“Working environments are changing and there is therefore a constant need to rapidly train and retrain people in new technologies, products and services. e-Learning is one of the best ways to do this,” says Anton Cabral, Managing Executive at LRMG Performance Agency. “E-Learning provides a way of optimising traditional face-to-face time and is more application and action based than the more traditional lecture.”
Cabral points out that the dynamic nature of quality e-learning gives end-users access to knowledge when they need it, as they need it. “When your staff have a need in their work environment they should be able to be empowered by specific, customised solutions that satisfy that need and ultimately increase their performance, thereby enabling them to improve their capabilities in the workplace. This way your staff become and remain actively engaged in their own self-improvement.”
He adds that blending various e-learning methods is important for the learner’s experiences and using visuals, infographics, video, gamification, and scenario-based training makes the experience memorable and appealing. .
One of the key determinants of the success of any e-learning course or project is the learners’ degree of motivation, in other words, in the readiness for learning to take place. Companies often complain that staff members only do a course if or when they have to and even then, some still don’t do it and that they prefer workshops which are more interactive to theoretical e-learning courses.
Another complication crops up when there is a lack of bandwidth to run really interactive online training, thus restricting what can be done to make the learning really interesting. As a result, e-learning itself sometimes gets blamed when learning does not take place.
Cabral feels that blended solutions can be so much more successful if organisations take time out to raise interest in the e-learning topic and to explain to employees exactly what is expected of them.
“E-Learning is no different from any other important project in the work environment. If you want your people to learn, you first need to motivate them, and you do this by addressing ‘the what is in it for me’ (WIIFM) question. And, once they have started, organisations need to ensure employees have the time to complete the learning and that they get ongoing encouragement from management.” He adds that that courses need to be interesting, relevant, engaging and contain a WOW factor to ensure the interaction is desirable.
“In a nutshell you should concentrate on great content, sound instructional design and an environment conducive to deliver a great learning experience. And remember, it all starts with creating readiness for people to want to learn.
“Embracing e-learning is not just a good idea, as one of the most effective ways of sharing knowledge, it is essential. Organisations need to understanding that maximising e-learning will provide the support they need to attract and retain the very best talent,” concludes Cabral.