Utilizing eLearning For Training, Learning, And Development
Did you know that organizations that implement eLearning solutions can see revenue growth of up to 18%? That’s just one of the many benefits of eLearning for both the organization and the employees. The demand for eLearning solutions has been on the rise, and for good reason. Not only does it offer an affordable, time-efficient way to train employees, but it also benefits the learners themselves by providing convenient training that enhances their skills and knowledge. But the benefits of eLearning don’t stop there. Organizations can also use it to train their partners and customers, ultimately increasing adoption, retention, and revenue. In this article, we’ll explore the many benefits of eLearning, the different types and tools available, and how it can help you drive business success.
What Is eLearning?
Before we dive into the world of eLearning, it’s important to establish a clear definition. In essence, eLearning involves the use of digital resources to deliver learning and training. This approach relies on electronic devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones that are connected to the internet.
Although eLearning is a formalized form of learning, its delivery through digital devices provides learners with greater flexibility, convenience, and accessibility to the materials. This allows users to learn at their own pace and convenience, anytime and anywhere, with minimal restrictions. In essence, eLearning is the delivery of training, education, or learning through a digital device, such as a computer or tablet.
What Is The History Of eLearning?
eLearning has a rich history that dates back to the 1960s when computer-assisted instruction (CAI) programs were first developed. Over time, the use of network technology and the advent of personal computers, software applications such as Lotus Notes and HyperCard, and the internet helped to shape the eLearning landscape. Here are some significant milestones in the history of eLearning:
- The birth of eLearning
The term “eLearning” was coined in 1999 by Elliott Masie at the TechLearn Conference, defining it as “the use of network technology to design, deliver, select, administer, and extend learning.”
- The rise of open-source and standards
In the early 2000s, eLearning underwent a revolution with the release of OLAT, the first open-source Learning Management System, and the development of SCORM, a standard that enables organizations to package content and distribute it within an LMS. These advances paved the way for the adoption of open-source technologies and greater standardization across the eLearning industry.
- The emergence of mobile learning
The rise of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets paved the way for mobile learning and made eLearning more accessible than ever before.
- The age of MOOCs and user-friendly LMSs
In the late 2000s, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) gained popularity, allowing anyone to access courses from top universities for free. Learning Management Systems (LMSs) also became more sophisticated and user-friendly.
- The present and future of eLearning
Today, mobile devices are a popular choice to access eLearning for both businesses and general education, and advancements in technology such as Virtual and Augmented Reality are creating new possibilities for eLearning.
Flexible eLearning Solutions For Diverse Training Objectives
eLearning has become an increasingly popular and effective way for organizations to deliver training to their employees, customers, partners, and stakeholders. With the ability to deliver content through a variety of formats, such as Learning Management Systems, mobile apps, virtual classrooms, and interactive videos, eLearning can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each audience. In this article, we will explore four key types of eLearning training—employee training, customer training, partner training, and compliance training—and discuss the different ways in which organizations can utilize eLearning to enhance their training and development programs.
1. eLearning For Employee Training
Organizations frequently use eLearning through an LMS for employee training. This includes onboarding new hires and improving employee performance. eLearning formalizes training delivery, making it more efficient than traditional methods. By promoting a culture of eLearning, organizations can encourage ongoing professional development and knowledge-sharing among employees. It encourages professional development and fosters an eLearning culture.
It can be delivered through a Learning Management System (LMS), video hosting platforms, virtual classroom sessions, interactive videos, or mobile learning apps.
2. eLearning For Customer Training
Customer training programs may seem unconventional, but they can provide significant value. They help customers better understand and utilize your product or service, with software providers being a popular user of such programs. These programs also benefit the organization by improving customer onboarding, increasing engagement, and promoting customer retention.
Product demonstrations, tutorials, how-to guides, troubleshooting and support resources, and user manuals. It can be delivered through a customer portal, mobile app, email, or social media.
3. eLearning For Partner Training
Partner training, also referred to as reseller training, is a key component of enabling your partners to thrive as members of your network. This type of training offers product information, sales and marketing guidance, support training, and more to help partners achieve certification requirements. The benefits of partner training are significant, including the ability to improve partner engagement, reduce support costs, scale growth, and maintain brand consistency.
This type of eLearning can include sales training, product training, technical training, and certification programs. It can be delivered through a partner portal, webinars, virtual events, or in-person training sessions.
