Archive for December, 2007

Implementing e-Learning: Keys to Success

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Effective implementation of e-learning relies on many factors involving people, systems, processes and content. In our work, we’ve found there are at least eight key factors to consider when designing and implementing e-learning.  

Here’s a summary of an effective approach.

1. Pick the right first project

When selecting your first custom e-learning content project, pick one that matters to you, your business, staff and key project stakeholders. Ensure it can be done quickly – in weeks rather than months if possible – and has a minimal number of sign-off points.

2. The learner is the key stakeholder

The learner’s opinion counts the most. Develop your content to cater for all learning styles. Take the time to visit your learner’s work environment and determine how you can best structure the content to meet the challenges of the location and the time they have for online learning.

3. Demonstrate first, sell second

Most people quickly grasp the e-learning concept if you demonstrate how it works and how it can help their business. Use prototypes to demonstrate e-learning to key players and influencers. They’re a great way to get buy-in and support for your project and to show people what online learning is, and what it’s not.

4. Design to a best practice level

Best practice is what works best for your project, organisation and business goals. Focus on learning content that is designed so that learners can effectively and efficiently acquire new knowledge, skills and attitudes using their preferred learning style.

5. Create ‘impact’ first time

Create a great impression with the first e-learning module you release. Use rich media (audio, video) if it supports the learning process. Go for a ‘wow, this is a great learning module’ reaction from your audience. This creates excitement and interest and helps to engage people for future modules.

6. Partner with IT 

Engage your IT team early in the project to build an effective learning platform and system for your content. Tap into their expertise to overcome any challenges around bandwidth and rich media content being run on your organisation’s network.

7. Get the people stuff right

Carefully plan, communicate and direct all change initiatives when releasing content to learners. The reaction of your people and their buy in is the key driver in a successful implementation.

8. Have a strong second project to follow 

Plan ahead with a content development pipeline to maintain the e-learning momentum with the regular release of new modules. If you have a series of courses ready to release, consider spreading them over several months to control the rate of change and maintain your staff’s interest level. 

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