Give your eLearning an Efficiency Makeover
Modern workplaces are moving faster than ever – with a world of knowledge just a click or two away, and the ability to instantaneously connect with colleagues down the hall, across the country, or on the other side of the world, delays and wasted time just don’t cut it anymore.
A side effect of this? Efficiency is the new holy grail, and learners are looking for ways to streamline all aspects of their day. This article will take a look at a few ways you can give learners the efficiency they crave.
So how exactly does this efficiency-craving need impact eLearning? Put simply, learners just don't have the time to dedicate days to a training course anymore. Sitting in a classroom while a flood of emails, IMs and phone calls are going unanswered back at the desk can be incredibly stressful and does not create the best atmosphere for learning.
The modern learner is still looking for training opportunities, but these opportunities need to be delivered with optimum efficiency and effectiveness... think bite-sized nuggets of eLearning delivered on demand. Before we take a closer look at this, let's first explore what we mean by "efficiency".
What is Efficiency?
When we talk about making eLearning more efficient, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that just means "faster". While delivering learning in fast and easy bites, like we do with microlearning, has definite benefits, when we talk about making learning more efficient we are actually talking about evaluating your entire process to see what you can do tominimize wasted energy, effort, money and time.
Faster can solve a few of the issues we have talked about - but how can we overhaul training to make sure it's ticking all the boxes?
The first thing you should do if you want to make sure your end product is efficient and effective is dig deep into your existing program. Reporting is indispensable here; leverage this feature in your LMS to get a clear picture of what is and isn't working. What should you pull reports on? Think about getting data on course completion rates certainly, but see if you can drill down and see:
- Do more learners complete courses that feature, for example, webinars?
- Are courses that feature game mechanics finished more quickly than standard click-through audio and graphic courses?
- Do learners perform better when there is more oversight or less?
Basically, you need to find out what appeals most to your learners - what motivates them to start, and then actually finish, the courses you are providing. And if the reports you need don't come standard? Talk to your vendor and see if you can customize the reports you think will help - remember, they want your training program to succeed as much as you do!
Reporting will help you make your learning program more efficient by allowing you to optimize what works best and tweak what is less appealing. This will help take your learning from something to dread to something that your learners will be happy to fit into their schedule (and an efficient learning program should improve ROI - make sure you can report on this too in order to impress the people holding the purse-strings!)
When we talk about eLearning, it's easy to focus solely on the end users, the people you are trying to train to a certain standard. But increasing efficiency for the administrators can have real benefits down the line as well.
Think about a scenario where you need to make sure your workforce meets an annual regulatory standard. You will want to work with an LMS that can allow you to not only automate these reminders (easy on the administrators!) but also deliver the training whenever and wherever works best (easy on the learners!).
Think about how you could leverage this kind of automation in other ways... Combine automation with analysis and think about:
- Tracking exam performance, so that learners who aren't meeting expectations are sent an invitation to connect one on one with a mentor
- Tracking completion rates, so that learners who are whizzing through their assigned training are given unlocked access to secondary resources
You may also wish to consider:
- Tracking the performance of individual exam questions (if everyone is getting the same question(s) wrong, maybe you've got a poorly written question or maybe it doesn't actually evaluate your learning objectives.)
- Creating and scheduling reports that are automatically sent to your stakeholders
The key is to figure out what will make life easiest for your learners and then configure your LMS to make that happen easily for your administrators. This can be tricky but take your time and think about you are really trying to achieve.
Go Low Tech!
At the end of the day, we can talk about leveraging technologies all we want, but sometimes the best way to find areas where you can develop efficiencies is to get into the trenches and talk to your learners. Actual human interaction can be an invaluable component as you shade in the data provided by your reports. Ask the people actually impacted by automations if it's making their lives easier - you might be surprised by what you find!
The most important thing to remember as you work towards a more efficient training program is that big picture efficiencies happen when learners aren't spinning their wheels, and personalized learning doesn't necessarily mean that you need a dedicated administrator looking at each learning plan.
Efficiency seems to be today's go-to buzzword - everyone is obsessed with optimizing their time and effort. We've looked at a few ways you can make your eLearning more efficient. Become the efficiency expert your training program needs - let us know your thoughts, and if you have any tips that have worked for you!
Jill is an Instructional Designer at BaseCorp Learning Systems with more than 10 years of experience researching, writing and designing effective learning materials. She is fascinated by the English language and enjoys the challenge of adapting her work for different audiences. After work, Jill continues to leverage her professional experience as she works toward the development of a training program for her cats. So far, success has not been apparent.