4 Best Practices In Delivery Of Digital Learning Resources

4 Best Practices In Delivery Of Digital Learning Resources
Summary: With the worldwide market for generic eLearning reaching $35.6 billion in 2011 and the smart money on the market being worth $50+ billion by 2016, organizations need to improve their practices to deliver their digital learning resources. In this article we will cover the available types of eLearning, the right blend of learning and eLearning best practices, and also some strategic objectives.

What Types Of eLearning Are Available?

It is clear that organizations will start looking more at improving their practices to deliver their digital learning resources. Let us first have a look at what types of eLearning are available today:

  • Off-the-shelf courses.
    These are developed by learning experts and combine the expertise of key thinkers on the subject matter. These can be accessed on your own intranet or network or across the web as a hosted option whereby the supplier makes them available to you from a central server.
  • Bespoke courses.
    Courses developed specifically for an organization to meet their learner’s needs. They can be deployed as for off-the-shelf courses.
  • Blended learning.
    An organization incorporates a mix of learning methods, from face to face to online courses to provide a library of material to meet the needs of different learning styles and information delivery.

The Right Blend Of Learning And 4 Best Practices To Deliver Digital Learning Resources  

The right blend of learning will incorporate a variety of functions that allow the learner to participate in the most appropriate way for them. A good blended solution will incorporate online courses, online access to reference materials, instructor led training, mentoring by experts, as well as other information resources.

Some good practices to deliver digital learning resources include:

  1. Localization.
    If you have a diverse and geographically dispersed learner group for which translation and cultural adjustments are required, you might decide to develop a large self-paced eLearning course in English for all learners, followed by virtual classes in the local language to deal with local issues and cultural differences.
  2. Allowing downloads.
    Even in contexts with highly developed infrastructures, learners do not have continuous access to the internet. They should be able to download online content and work on it offline.
  3. Social media engagement.
    Social media can be used for uploading articles and additional resources that will support learners' personal development. It can also be used to provoke eLearning to user interaction which could assist in motivating users to finish their courses and limit the number of queries. Finally, social media can also be used for supporting user to user interaction, to build a co-learning space and an engaged online community.
  4. Eliminating the access and understanding gap.
    Some people may not have the latest devices or software versions that could support such activities. Moreover, they may not be very familiar with the latest software and online tools. Businesses should research and acquire what can easily be accessed and used by the majority of their learners.

Setting Strategic Objectives 

To ensure that a successful eLearning cycle is being provided, eLearning providers should set clear and measurable objectives for each phase. They should monitor results and respond accordingly (e.g. add resources, resolve IT issues, etc.).

  • Objective 1: Raising Awareness.
    Make end-users and line managers aware of the existence and benefits of the program. Marketing and social media activities can help getting public attention.
  • Objective 2: Getting Learners Started.
    Ensure that users successfully access the course for the first time (often IT considerations here). Also, ensure that instructions about the learning process and activities are easily reached at any stage.
  • Objective 3: Supporting Learning.
    Ensure that users receive sufficient support while learning (e.g. help-desks, online mentoring, and floor-walkers).
  • Objective 4: Ensuring Completion.
    Ensure that users complete the courses (e.g. offering rewards and incentives or giving reminders by email or phone).
  • Objective 5: Feedback.
    Gather feedback and results (when usage and completion data is not gathered automatically). Use this data to review the entire learning process starting from step one.

Reference: eLearning Methodologies: A guide for designing and developing eLearning courses