a list of 10 mistakes which you must avoid when converting your classroom training into e-learning:
1. Improper training need analysis
Training need analysis- Yes, you need that to be done first.
A training need analysis will help you define the challenges, learning objectives, etc. Moreover, it helps to identify if e-learning is the right strategy, etc.
It should essentially include the following.
• The weaknesses and strengths of your traditional program.
• What skills or knowledge do employees currently lack?
• How will learning technologies help them improve performance and productivity?
• How online training will fit into your overall L&D strategy
Hence, I strongly recommend never to skip training need analysis when transitioning from traditional learning to corporate learning.
2. Failure to analyze the target audience
This is again a part of an effective TNA, but due to its greater relevance, I have listed down as a separate point. While transitioning from traditional training to e-learning, the organisation must very carefully understand and analyze the target audience in terms of
1. Who is your target audience? Understand their demographics.
2. How familiar are they with technology-based learning/online learning
3. Existing knowledge level of the learners
4. What gaps might exist in their knowledge currently?
5. What would you like the audience to learn by the end of the training?
6. Learner preferences and what they expect from learning?
Failing to analyze the target audience can derail the process/transitioning from traditional training to corporate e-learning. For example, if the learners are not very well familiar with e-learning technologies, the organisation must prefer to implement blended learning experiences than using latest e-learning techniques or strategies like e-learning gamification, game-based learning, etc.
3. Not re-evaluating your training objectives
It’s true that existing training technologies like the traditional classroom techniques have their objectives listed down. But, while shifting to online learning/e-learning there is a possible chance of restructuring of learning objectives that include adding, deleting of learning objectives, etc.
Hence, it is recommended to re-evaluate the training objectives and prioritize them if required. Like with the passage of time, what was considered as the prime learning objective might be no longer be a priority now. Thus, it’s very important to reach on a consensus or agreement with the stakeholders of the project on the learning objectives and goals.
4. Not preparing a detailed storyboard
A storyboard is a document which defines not only the learning pedagogy and objectives but also includes design and visual guidelines for the development of e-learning courses and makes the overall design and development process more efficient. When transitioning from traditional training to corporate e-learning, I recommend developing a detailed storyboard. Make sure to include all the relevant content and heads like-
• Screen Text
• Audio: Narration
• Navigation/Interaction Instructions
Hence while transitioning from traditional learning to corporate learning, I recommend the organisation not to ignore/skip the process of preparing a detailed storyboard.
5. Using a one-size-fits-all approach.
One of the demerits of a regular traditional learning approach like classroom training is the one size fits for all approach of learning. A single instructor-led approach of training fails to customise the learning for the larger audience. But when transitioning from traditional training to corporate e-learning, it allows the organisation to customize and personalise the learning content that is most relevant for the learners. With the advancement in technology, the organisation can further personalise the learning content with the help of AI and machine learning capabilities etc.
6. Failing to choose/implement appropriate instructional design techniques
While converting the classroom training or traditional learning to e-learning, an organisation should ensure that appropriate instructional design strategy is implemented. A proper TNA(Training Need Analysis) and a deeper understanding of the target audience will give relevant insights to decide and implement the correct instructional design techniques.
Like, if the target learners are comprising more of millennials, the organisation can include interactive and engaging e-learning like including game mechanics and game elements, including e-learning assessments(Game-based assessments.), etc.
7. Failing to estimate and allocate the budget
Transitioning from traditional learning to e-learning, require the organisation to plan and allocate a fresh budget. While designing the budget, the organisation must be realistic with the goals and outcomes of learning and know the potential risks associated with it. For example, unplanned revisions or updation can lead to an overshoot of the budget as the development cost can rise up. Hence, the organisation must consider all such factors while preparing and allocating the budgets for e-learning development.
8. Failing to identify the right authoring tool
With the e-learning market already flooded with various authoring tools, It becomes very difficult for the organisation to choose the appropriate authoring tool to develop e-learning. For example, today e-learning is not restricted to desktop screens. Instead, the learners prefer to access the learning content on multiple mobile devices like smartphones, tablet, iPad, etc. This has forced the organization to select/upgrade the authoring tools to support developing responsive e-learning. To know more about how to choose the appropriate authoring tool, you can refer to my blog here.
9. Failing to incorporate interactivities and engagement in e-learning
When converting traditional learning to online learning or e-learning, an organisation must include interactivity and engagement in e-learning. Failing to incorporate engagement and interactivity can derail the learning experience as it will be dull and boring for the learners.
Today, e-learning has developed beyond the linear click next style of learning. Organisation can choose to include learning strategies like e-learning gamification, game-based learning, e-learning scenarios, and simulations, etc to bring engagement and interactivity.
10. Don’t just transfer classroom training to e-learning, re-invent it.
E-learning is not just about copy-pasting the content. Instead, the organisation must ensure that they are able to design the perfect and effective e-learning for the target audience.
Some of the important tips to consider are-
• Chunking down of learning content to include only the must-to-know information in e-learning.
• Make the learning content relevant to the learners.
• Include only relevant and relatable multimedia.
• Planning and implementing good instructional design practices
• Check if the existing learning content is up to date or requires updating.
If you’re looking to shift or move out of classroom training to online learning, here are some popular handpicked tips. You can read them in my blog here.
These are 10 handpicked points of what not to do when transitioning from traditional learning to corporate e-learning. Feel free to share your suggestions using the comment box.