With companies who offer eLearning to their employees increasing their revenue by 26% per trained individual, it’s easy to see why so many are choosing to provide eLearning opportunities to their workforce. Its increase in popularity and position as the second most used training method for businesses has created an unsurprising rise in eLearning providers. Unfortunately, this growth has resulted in more and more businesses offering insufficient online training under the veil of eLearning; courses that will not provide the benefits and ROI companies expect.
As with any purchase, companies must be sure to research the quality and content of what they are buying. With so many interpretations of what defines an eLearning course, avoiding a poor provider is similar to avoiding the fake hidden amongst a collection of real Rolexes: To the untrained eye they’re almost identical, and it’s only once you’ve purchased the fake that you notice that it has been 1:30pm for almost an hour.
Although a faulty watch can certainly set you back financially, damage your pride and mess with your afternoon plans, bad training is a much more serious issue and can be detrimental to your company’s progression. In the midst of further developing our eLearning courses to take advantage of updates in technology (released later this year) we have created a buyer’s guide to help you become a savvy shopper of online training.
Starting with the e in eLearning
The ‘e’ is what differentiates this training method from traditional forms of learning. Understanding what this letter stands for can be the difference between investing in quality eLearning training or wasting resources on an imitation. The e is often understood as standing for electronic, as the method is hosted using electronic technology, such as computers, tablets and mobiles.
Poor quality providers can give themselves away almost instantly by understanding this as the only definition. These providers believe, or want you to believe, that as long as their materials are available online or on an electronic platform, then they’re offering eLearning.
Quality eLearning providers understand that the e represents much more than electronic: Engaging, exciting, energetic, emotive, educational – these are just a few words e has come to symbolise for good developers and eLearning providers. Those who market recordings of their classroom sessions as an online course, perhaps with material to support, such as PDFs, are not providing eLearning. This material is satisfying the electronic criteria, but it will not have the levels of engagement and excitement that makes eLearning a successful training method. What they are selling is simply a collection of online resources.
Take a tip from Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin famously said: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn”. Keep this phrase in mind when shopping around for your eLearning provider.
A quality eLearning course will provide training that actively involves students, with engaging activities seeking to immerse the students in the course material. Look out for fun visuals alongside click and drop activities and regular quizzes throughout the training.
Not only is this stimulation encouraging and highly conducive to learning, it allows the student to take control of their learning by monitoring and tracking their progress.
eLearning at your own pace
One of the biggest attractions of training through eLearning is the ability for the learner to tailor the course to their own pace. For individuals who have struggled to keep up in classroom settings in the past, or if a company wants to provide a standard level of training to a group with varied levels of knowledge, eLearning is the perfect choice.
Controlling your pace of learning is much more than the ability to stop and start the material when you want; a Youtube tutorial on how to upholster a chair offers a pause button, but this does not make it an eLearning module in Interior Design.
For example, if the course is online resources disguised as online training, such as recordings of past classes, a student may be exposed to hearing questions that were asked within that particular session. If those questions are asked by someone of a higher knowledge level, the topic could throw the student and shake their confidence.
In such examples, the pressure-free environment essential to eLearning is just not possible. Avoid the providers that fail to recognise this, and be sure to find eLearning training that offers continuous support and communication for their students.
Online resources, marketed incorrectly as online training and eLearning, often charge the same price as their competitors. As the customer, it’s essential that you can spot the differences we have highlighted here between what is, and what is not eLearning, so that you only invest in quality training. The impressive statistics, data and success stories we have seen over the years as a result of eLearning are possible for you and your company, but they can only be achieved through genuine eLearning services.