As a L&D Manager, whenever you are looking at getting custom e-learning content developed for your organization, you will be required to make a choice on the levels of e-learning. It’s rather not an easy choice and requires a definite understanding of what are your learning objectives and how you can fulfill them, by making a judicious choice on the level of e-learning.

So let us understand what are the levels in e-learning and how do you choose the best fit for your learning needs.

E-Learning can be categorized into three different levels based on the skills or performance gaps, which can be addressed at each of these levels. They are :

1. Level I (The Basic level which focuses on imparting information or knowledge to the learners)

2.Level II (The Intermediate level which focuses on the understanding of the information and its demonstration on the job)

3.Level III (The Highest level which focuses on the application of the acquired knowledge in a new situation)

The level I of e-learning is best suited when your learning objective is to just inform the learners on the topic. For example, if you want to tell the learners on a new policy update to your information security policy or a product update, you can use level 1 of e-learning.

However  referring to the example of information security, if your learning objective is to ensure that the employees do not make any mistake by opening an email from unknown source or download a spear phishing mail etc then Level II, e-learning can better serve the purpose as it focuses on understanding and demonstration of the particular behaviour on the job.

The Level III of e-learning is often used when the learner is required to apply the concepts or the information to achieve a certain objective. For example in case of safety training, how to lift a heavy object or how to deal with safety incidents like collapse of an excavation site or a fire at factory premises or leakage of gas at one of the fuel stations etc. are all examples where the learner is required to apply the learning in a real situation and Level III of e-learning can best suit the requirement.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the three levels of e-learning:

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Learning Objective When the objective is to distribute information quickly or when a client wants to simply present their rules, terms and conditions or procedures, etc. Ideal for courses that are aimed to aid on-the-job-performance or when the emphasis is more on the skill development and not just knowledge transfer.

Course may also serve as a reference (i.e., learners return to the course over time)

This type of learning is recommended for more advanced training, demonstrations and experiential learning on any topic.

Contents are presented in the context of real business problems (problem-based approach).

Interactivity and Assessments In Level I, there is multiple choice exercises, pop-ups, rollovers or simple animations with static images and texts Level II adds a component of scenario-based and some interactive animations where the learner has the ability to understand and investigate Include complex simulations where the learner must enter actual data into fields and experience the results.In addition, scenario-based branching logic is also used.
Multimedia Limited multimedia mainly consisting of basic images-feel of a powerpoint presentation Medium level of multimedia is used.
There is more graphics, audio and video and smaller animations in the module
High degree of multimedia customization and high level of interactivity is used.

Understanding of levels of e-learning is critical for creating an impactful and learner-centric e-learning course.

You can also get more insights on the levels of e-learning in our latest video.