A lot of elearning misses the mark. Money wasted. How can you avoid that?
There's two kinds of elearning out there (don't you love this kind of statement?):
- elearning driven by budgets
- elearning driven by results
Though I'm sure there are exceptions, offhand I'd say everything in the first category misses the mark. If you're not dead-focused on either adding to the top-line or bottom-line, your elearning isn't being driven by results. So let's cut through the crap and talk about 5 concepts that will get you results with your elearning. Some are obvious; some not so much. You could write a book on most of these, but I'll keep it short:
- eLearning should be an extension of your brand.
- It's not what you want learners to know, but what behaviors you want to change.
- People are ready to learn only when they are emotionally engaged.
- When you live it, you'll learn it.
- Go to your learners; don't make them come to you.
eLearning should be an extension of your brand.
Your business is your brand. If your elearning isn't connected to what you stand for, you water down your brand and miss the opportunity to build your business. Whether you're audience is internal or external, your elearning should help to create brand evangelists. People who, because of your training, help move the company forward like a train on the tracks.
It's not what you want learners to know, but what behaviors you want to change.
The right beliefs, decisions and behaviors support your strategic objectives. They also produce satisfied, fulfilled employees. Training needs, almost by definition, dictate behavior change. Working backwards: use elearning to change beliefs, causing different decisions, and new behaviors. elearning isn't about what you want people to learn, but the behaviors to change.
People are ready to learn only when they are emotionally engaged.
Elearning isn't something you do to people. It's something you do for people. It should be a gift. And people aren't ready to learn until you have them interested. Well, more than interested--emotionally engaged. And you get there by being genuine and helping them solve their problems. That means you have to find the way to align your outcomes with your learners' outcomes. Win/win.
When you live it, you'll learn it.
When the copy and the videos just get to be blah, blah, blah--you've lost your learner. Pare down your content to just the essential information. Let learners' explore it at their own pace and on their own path (no next and back arrows) and then get them into simulations to practice what they are trying to learn. Give them experience through their decisions. Let them learn by making mistakes and getting the proper feedback. People never learn better than when the actually experience applying knowledge and live with the consequences.
Go to your learners; don't make them come to you.
We're entering the post-PC era when tablets and smartphones make more and more difference every day. Sales for smartphones were up 50% in 2011, and iPad sales literally soared. These are the information devices of choice for you learners, so that's where you should be putting your elearning. Take the learning to them. Let them access it exactly how and when the want and need it.
Allow me to close by saying there are two kinds of elearning out there:
- elearning that's nothing more than electronic presentation of information
- elearning that immerses, engages, motivates and changes behaviors