The Future Of Rapid eLearning
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"I See Value In This Process..."

I never believed the toothless fortune-teller when we met in her rustic, wooden caravan on the High Street one day. Mainly because she seemed overly keen to emphasize the fact that the more I paid her, the better news I would receive. You see, more money shouldn’t necessarily mean a better outcome, should it? This brings me to the fodder of this article. The future of a type of eLearning process that promises to actually improve learning outcomes, without costing you a small fortune, or even the last of your pocket-money that you were saving for something that you knew could be of real value to you.

Surfing The Learning Wave

The rise in the need for rapid eLearning aligns nicely with the growth of complementary trends. This includes the growth of data volume, the need for better and consistent quality of learning courses, and also the need for better outcomes for the learner. And with so much attention on this valuable aspect of eLearning and so many learning agencies hopping onboard, it begs the question as to which key drivers will push the development of this trend over the next year or two. And will it continue to grow in prominence or simply fizzle out until a new movement that promises even more of the above benefits at even less of the cost replaces it?

Rapid eLearning In Context

Rapid eLearning is the quick development of learning materials. It takes roughly half the time and cost to develop a module using these techniques over more traditional production processes of eLearning. We’ve already highlighted some of the key drivers for the growth of this type of content creation. But any good soothsayer—especially those whose palms have been crossed with a dollop of silver—would be wise enough to provide details of all the factors that could determine the predicted trajectory and features of a trend. In the case of rapid eLearning, we need to look at some of the other areas of importance, especially those that are relevant to the clients that will ultimately benefit from the learning itself.

Control: The Backbone Of Any Good eLearning Project

Any process that increases the level of control relevant parties have over the development and outcome of an eLearning course is a good thing. And far from being restrictive and stifling, an increase in control actually has the opposite outcome in the context of eLearning. If both clients and agencies work in close collaboration using a system that allows for this, the benefits are huge and include:

  • A reduction in chances of creeping costs
  • The maintenance of core objectives throughout the development process
  • Time-saving in each part of the project building

And it’s really the presence of this foundational system that allows for the benefits of a rapid eLearning process to be realized.

These are the benefits that could prove to be the main drivers, making rapid eLearning a must-have methodology for clients and agencies alike, pushing its adoption ever-upward so that it becomes the "de facto" development process everywhere.

1. Smarter, Faster Goal-Setting

Clients rarely know exactly what they want. That’s why they rely on the experience of a good agency to help develop their initial ideas based on the learners’ and corporate goals. This is a super arrangement in principle. The only issue is that without a detailed and bulletproof qualification at the start of the collaboration with the client, the shape and direction of the course development could subject to constant change. And this means time lost, client and agency frustration, and ultimately, a painful, drawn-out process—the very opposite of a good rapid eLearning project. A detailed, pre-arranged, client or sector-specific needs analysis list is the answer. It’s something that will save time, inspire the client with ideas and objectives they may not have thought of. It will also instill confidence in the skills of the appointed agency at the very start of the process.

2. Improved Access To Creative Content

Rapid eLearning makes the eLearning development process inclusive again. Part of the beauty of this concept is that it opens up the process of crafting beautiful and effective eLearning programs to more people. A good agency will be able to create courses quickly and without quality loss, because a variety of high-specification material has already been created. The additional aspect of branching scenarios means that this standard content can be modified and made bespoke for a client’s particular needs. This opens the way for more agencies to offer this service. Perhaps smaller, less experienced companies, but with the quality and diversity safeguarded, meaning that more clients can benefit.

3. Easier, Better Communication

Multiple communication platforms, conflicting views, and a lack of clear leadership can all spell doom for an eLearning project. Intelligent user-management, something that a good rapid eLearning program will have as an integral feature, is key to saving yet more time and frustration during the project build. Imagine the benefit of a system that allowed all collaborators to share their opinions, documents, and contributions in one place. And within this place, there would be a set of rules, which means that you only see the information that is relevant to your part of the project. A rapid eLearning system is only effective if all of the moving parts are under control. Once a system allows for all the variables to be accounted for in one place and in an environment that is accountable to rules and hierarchies, the other benefits of the system can all be realized.

4. Decisive Confirmation Process

No more waiting on confirmation from clients, or indecision about whether changes are final. Better communication in rapid eLearning must also include a limit to when you can make changes during the building process. Fast and decisive actions are another staple ingredient to a good rollout. They are factors that will further incentivize more clients and agencies to go down this route. The ability to lock content to prevent it from further alterations will be a hugely attractive feature in future rapid eLearning projects. You will save time, delivery will be faster, and ultimately, clients will be happier.

5. Close Management Of Costs And Time Spent

The ability to predict the costs and time spent on a project will be a huge benefit for clients and agencies. The calculation of these factors will certainly be something that all parties will value. The main incentive, after all, for clients to adopt a rapid eLearning approach for their programs is the saving of internal resources. And any approach that can accurately measure what those costs will be will have the advantage of being able to account for that commitment up front. It will also be in a position to make initial changes to the scope of any work before it actually takes place.

Conclusion

The benefits of rapid eLearning are only just being realized. As the world continues to progress, there is a growing need for increased efficiency and reduced costs. But also, importantly, for predictable, high-quality outcomes for learning. Rapid eLearning is a general process that fits these needs perfectly. And as technology improves, the key benefit-drivers will also increase the acceptance of this type of process, making it the "de facto" method of collaborating, creating high-quality and predictably effective results for learners. It's a far safer bet than anything that fortune-teller might have assured me all those years ago.

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