What is E-learning?

“E-Learning” is a broad term used to encompass pretty much every kind of learning that is facilitated by a computer, smartphone or tablet. An example of more formal E-Learning is compliance training where the learner must complete all portions of a given body of training, in sequence and must achieve a pre-determined minimum on course assessments, all of which can be tracked and measured.
However, the term E-Learning can also include online learning in the form of self-accessed/self-paced study, how-to tutorials, webinars, instructional videos, virtual classrooms, peer-led study within an online community of learners, and much more. And therein lies the beauty and potential of E-Learning; its flexibility of delivery, access and use accommodates the wide variety of learning styles and preferences within a population of learners.

What is Blended Learning?

Blended Learning is a combination of traditional instructor lead training (ILT) and E-learning. In this context the ILT portion of the course can build the interpersonal relationships which can enhance the instructor-student and peer-to-peer interaction within the course, both face-to-face and online. The E-learning side can provide pre-class foundation learning to ensure all learners enter into the course from a similar start-point. The online portion of the course can also provide review of what was covered in class, further resources, exercises and practice, peer-to-peer discourse and collaboration, and private instructor feedback on learner progress and work.

What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

An LMS is a web-based system that is used to deliver online courses or training to learners, publish and administer the training content needed, manage and assess learners, and document and report learner progress and outcomes. These reporting capabilities allow you to see how well the learners have performed in a test, how long they have spent on a given module and what they have and have not done to date.

Do we need to have an LMS to implement E-learning in our organization?

This really depends on the needs of the organization. If you want to be able to track the metrics of the online learning – who took what course, when they took it, and how they scored on the course assessments – then yes, you will want to use a Learning Management System. However, your training delivery is more about information transfer, self-guided study and/or on-the-job performance support, then an LMS is not necessary and online training can be uploaded to a secure website or to the company intranet.

Why can’t our training department build their own online learning?

They can.  We can work with your Learning and Development department to give your staff the tools to build their own online learning. See details of our E-Learning DIY Package and get your staff started on the road to creating online learning in-house.

Is a formal Needs Assessment really necessary?

While it might initially appear to be a time-wasting impediment to getting started, an in-depth needs assessment provides the opportunity for all parties – the instructional designer, the training department, your business team, subject matter experts, and any other stakeholders – to establish exactly what is required. This usually flushes out gaps in perception, expectations and goals, allows a unifying of vision, and identifies what sources of content and materials are already on-hand and what will require development.

To skip this process runs the very real risk of having many of the key stakeholders feeling, post-development, that this was not what they had assumed the training would consist of, what it would look like – and then demands for revisions and additions arise. As any seasoned developer will tell you deciding what you want in the revision stage of development can add as much as 50% – or more – to production time and cost, and can result in a patchier product.

How can investing in online training benefit my company?

Like any investment, it’s important to make an informed decision and invest wisely. Having done so, investing in Online training can benefit your organization with significant reductions in training costs, and the associated costs in travel, accommodation and lost time at work. Time to competency for learners is reduced by up to half. Training material is standardized for all learners and can be revisited, at no cost, as many times as they like, enhancing retention of learning. For more information on how E-Learning can benefit your operation, see “Clickable Pros and Cons of E-Learning.

We know we need to provide training but, being new at this, we’re not sure of precisely what we require – how do we get started?

This is a matter of scope. We can work with you to establish your training goals and requirements, what this entails and to determine what the overall scope of the project will be.

What information do you need to give me a proposal?

In an ideal world, the proposal would be based on a comprehensive document outlining your organisational goals for the training, the scope, learning objectives, content, budget and technical requirements. In reality, clients rarely have all this at their fingertips, so don’t worry if you haven’t thought it all through! We are happy to help you formulate your ideas.

Who writes the content?

Unless you prefer to do it yourself, our instructional designers go to work to pull together all of the relevant material and information needed to write and design content that will provide an engaging and meaningful learning experience for your audience and that achieves your identified training objectives.

Where does the work take place?

For some stages of the project, it may be beneficial for us to work directly with your SMEs or training department at your premises. However, the bulk of the work will happen at our location where we have the hardware, software and other equipment to carry out the design and development of your online training, minimizing disruptions for you in your workplace. We utilize various web-conferencing and desktop-sharing applications, making remote work and collaboration possible and effective.

How long does it take to develop a piece of e-learning?

This truly depends on the scope of your training requirements and the complexity desired. We can deliver in as little as 3-4 weeks, but in practice most projects take 2-3 months.

What technology/software do you use?

While we use an array of software and authoring tools in creating our E-learning – Captivate, Camtasia, Articulate Studio, Storyline and a number of the Adobe suite of software products including sound and video editing – the technology we choose for your project ultimately depends on the type of training required and the desired functionality and features for your training project. The combination of software that will achieve the best E-learning in the least amount of time with the functionality you need is what we will use.

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