Rapid eLearning Implementation: Meeting Challenges Head-On
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Rapid eLearning Implementation Challenges

"Teaching in the Internet age means we must teach tomorrow’s skills today."—Jennifer Fleming

We’re living in an era of rapid change, one that has permeated corporate training as well. Technology-enabled learning has given rise to a culture of learning that’s more intuitive and successful [1]. If you’re even remotely involved in training, coaching, or learning and development at your organization, you’re probably already aware that rapid eLearning is the order of the day.

eBook Release: Redefining Corporate Training With Rapid eLearning
eBook Release
Redefining Corporate Training With Rapid eLearning
Explore rapid eLearning and revamp corporate training.

Investing in rapid eLearning seems to be a step in the right direction but is rolling it out as easy as it seems?

Is Rapid eLearning A Magic Wand?

While rapid eLearning provides a cost-effective solution with quick turnaround time, 'rapid' does not mean a rushed eLearning project. It is not a magic wand that can be waved to churn out training programs in a jiffy.

You can certainly expect challenges in rapid eLearning development [2], and to overcome these challenges, a clear understanding of what rapid eLearning can and can’t do is required.

Rapid eLearning: 8 Challenges No One Will Ever Tell You About

Let’s look at possible challenges training managers may face when they consider implementing rapid eLearning.

1. Dealing With Too Complex Or Too Much Content

As with traditional eLearning programs, content is king in rapid eLearning, too. It’s natural to assume that eLearning projects involve complex topics or those that have lengthy content wouldn’t qualify for a rapid eLearning project. This is just a myth!

Solution

When you’re dealing with complex content or too much content, get your expert Instructional Designers to chunk content into shorter eLearning modules. Instead of a lengthy eLearning course, you could have a curriculum of short but effective rapid microlearning modules.

And if you thought rapid eLearning is devoid of Instructional Design, then it’s time to bust one more myth. Rapid eLearning is built on a foundation of sound Instructional Design principles.

It packs a load of engagement by including:

  • Personalization
  • Emotional elements, such as scenarios
  • Icebreakers that empathize with learners
  • Gamified elements

2. Choosing The Right Authoring Tool

‘Rapid’ eLearning development needs ‘rapid’ authoring tools. Sometimes picking the right tool to develop your rapid eLearning course seems difficult as there are several options. Your choice of authoring tool depends on your eLearning development needs and the tool’s ease of use (if you’re planning on developing the courses in-house).

For example, an authoring tool with a steep learning curve may not be the right choice when you’re going to be developing courses in-house.

Solution

Authoring tools can be classified into 3 broad categories:

  1. Standalone or Installation-based
  2. PowerPoint-based
  3. Cloud-based
  • Standalone authoring tools
    They are a good fit for experienced eLearning developers who create different types of customized eLearning solutions. These are often used when you have access to large eLearning development teams (either in-house or through outsourcing).
    Articulate 360, Lectora Inspire, and Adobe Captivate are a few examples.
  • PowerPoint-based authoring tools
    They are offered as add-ins to PowerPoint. They are easy to use as they have a PowerPoint-like interface and are ideal for organizations that plan to use in-house resources for rapid eLearning development. These tools can be used to make updates in courses yourself without involving experts.
    iSpring Suite and Adobe Presenter are PowerPoint-based authoring tools.
  • Cloud-based authoring tools
    They are popular because of their ease of access. Developers can simply log in to the application on their browsers and start working. You are neither required to install specific software nor configure specific hardware.
    These tools are ideal when multiple eLearning developers and reviewers are working on the same project. Lectora Online, Articulate Rise (a part of Articulate 360), and dominKnow |ONE are a few examples.

Remember, if you’re still finding it difficult to choose the right tool, you can always turn to your eLearning partner (if you’re outsourcing your eLearning course) for advice.

3. Getting SME Buy-In For Rapid eLearning

Subject matter experts (SMEs) play a key role in organizational learning and development [3], be it traditional classroom training or online training. Training isn’t their primary role, but when it comes to content, they have the final say. Often, they’re so busy that they do not have time to finalize eLearning content or review developed courses, leading to delays in eLearning development and delivery.

Solution

Involve SMEs right at the beginning of your rapid eLearning project. Share clear timelines for exchanging inputs, completing reviews, and signing off on projects. These timelines can be decided based on the SME’s availability. This can help you gain your SMEs' buy-in as they’ll feel more invested in the project.

