eLearning is a valuable way to get important content to employees quickly, and from the employees perspective, the content is received almost effortlessly. Some examples of broad-based eLearning programs include HR and compliance requirements, safety and security, email protocols, IT security, etc.
Often employees need to learn about updated procedures, new products, or changes to products and services, which is another an example of how eLearning can distribute needed information quickly and consistently. This valuable information can be rapidly turned into eLearning modules by capable ISDs (instructional systems designers) and distributed to those who need it through the IT infrastructure.
People Need to Keep Current and Develop
In order to stay ahead of rapidly changing technology, Developers and IT staff need good online content to support their ongoing need for knowledge and professional growth. As IT professionals learn what they need to successfully manage the complexity of constantly evolving IT systems, infrastructure, and applications, their satisfaction and engagement also increases.
Leaders and executives also need to develop their skills to meet the needs of increasingly complex and rapidly changing environments and markets.
Online learning can be accessed from every person’s PC or laptop; it is convenient for the user and provides valuable information that serves the organization’s needs and purposes.
The back-end workings of managing and deploying eLearning are more complex than it appears to the learners. With a good LMS (learning management system), employee completion of online modules and courses can be easily accessed, tracked, and reported, and a good LMS manager crunches the data and distributes it to individuals, managers, and executives. Learner portals can provide needed information with the click of a mouse. A good LMS provides a high rate of return and ensures a good user experience, ease of content distribution, and valuable data collection and reporting capability.
Cohorts Increase Learning and Knowledge Application
Beyond the need for distributing important information consistently and widely, is the need to develop business-related capability. Humans are social animals, and our ability to learn increases when we work and learn together. Cohort models like Harvard’s Business School or HP’s leadership development programs have proven the value of cohorts. Cohorts develop connections that strengthen over time, providing the people involved as well as the organization with strong internal networks of support that increase organizational capability. Like neural networks, our social neurons can function with increased speed, connectivity, and ease.
Maximizing ROI (return on investment)
A model eLearning program combines rich and valuable online content and cohort or group learning with high a rate of return. When you add action-learning projects designed to improve business operations, the potency and returns from elearning increase exponentially. Here are a couple of examples: A group of java developers learns programming skills in an online course then comes together in a lab setting to design, develop, and deploy new java applications together. Or, a group of executives learns a new way of communicating in an online course, then they come together to practice what they have learned while they work on creating a totally new product and service line for a new market opportunity.
Aiming for High Returns
It is unfortunate that in these lean times, employee development has slid off the radar to cut back on expenses. It is like our national budget-cutting of educational funding. This kind of underinvestment undermines US competitiveness now and will in the future. By maximizing the value of dollars spent by engaging learners in individual and collective learning with the addition of action learning projects, even modest learning investments create high returns for individuals, groups and teams, and organizations.