Our Top Tips for Human Resource (HR) Managers when Implementing eLearning


When it comes to learning and development in today’s world, it is almost impossible to avoid technology and the use of technological devices. When we want to know the answer to something, we google it. When we want to communicate with a friend, we text them. Technology has enabled us to learn, share and communicate in a way that we never could before.

As a HR manager you will potentially consider or come across eLearning as a solution to your training needs. You may need to share a message with employees in your organisation and not have the resources to send trainers out to different locations (Black, 2013). You may need participants for a face to face course to learn a skill or obtain knowledge prior to attending. There may be a skill that employees need to learn though you don’t have the budget for multiple classroom sessions. Whatever the reason is, prior to launching your eLearning project, it is important that you know what to consider. If you are aware of the considerations that are important when it comes to eLearning, you can deliver a successful eLearning solution that is fit for purpose and that engages your audience.

Here are some important considerations to take into account prior to designing and implementing an eLearning solution.

1. Understand Your Learner

Prior to deciding on a type of eLearning course to launch, it is pivotal that you understand your learners. The more that you know about your learners, the better chance you have of designing a course that aligns with their needs.

- What do your learners already know? If they have been with the organisation for quite some time, you can potentially skip content that would be more suitable for new hires. The last thing you want is to have your learners reading through content that they have read multiple times before. It is likely that they will lose interest and conclude that you don’t understand their skill level or needs as a learner.

- What tech skills do they have?
You could make the most impressive and engaging eLearning course, though if your learners can’t access or navigate it, it is rendered useless. Prior to designing an eLearning course, it is important that you understand the skill level that your learners have with technology. This can have a significant impact on the way that you design your course and support you in considering whether they will require special training to complete the eLearning (Gutierrez, 2016).

2. Learner Attitude

Just like any learning solution, it is important that you assess the attitude of your learners. When the learner receives the eLearning solution, will they be motivated to obtain the knowledge?

The first question to ask is if the learner even knows that the knowledge gap exists. Learner buy-in to an eLearning solution is crucial to its success. If a learner doesn’t know why they need to complete the eLearning or understand how it can positively impact their day to day life, it is unlikely that they will actively engage in the learning process (no matter how great the eLearning solution is). Before anyone can master a skill through a learning experience they need to be convinced that a gap exists (Andriotis, 2014).

It is therefore important to communicate with learners prior to the release of the eLearning and best of all, involve them in the design process. They can provide you with insight and feedback that can significantly impact the success and buy-in of your solution.

3. Delivery Options

Now that you understand your learners and their attitude towards the learning solution you can look at delivery options. Will your learners be completing the eLearning on a computer, an iPad or a mobile phone? Or do you want to provide them with the option to use either of the three?

It is critical to know what device your learner will be using so that you can determine a responsive design (Gutierrez, 2016). If you create an eLearning course that is not responsive to the device that it will be completed on, pages and images potentially won’t load, screen objects will be out of proportion and your learner may not even be able to click on the next button.

If you want your learner to be able to complete your course on their computer, mobile or iPad for example, it is important that you design accordingly.

4. Nice to Know Versus Need to Know Content

You may have a stack of content ready to turn into an eLearning course. Whilst it is important to include information that will meet the needs of the learning solution, it is also just as important to exclude information that is nice to know, however, not essential for the learning goal.

To create an effective eLearning solution, you don’t want to overwhelm the learner with screen after screen of dense text. Sort through the content that you have and pick out the information that is necessary for the learner to know, to meet the learning objectives.

Your learners will thank you for it and you can enable them to remember the important information rather than being overwhelmed and forgetting it all.

5. Consider Instructional Design Models

There are a range of instructional design models and methodologies out there in the world that you can use to create an engaging eLearning course.

Try to steer clear from a ‘death by PowerPoint’ style course and put effort into creating a realistic, engaging and fit for purpose experience for your learners.

At Belvista Studios we have been on the lookout for the best models out there and have collected a few favourites along the way. We would suggest considering the following when it comes to the instructional design process of your eLearning project:

- Action Mapping by Cathy Moore: Cathy describes ‘Action Mapping’ as “a streamlined process to design training in the business world” (Cathy Moore, 2016). It is a process that has allowed us to design effective learning solutions that really tackle the root cause of the problem. Check out her website here. Check out this blog on ‘How Action Mapping Can Transform your Learning Solutions’ here.

The CCAF Model: Dr. Allen’s CCAF Model is a useful tool for any instructional designer as it defines the characteristics that a good eLearning interaction should have (Keramida, 2015). Check out this blog on ‘How to Create Engaging eLearning Activities’ that explores how you can use the CCAF model for your eLearning solutions.

6. Accessibility

Last but not least, it is important that you consider accessibility requirements prior to designing and developing your eLearning course. This involves considering all your learners and their individual needs. An accessible course is designed in a way that considers vision impairments, hearing impairments and anything else that may impact the learner’s ability to complete the learning solution. 

Accessibility considerations also encompass times when someone is, for example, travelling on the bus without headphones and is unable to hear audio. In this instance, if there was a video with audio, the learner could read captions on the video instead.

Creating an eLearning course that aligns with accessibility standards can involve knowledge and time, so it is very useful to know how to tackle it. For more information on accessibility check out this blog, ‘Five Tips for Implementing Accessibility into your eLearning' here.

That’s it for this blog on what to consider prior to implementing eLearning. eLearning may not be fit for every solution and it is important that you consider this in your decision making. When eLearning is done well and is fit for purpose it is a great option for teaching a large audience a consistent message as well as breaking down the limits of distance and time (Black, 2013). We hope that these tips add value to you and allow you to design an effective and engaging eLearning solution.

                                                           References


Andriotis, N. (2014). eLearning for Human Resources Management. Retrieved from https://www.efrontlearning.com/blog/2015/02/elearning-human-resources-management.html

Black, L. (2013). The Benefits of e-Learning Courses and When and When Not to Use eLearning. Retrieved from http://www.alterisgroup.com/blog/benefits-of-elearning-courses/

Gutierrez, K. (2016). 6 Things to Think About Before Creating an eLearning Course. Retrieved from https://www.shiftelearning.com/blog/before-creating-an-elearning-course

Keramida. M (2015). Create Effective eLearning Interactions Using the CCAF Model. Retrieved fromhttps://elearningindustry.com/create-effective-elearning-interactions-using-the-ccaf-model

Moore, C. (2016) Let's Save the World from Boring Training. Retrieved from: http://blog.cathy-moore.com/

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