Using online review tools such as ReviewLink and Review360 (for courses developed in Articulate 360) will ease the review process to a great extent. These tools facilitate multiple reviewers to collaborate, as each review comment is tracked. It’s also possible to access these review tools on mobile devices. So even if your SME is traveling, he/she will not find it hard to stick to the review timelines.

4. Finding The Right Balance Between Page-Turners And Highly Interactive Courses

"Should interactivities be avoided in rapid eLearning?"— a question stakeholders often ask. It’s a misconception that rapid eLearning makes for insipid learning as it has no room for engaging interactivities.

Solution

It’s true that rapid eLearning development does not offer much scope for high-level interactivities. This is to be expected as high-level interactivities take time to develop and increase the project cost. But that doesn’t mean that rapid eLearning courses are simple page-turners.

The nature of your content, the target audience, and the training budget are the deciding factors.

5. Needing Access To Learning Resources Outside The Workplace

An increasingly mobile workforce demands access to learning outside the workplace. Sales professionals and service technicians are often required to be on the move and do not have much time to spare for training. Yet, training them is essential to reach the organizational goals.

Solution

Raid eLearning is the perfect solution when you want to roll out training to learners who have very little time to spare for learning. And it can address unique training needs. With the BYOD policy in effect, most organizations prefer learning to be accessible on mobile devices.

Rapid authoring tools offer a ‘responsive design’ feature that enables the development of ‘responsive’ eLearning courses [4]. What does ‘responsive’ mean? Simply that the course content aligns automatically according to the screen size and resolution of the device being used by learners, be it mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops) or desktops. So, whatever the learner’s device, the course offers an optimal viewing experience.

6. Meeting eLearning Project Timelines With Minimal Resources

One of the reasons rapid eLearning is more cost-effective is because it requires minimal resources. That said, will using minimal resources affect your timelines to rollout training? That’s a relevant question!

Solution

Agreed, rapid eLearning is conducive to a training environment that requires nearly instant training solutions to meet changing business needs. But it’s not something that can be completed in a jiffy. Just like regular end-to-end eLearning, rapid eLearning, too, requires effective Project Management.

A detailed project plan with clear timelines for project execution, review, project completion, and delivery is at the heart of successful rapid eLearning development.

7. Finding The Right Resources To Develop Rapid eLearning

While it’s true that rapid eLearning tools such as iSpring and Articulate Rise have a gentle learning curve, your internal team of developers (if you have one) will need to spend some time exploring the tool. Expecting them to develop eLearning courses without any hands-on knowledge of rapid eLearning development could end in disaster.

Solution

If you have a dedicated in-house team of eLearning developers with the required experience and expertise in rapid eLearning development, it’s going to be smooth sailing. But if you don’t have a dedicated team, it’s a good idea to outsource the project. You have two options for outsourcing your rapid eLearning project—outsource [5]:

  • Only course development (You provide instructionally-sound, designed storyboards and relevant images that can be developed)
  • Both design and development (You provide the raw material in the form of relevant content and leverage the experience of your rapid eLearning service provider for effective instructional design and development)

8. Rolling Out Rapid eLearning For All Training Needs

Rapid eLearning works wonderfully well when you’re required to:

  • Address an immediate training need
  • Develop eLearning on a tight budget
  • Update courses frequently

But is rapid eLearning the right choice for all training needs? Is it the panacea for all training ills?

Solution

Rapid eLearning is NOT the antidote for all your training needs. For topics requiring face-to-face interaction (for example, Sales and Leadership training), rapid eLearning does not make sense. Instead, consider blended learning and incorporate rapid eLearning as part of the solution[6]. This can increase the effectiveness of your training program without overshooting your budget.

A Parting Note

Blended learning is an excellent strategy that can get you great results. To learn more about leveraging rapid eLearning in blended learning, read the next blog in the series. Download the eBook Redefining Corporate Training With Rapid eLearning and join the webinar to get the chance to incorporate modern learning strategies into your training quickly and easily.

References:

[1] How Can Technology-Enabled Learning Harness the 70:20:10 Model for L&D?

[2] 6 Blunders to Avoid with Rapid eLearning

[3] Working Efficiently With SMEs

[4] What is Responsive Design — How Much Are We Aware?

[5] The Ultimate Guide To Outsource Custom eLearning

[6] Busting 6 Big Myths about Blended Learning

eBook Release: CommLab India
CommLab India
CommLab India is the most sought-after global leader for rapid eLearning solutions. Our formidable authoring tools expertise and years of experience in L&D and instructional design makes us the most reliable partners in your eLearning journey.
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