Examining Barriers To eLearning Adoption: Why Isn't Your eLearning Program Taking Off As Expected?
Businesses today have to cope with disruptive technologies and ideas that force us to quickly innovate and stay relevant in the market. You might have to foray into new product lines or explore new markets. With the changing business environment and evolving market needs, your employees also have to constantly upgrade their knowledge. Processes, products, and regulations keep changing often and it is not practical to train employees in the traditional format all the time. There is simple no time to get all the employees to assemble at a single location and get trained on the new systems, products or processes. This is where eLearning comes to the rescue.
eLearning has great benefits to offer, not just to your organization but to your employees as well.
- More people can upgrade their knowledge or skills within a short time.
- Employees have control over their training.
- Training can be continuous, yet with a fraction of the costs organizations incur if they have to provide face to face classroom training.
Yet, there are still barriers to eLearning adoption, as it is not always welcomed with open arms. Though computer-based training (as eLearning was initially called) has been around for some time, its format and usage has changed in the last couple of years making it more attractive as a training medium. However, its capabilities are not always understood leading to some skepticism among employees. Often, resistance to eLearning stems from within the organization. If we understand where the resistance comes from, it is easier to take corrective measures and overcome these barriers to eLearning adoption. Most of the barriers stem from a lack of understanding (when implementing eLearning) about what motivates adults to take to learning and how they prefer to go about it.
So, what are the typical barriers to eLearning adoption in an organization?
1. Individuals Unwilling To Change
Change is always difficult to accept and eLearning is no exception. eLearning changes the concept of learning as employees know. Very often they are not aware of the benefits it brings to them as individuals and to the organization as a whole. Often, Subject Matter Experts or trainers feel threatened by eLearning thinking they are likely to be replaced. It is important to get the buy-in for eLearning at the initial stages of eLearning implementation from all stakeholders.
2. Employees Unfamiliar With Self-Initiated Learning
People are tuned to the fact the learning takes place in a traditional classroom setting with a teacher/instructor taking the lead, initiating the process and guiding all along. After all, how can any technological program replace the valuable experience a Subject Matter Expert or training manager brings to the table during face to face interactions? It is something that is hard to visualize for many. Therefore, it is a good idea to create a prototype and get end-users to try it out before the entire course is rolled out to them.
3. Courses Are Not Instructionally Sound
If courses do not have any direct implication on employees’ jobs, they won’t have any motivation to take it. Courses have to be designed to address specific learning goals. At the same time, they have to be instructionally sound and engaging to keep alive the interest of learners. Poorly designed eLearning courses will surely find less or no takers. It is a good idea to hire a team of good Instructional Designers and multimedia developers who work alongside your Subject Matter Experts to develop instructionally sound courses.
4. Employees Expected To Complete Learning During Personal Time
If employees were to go to a traditional training program, they do so during their workday and time. However, sometimes, there is ambiguity as to when employees are expected to complete the online courses assigned to them. If they are not given time off during work hours to complete them and are expected to use their personal time, it is not going to down well with them.
5. Unfriendly User Interface And Technical Problems
Another dissuading factor for online courses is when users find it hard to navigate through the page, with no technical help available immediately. The course user interface as well as the interface of the Learning Management System where the courses are hosted should be intuitive and user-friendly. Sometimes, simple login or password problems can dissuade users from completing a course. Imagine having to wait endlessly for resetting a password. Employees are busy with their regular work responsibilities and when they encounter technical problems, help should be immediate. That way, employees will be likely to complete courses on time.
It is a good idea to take stock of these factors before developing eLearning courses and implementing them in your organization. If you would like to have an in-depth knowledge about how to overcome these barriers to eLearning adoption successfully and implement eLearning in your organization, download the eBook eLearning: Getting Your Organization READY.