How to leverage e-learning for your employees and overcome the challenges to make advancing their skills a success for them and your business
Online learning has revolutionized how people worldwide can access information, skills, and qualifications. A flexible environment allows students from around the world to learn at their own pace with a wide variety of courses at their disposal.
Geography no longer limits how you can learn because e-learning means you can attend classes offered by a tutor or teacher who lives thousands of miles away without leaving the comfort of your office or home.
While many online education platforms and individuals offer e-learning classes, a growing number of companies provide e-learning opportunities for employees. This reduces the amount of time spent in training and can ensure that employees are always up to date with the latest trends and developments.
For such programs, employers have material uploaded to the company’s network, and grants access to workers who must complete the training. Companies are electing to tackle training this way for several reasons, including cost savings and time flexibility.
How to ensure that e-learning is successful
Regardless of what type of e-learning a course is offering, accessibility is a critical factor. Learners need to access materials the course offers, which could be printed handbooks or workbooks, portfolios of evidence, notes, videos, and graphics.
E-learning has highlighted how many people prefer to learn using multiple sources instead of relying on textbooks that do not cater to aural, visual, and kinesthetic learning styles. Many e-learning course providers have found that using a balance of resources allows people to process and apply what they have learned, no matter their learning style.
The fact that learning online allows users to return to videos and watch them again makes learning more manageable, primarily when a learner might not have understood a concept at first. Therefore, they have multiple opportunities to learn and process information that is integral to the course.
Like any education course offered in a more conventional setting, e-learning classes should have measurable outcomes defined before any lesson commences.
These should be stated clearly so that the learner knows that they have achieved a lesson’s objectives before moving on to the next one. It is as simple as including a simple checklist of statements beginning with phrases like, “I understand, I can demonstrate, I can define, I can distinguish between,” etc.
Not all e-learning courses come with certification, accreditation, or qualification upon completion. However, at a minimum, they should have a set of objectives for a student to achieve.
One of the benefits of e-learning is that students often have direct access to a lecturer or tutor if they need assistance with understanding content, completing assignments, or preparing for assessments. This is something that many students undertaking traditional learning courses find challenging.
For success, the online learning platform must have a clear, efficient communication strategy to ensure that learners can access their contact person directly and get the advice they need.
These contact details should be conveyed clearly to the student at the commencement of the course. There should also be guidelines on appropriate times and content for communication as these rules define appropriate behavior on communication platforms.
Challenges of e-learning
While e-learning is a great idea in principle, many students struggle to adapt to it. From the time they were young, the concept of learning included a classroom, teacher, textbooks, and timetable. E-learning is, therefore, a foreign idea as their classroom can be anywhere, they work when they want to, and they do not get in-person contact with the teacher.
Because there is so much freedom in how you go about doing an online course, many people struggle to maintain the requisite self-discipline.
It is easy to go home after a tough day at the office and put off watching a lecture until the next day because you are tired. The problem is that the next day becomes the next, and so on. Before you know it, you are way behind.
The opposite of a learner described above is one who spends too much of their downtime focused on their e-learning courses and does not maintain a balance between work, learning, and socializing. They might neglect to properly look after themselves by not eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking breaks to pursue other activities.
Consequently, their physical health suffers, which will only be made worse by the stress they create by pressuring themselves to complete the course. To remedy this challenge, students should set up a roster of when they will attend classes, do coursework, and allocate time to self-care, work, and other commitments.
For a course developer, making sure that the content offered is relevant and engaging learners presents a challenge. Droning lectures or endless course notes will not keep students motivated and might result in a high dropout rate.
At the heart of every lesson plan and presentation should be a student’s perspective. What makes them tick? What do they want to get out of the lesson? What will hold their attention?
By examining these questions, teachers and lecturers can convert dull subject matter into fascinating content. When students feel engaged, they get more out of the lesson and perform better in assessments.
For companies offering e-learning to employees, there is a great deal of preparation that needs to go into setting it up if you want it to work successfully. That means getting IT experts to ensure that the company’s servers support whatever content students will need. Students should also have after-hours access to course materials, so they should be available on their smartphones or personal laptops.
Printing and other resource preparation should be done well in advance. To ensure the course material is covered, a timetable for employees might be advisable. Too often, unrealistic and unfriendly time-frames are given for completing assignments. This should be avoided as it will demotivate learners.
Consult course developers to set deadlines employees will manage to adhere to so that the overall goal of making sure that everyone acquires the necessary skills and knowledge is easily met.
images courtesy of Freepik.com
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