4. eLearning For Compliance Training
Compliance training is crucial for most organizations as it educates employees on the laws and regulations relevant to their roles and industries. It is mandatory and covers topics like workplace safety, health, and dignity. Examples of compliance training include anti-harassment training, HR law, and diversity training. By implementing an effective compliance training program, organizations can minimize the risk of non-compliance and preserve their reputation. Employees also benefit from a safer and more productive work environment. Additionally, utilizing eLearning through a reliable Learning Management System (LMS) streamlines the process of staying current with changing legislation and updating training materials.
This type of eLearning can include workplace safety training, anti-harassment training, data privacy, security training, and ethical conduct training. It can be delivered through a combination of online courses, assessments, and certifications, and can be tracked and reported through an LMS.
What Is Interactivity In eLearning?
The section below provides a categorization of the level of interactivity for various eLearning content types. The level of interactivity is a critical factor in determining the effectiveness and engagement of an eLearning course. The categorization is based on a scale of Levels 1, 1.5, 2, and 3, each with its own definition. The definitions describe the types of content that fall under each category, including examples of eLearning content types that are commonly associated with each level.
An Overview Of eLearning Content Formats Classified By Interactivity Level
Based on our analysis of thousands of client cases, we’ve concluded that the effectiveness of an eLearning course is directly related to its content. The more interactive, engaging, and relevant the content is, the more effective the course will be. There are various types of content to choose from, and we have listed the main ones you should consider below.
Level 1: Low Interactivity
- Text-based content
This type of content is text-heavy and can include documents, manuals, guides, and articles. It may or may not be interactive, depending on the formatting and structure.
- Video content
This type of content includes video-based lectures, simulations, and demonstrations. It can be pre-recorded or live and can be used for various purposes, such as introducing a topic, illustrating a concept, or demonstrating a process.
- Audio content
This type of content includes audio-based lectures, podcasts, and audiobooks. It can be used for various purposes, such as providing background information, explaining a concept, or storytelling.
Level 1.5: Low To Medium Interactivity
This type of content includes video recordings of a computer screen, often used to demonstrate software or processes. Screencasts can be used to provide step-by-step instructions or showcase specific features.
This type of content includes digital books or guides that can be downloaded and read on various devices. eBooks can cover a range of topics and can include multimedia elements, such as videos and images.
- Articles and blogs
This type of content includes written articles and blog posts, often used to provide background information, insights, and analysis on various topics. Articles and blogs can be interactive, allowing readers to comment and share their thoughts.
This type of content includes audio-based shows that can cover a range of topics, from interviews and news to storytelling and education. Podcasts can be downloaded and listened to on various devices.
Level 2: Medium Interactivity
- Interactive quizzes
This type of content includes quizzes, tests, and assessments. They can be used to evaluate knowledge, reinforce learning, and provide feedback.
- Interactive games and simulations
This type of content includes educational games and simulations that enable learners to practice and apply skills and knowledge in a safe and engaging environment.
- Interactive infographics
This type of content includes visual representations of complex information, which can be interactive, allowing learners to explore and interact with the data.
Level 3: High Interactivity
- Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
This type of content includes immersive technologies that allow learners to explore, experience, and interact with virtual environments and objects.
- Interactive courses
This type of content includes complete eLearning courses that are interactive and designed to engage learners with multimedia elements, interactive features, and assessments.
How Can eLearning Be Delivered During Training?
1. Learning Management System (LMS)
An LMS is a software platform that manages and delivers eLearning courses and tracks learner progress. It supports various eLearning standards, such as SCORM and xAPI.
2. Web-Based Training (WBT)
WBT is a type of eLearning that is delivered through a web browser. Learners can access the training materials from anywhere with an internet connection.
3. Mobile Learning (mLearning)
mLearning is eLearning that is delivered through mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Learners can access the training materials on the go and at their convenience.
4. Virtual Classroom
A virtual classroom is an online environment that simulates a traditional classroom. Learners can participate in live sessions with an instructor and interact with other learners.
5. Blended Learning
Blended learning combines eLearning with traditional classroom training. This approach can offer a more flexible and customized learning experience for learners.
6. Social Learning
Social learning uses social media platforms, forums, and other online communities to encourage collaboration and knowledge-sharing among learners.
When choosing a delivery method, consider the needs and preferences of your learners, the content and format of your eLearning courses, and the resources and tools available to you. Additionally, ensure that your chosen delivery method is compatible with the eLearning standards you plan to use to ensure interoperability with other eLearning tools and platforms.
In conclusion, eLearning is a modern method of acquiring knowledge and skills that are rapidly gaining popularity in corporate training and education. It involves using digital technology to deliver engaging and interactive learning experiences that can be accessed anytime and anywhere. Studies have shown that eLearning is a highly effective way to learn, with learners retaining up to 60% more information compared to traditional classroom-based training.
Originally published at www.thinkdom.co.