“The way we will learn in the future will be very different than how we have learnt in the past.”
What is E-learning?
Conventionally, learning has happened in a classroom with an instructor who uses the black or white board to explain the concepts.
E-learning is a new form of learning. It’s technology assisted learning that happens over a computer/laptop/tablet PC/mobile or anything else that can play digital content.
This digital content is prepared by professional instructors with the help of rich multimedia content like video, audio, quizzes, screencasts, animation, simulation, scenarios, and games.
A Case for E-learning: Traditional training frameworks have the following limitations and costs associated with it.
- Logistical arrangements like freezing on a training date, arrangement of venue, transport for instructors, learners, food & snacks, boarding & lodging etc., day-off/time-off for employees.
- Very people dependent, availability of speakers, participants.
- Preparation of content like decks, handbooks etc.
This results in:
- Limited training: Are conducted at the end of the year, leaving for desire, and a number of topics to be covered.
- Extremely difficult to follow up or track coverage, effectiveness and learner’s progress, no formal way to keep the learners learning continuously after the training is over.
- No continuous learning path: This framework does not encourage the participants to stay on continuous learning path after the training is over.
- Limited tracking: As manual tracking is a very cumbersome affair, tracking is usually done at the level of attendance and level 1 feedback (feedback that is taken right after the training class).
- Measurement: There are very few measurable ways available to evaluate the effectiveness of training.
- Contribution: Training is looked at as a formality and a need-based affair rather than an integral part of the organization’s culture.
- Non-standardized: Experience of learners from different batches or classes on the same training may vary significantly, as a result of different faculty, peer group, etc.
How E-learning solves the problem?
- Standardized: After the E-learning content has been prepared (with a collaboration of SME and instruction designers) you can ensure that everyone goes through the same learning experience and get the best quality inputs. This material being digital can be updated in a fraction of a time as compared to before. And can be accessed by any number of participants at any time.
- Hassle Free: As the E-learning modules are accessed over the computer by the participants, it roots out the troubles of organizing a training program. So, no more venue costs and arrangement, no more trainer availability issues, no more issues with availability of participants on the training day, no lodging & boarding, food & tea, no dedicated holidays required, no traveling for training purposes, thus, leading to immense cost saving and increased convenience. Owing to such an ease, your training calendar can now have more training than before.
- Flexibility: Learners access the E-learning from their computer, at their convenient time. They can access the full training or do parts as they go along a system keeping a tab of how much they have completed. Self-paced, flexible for the instructor can add any new quiz, assignment, case study any time on an existing training, making learning a continuous process.
- Tracking & Reporting: This is the reason E-learning is becoming so popular with organizations. The attendance, scores attained in quizzes or tests, date of completion etc. can be reported at a single click of a button for any number of training and participants, giving you an unprecedented control over your organization’s learning.
- Social Learning: This feature really takes the E-learning culture much beyond the capability of conventional training. E-learning platform, Learning Management System opens up an opportunity to hold online discussions, post questions, learn from others experiences, share your own material, opinion. Connect, collaborate and make project groups with other learners and experts.
Benefits of all involved:
- More Training: Run more training programs than before
- Better Control: Achieve real-time training & reporting of learners
- Reduce Cost of training per participant tremendously
- Knowledge Management: Convert all knowledge material for quick reference by all participants, instructors/SME/training dept.
- Complete Flexibility: Create the training calendar, update any changes real time, create and track learning path for individuals/profiles/new hires/departments.
- Identify High Potential: Get necessary tools to identify super performers and under performers to focus efforts.
- Real Time Update: Update any training program with new updates, quizzes, policy change. Convert as much information into learnable material for the organization as possible.
- Get the Pulse: Get complete learning health check for the organization in real time.
- Automated Communications: Track coverage, performance for all the target groups, automates notifications and reminders.
- Self-paced: Complete freedom and flexibility to approach learning at the convenience of your place and time.
- Continuous Learning: Be on a continuous path of learning by collaborating with other learners and experts.
What type of training is best suited for E-learning?
- All policy training: Company policy, code of conduct, government acts and regulations, industry knowledge, product knowledge, training and use.
- Business process training, system/software training: If participants work on a specific software or application.
- Behavioural/leadership training like team management, interview skills, time management etc.
Apart from the above, E-learning training can be used under the hybrid model to assist some critical classroom sessions, where review/recap/quizzes, feedback, etc. can be done over an e-learning platform taking the effectiveness of important training to the next level.
How is E-learning different from Conventional Training Deck?
Conventional Training Decks prepared by SME’s on the subject just present information on the subject in a linear fashion. We have seen with experience that such an approach to training is not able to hold the learner’s attention for long as it leads to information overload which often gets boring. Also, in this training deck, the kind of learning that happens through an interaction with the learner is limited to asking questions. In short, this prevalent practice is ineffective and a weak learning tool.
E-learning is developed by a team of instruction designers with support from the design team (Video Animation, Graphics, Audio & Gaming Professionals) in collaboration with the SME on the subject.
Instruction designers with their knowledge of adult learning theories, instruction design methodologies, and a focus on a clear objective for the session create an architecture of the learning experience that will keep the learner engaged from the beginning.
Skillful use of Videos, Animations, Decision Scenarios, Case Studies, Interactive Games, Activities, and Quizzes ensure learner participation during the whole experience and guarantee better comprehension, retention, and usage of the concepts.