Popularizing eLearning Within Organizations
One concern that I hear Learning and Development and Human Resources executives express is the declining interest and participation of employees in their corporate eLearning programs. In many cases, after the initial excitement of the launch of eLearning initiative is over, employee participation starts going down. Very few employees opt for the eLearning courses, and many of those who subscribe do not complete them. Here are 6 strategies for popularizing eLearning in order to draw employees towards the corporate eLearning initiatives:
- Gamify eLearning.
Transform the eLearning initiative from a Learning Management System implementation to a fun and exciting experience for the employees. Gamify the learning process; assign points / credits to the courses and accumulate these points into the accounts of the employees as they complete the courses. Form teams within departments and let the teams compete for their eLearning scores. Publicize top achiever teams and individuals regularly and also reward them at the end of the year quarter.
- Socialize eLearning.
eLearning typically tends to be a private affair between the Learning and Development department and the employee or the Learning Management System and the employee. This tends to make eLearning initiatives quite dull and boring, particularly the self-paced programs. Open up the eLearning initiative allowing employees to post questions, provide responses, and rate questions and responses. Allow virtual communities to be formed and community members to create and publish eLearning capsules. Assign points for every question, response, and learning capsule that is well perceived by the community members. Such points can be accumulated by employees to receive rewards and recognition.
- Allow access to the content through tablets and smartphones.
Giving access to eLearning content through tablets and smartphones can lure Field Force employees into eLearning. Employees on the move access most of their everyday transaction systems via their tablets and mobile devices. Why should eLearning be an exception?
- Shorten learning content duration.
Long hours of eLearning content that lacks interactivity and engagement make it tough for learners to complete eLearning courses. The learning experience becomes just mechanical. Also, Field Force employees engaged in sales and customer service can easily get distracted and find it hard to dedicate 30-60 minutes of their free time for Learning and Development. Companies that have reduced eLearning content duration, say to 5-10 minutes learning capsules, have seen much better acceptance and higher completion rates, especially among Field employees. A few companies have even tried SMS-based learning, where small information bytes are being sent via SMS every morning to the Field Force followed by an SMS question later in the day. Employees might miss or ignore the first SMS, but are forced to refer to it when they have to respond to the question before the end of the day.
- Use scenarios, situations, and case studies.
Make use of real life situations and scenarios to explain theories and concepts while designing your eLearning course. Scenarios and situations are much easier to relate to and retain the concept. Keep assessments based on case studies so that learning can be reinforced through application of theories and concepts rather than conventional questions that check the retention of theories and general concepts.
- Create game-based and simulation-based eLearning.
Convert the eLearning content into a game or a simulation of a real life scenario. For example, a course on “Managing Irate Customers” can be designed as a simulation, where the learner is presented with the situation and the course progresses based on the choices made by the learners. This makes the whole learning experience interesting and highly engaging.