Is There a Recipe For eLearning Success?
What does it take to become an eLearning award winner? Unicorn‘s Senior Relationship Manager Sarah Nutley investigates.
I was invited to find out what it takes to be an award winner at the eLN event “Proven Recipes for Learning Success”. It’s fair to say that it was full of the unexpected! The E-Learning Awards are open to organisations of all sizes and industries worldwide. You can enter one or more of their categories here. They include awards for innovation, content, blended learning, LMS, compliance and outstanding organisations and individuals.
At the event we heard from the people behind the winning entries, both clients and developers. Within the session was insight into the world of health care, booksellers, the policing effort at London Olympics and Emergency Capacity Building Projects in the developing world. The scope for using eLearning will never cease to impress or astound!
Towards Maturity provided the criteria the winners were judged on:
- 2 way business alignment: Learning supports business needs
- Respond faster: Learning is delivered in time to support business needs
- Transform training: Blend a wide range of learning technologies to redefine the course
- Develop learning culture: Staff know-how to productively connect and share
- Integrate learning & talent: Learning technologies actively support the on boarding process
- Flexible learning: Users encouraged to use own devices for learning
- Customer Activated Learning: Users involved in learning design
- Simplify: L&D are using 57% more learning technologies than 5 years ago but 35% of users can’t find what they need!
- Equip L&D as agents of change: Provide continuing professional development to learning professionals
The higher an organisation is rated across the categories the more likely they are to win. If anything the one overriding factor that was evident with all the winners was that they had the buy-in of the board or a senior stakeholder allowing them to fulfil the criteria. Their engagement was key from the start of any project. Most of the training interventions that won were part of companywide initiatives that included communication strategies to engage the audience before implementation and then gain support from managers at all levels. In most cases the projects were used to change the hearts and minds of users, and all the winners found a way to demonstrate that when eLearning is utilised it can add value to people’s day jobs.
Learning innovation, done well, delivers bottom line results!
One of the winning entries (taking 4 awards in total) was an engaging piece showing users how to implement CPR. If you haven’t tried this, do – lifesaver.org.uk (it’s downloadable for iPads.)
Lifesaver goes beyond eLearning, crossing into gamification and simulation and the learning has a memorable impact. This piece raised a significant point about supply and demand however.
While this type of learning – submersing the user straight into a situation – is impressive as it’s scenario training at its very best through crisis simulation and time pressure, is there a demand for it? The Unicorn Instructional Designers were very interested in how we can incorporate this into our work should the need arise.
Other winners focused on ways to engage users including;
- Developing blended programmes
- Converting the learning to Bite sized chucks
- Encouraging sharing of knowledge, experience and learning
65% (of users) are motivated by technology that allows them to share
- Using different devices to deliver eLearning while users were ‘on the job’
- Creating a self-paced learning programme
88% (of users) want to learn at their own pace
- Providing achievement status / rewards
2/3 of learners want their learning to be recognised
What created the ‘winners’ was the fact that they implemented programmes that did the job of engaging users. The most successful ways of doing this were:
- Through a powerful communication strategy – creating buy-in
- Matching user preferences to delivery methods
- Aligning the project to the business mission; showing the business and the users exactly how the intervention will deliver business results
- Thinking about all the users, engaging the tech savvy and the technophobes, those who work online and those who work offline
- If you can, set up a working party that includes users from all parts of the business – they can make the solution relevant companywide
- Think of embedding learning rather than providing training, the learning technology should be the vehicle that helps deliver learning into everyday life
How many organisations take these factors into consideration at the start of a training intervention?
The stats speak for themselves:
It’s clear that eLearning can change the world – from compliance in care homes to emergency building projects to safety at global events and to training people to save lives. The medium of eLearning can be utilised to share information anywhere and at any time making it accessible and beneficial, whatever your job role. It’s also clear that there are huge benefits to companies when they successfully implement a learning intervention utilising eLearning.
How many lessons can be applied to any eLearning intervention currently being discussed at your organisation? How many senior stakeholders do you have engaged in the project? Let us know in the comments.