The discussion about whether or not corporations and organizations should be using eLearning programs to train their employees belongs to an earlier decade.
In 2017, eLearning is a reality because it has been proven repeatedly to deliver the goods in a cost-effective manner.
But what are the top trends as we move forward from the foundation of acceptance in this method of delivering knowledge? What should human resource professionals know as they look to eLearning programs for the future?
Here are 5 top trends to be aware of before you invest more money or time in eLearning course content:
1. Your courses need to get better. 70% of employees surveyed in a recent study about the quality of eLearning courses gave them the thumbs-down. They said the courses were not engaging and not motivating them to do more. In fact, they found most of the courses offered were downright boring. The only difference was that instead of falling asleep at the back of the room as a lecture from a trainer droned on, now they were dozing off in front of their laptops, tablets or phones.
What does this mean to your company? It means that you have to put more thought into creating engaging learning material. You need to liven up the learning process, perhaps, with gamification or simulations. Material needs to be updated, and to be relevant and attention-grabbing in an attention-deprived world.
2. You need to create more relevant incentives to learn. Getting a job and learning the basics to keep it is enough for many people. They want to spend their time outside of their workplace on their families and relationships as well as leisure pursuits. Encouraging them to study at home cannot be considered a natural consequence of employment with your firm. Companies and organizations in the future will need to tie specific coveted rewards with continual learning. Full degrees may bring wage increases; completion of specific courses may bring anything from a series of flexible rewards to goods or services.
How does this translate for the human resource departments? It may be time to go to a committee of employees and ask for their honest feedback and what would make them learn more. Don’t forget to ask why? They don’t all have to agree on anything; just gather the ideas and consider what could work. Perhaps a menu of rewards is the answer.
3. Update your delivery methods regularly. Going mobile was the big challenge of the last few years, but that is the accepted strategy now. Take your delivery models to the next level by looking at wearable technology and just-in-time learning systems that can be accessed from anywhere at any time.
Before you make major moves into new technology, it is a good investment to do an in-house study on the level of technology knowledge your employees have. What kind of personal devices are they bringing from home to work? What kind of feedback do they have for you? Could the delivery of new technology be tied to certain levels of training accomplishment? One company experienced an increase in participation in volunteer learning when they offered a free mini tablet once 5 online courses were completed.
4. Be conscious of the trend for authentic learning. Many employees retain their training most when scenario learning is used or real life cases are presented and they are encouraged to find solutions. When they can compare what they would do now compared to what was done in the actual case, they find it highly relevant and interesting.
This translates within your company to building situations where employees learning online can participate as teams in problem solving scenarios and share insight. Now only do they learn in the process, but this helps to build a more collaborative working environment, another goals for the modern organization.
5. Find better ways to evaluate the acceptance and effectiveness of your training materials. Content creation and delivery are just two-thirds of the eLearning equation. The final third is evaluation. What is working and why is it working?
Create committees of engaged employees to meet regularly to access which courses are of value to them and which ones failed to meet the mark.