One of the biggest hurdles that enterprises should guard against, when implementing an eLearning program, is missing the forest for the trees. Too often, we get bogged down by instructional design strategies (which is very important and I am not advocating abandoning it), integrating courseware with the LMS, pressure to launch the courseware in time to support a program, and many such constraints. However, what is more important is to take a “program view” to eLearning projects as opposed to a “project view”. Here are two important steps you can take to ensure your eLearning project is successful:
1. Understand more about the dragon you plan to slay before swinging your sword. What are the current learning delivery channels? Are they effective? and if not, what are the deficiencies? Work with business users to nail down their expectations very clearly. There is a tendency to have very high expectations, and it is better to uncover such unrealistic hopes upfront so that you have a chance to define your program appropriately or reset expectations in the beginning. For example, “We want to enhance productivity through eLearning” should not be he basis for an eLearning project. What is your current productivity levels? what is the goal in terms of expected productivity?characteristics of the intended audience and their likes and dislikes should be known upfront.
2. Magic tricks are best left to magicians and surprises don’t go down well with learners. Enterprise learners don’t have time. They hate to take time away from their day-to-day tasks. Hence there is a need to constantly follow-up and communicate the availability of a new courseware and how the courseware could potentially help them become more efficient. Communicate before the courseware is launched (just like a movie trailer), communicate when the courseware is available (to help them easily find the courseware from the intranet or LMS), and communicate success stories on how an employee / learner benefited from the courseware. “So you never knew we had a courseware?”, is a poor reflection on the training department.The burden of communication is on the training department always.
Stay tuned for my concluding post on this topic.