Today e-learning is the most preferred method for training employees. The learning ease and speed provided by the online platforms allow potential learners to grow and learn faster. They can now reach bigger milestones irrespective of working in-house or remotely. It is one of the major reasons companies have started relying more on custom e-learning development.
According to a report by Business Wire, The Global Corporate E-Learning market accounted for $14.23 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $49.87 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 15% during the forecast period.1 E-learning platforms are undoubtedly the most engaging and effective mediums for training and teaching employees. The cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and scalability provided by them to the corporate sector are matchless.
This article will dig deeper into the various pointers to consider when customizing content for e-learning.
1. Find your niche through market analysis
Before starting the e-learning development process, make sure you have a good idea of the business niche. Market analysis is one of the best ways to learn about the market situation, top e-learning companies, their work, and your major competitors.
The data collected through market analysis will allow you to document detailed strategies for e-learning development. There are various aspects to consider when analyzing the market situation, including :
- Key activities
- Key partner
- Value proposition
- Customer segments
- Key resources
- Revenue streams
- Customer relationships
- Cost structure
Ensure the strategies align with your business plan and the custom e-learning development process. When analyzing the market, list down the ideas that may come to you during the process.
2. Define your target audience
It’s crucial to have a clear idea of your target audience before starting the e-learning development course. You’ll have a clear picture of what should be included in the module and what should be ignored. Plus, analyze the profiles and learning content of your target audience. When collecting details of the target audience, focus on the following elements –
Age of trainees/learners: Generally, millennial employees or trainees prefer gaming and simulations in learning, whereas Gen Y and Gen X individuals prefer learning through text-based course content. The learning styles differ according to the age groups. Hence, it’s important to consider the age of your target audience to come up with relevant e-learning development solutions.
Learning preferences of trainees: The learning preference isn’t similar for all employees. It’s best to include different content formats like audio, visual, and kinesthetic. Creating a perfect balance of the content types is important to developing an interesting and fresh e-learning course.
Prior experience with online learning: Individuals having prior experience with traditional learning may take some time to generate interest in e-learning. Hence, it is recommended to keep the e-learning module interactive and add exciting elements to it so that learners can easily connect and engage themselves with the learning process.
Employee/trainee’s education level: The education level of employees or trainees matters while tailoring e-learning solutions. An employee with a graduation degree has a completely different understanding level than an employee with only a high school degree. Focus on creating a learner-friendly course considering the employee’s education level to make it more effective.
3. Company goals to be achieved through the course
Learn about the goals that the business organization aims to achieve through the course. It will save both cost and time. Let’s say a company aims to develop the marketing skills of its marketing workforce. The e-learning course customized for the purpose should have everything needed to build excellent marketers.
4. Compatibility with devices used by employees
The compatibility of online courses with the devices is crucial for a seamless learning experience. Before customizing the course content, analyze the compatibility of its feature and interactiveness with the devices used by your company’s employees.
Most employees also use their devices for professional work. Therefore, it’s important to develop an e-learning module that’s compatible with multiple devices allowing the employees to access it anywhere, anytime.
5. Use of real-life examples and interactive scenarios
A customized e-learning program can be effective only if it has engaging elements. Adding multiple interactivities in the online learning content keeps the learners engaged and interested in the training or course.
The idea is to eliminate monotonous communication. Include real-life scenarios and cognitive theories so that the learners can associate themselves with the facts and situations. Plus, it will help them in grasping the new information easily.
6. Accommodate learners with self-paced e-learning
Self-paced learning approach allows the learners to find the learning paths that best fit their learning objectives. Plus, it saves the learners from the overwhelming situation during the learning process.
In addition, the approach makes online learning easy as the concept of e-learning is introduced through multiple formats such as facilitators, webinars, chats, voice chat, conferencing, online tutoring, video asynchronous, etc. In other words, learners should be given the convenience and flexibility of learning at the pace that suits them best based on their unique interests and needs.
7. Ease of accessibility to the course
Consider the physical disabilities of employees when creating e-learning courses. For example – avoid using a specific set of colors in the software copy of the course for some trainees suffering from color blindness. These minor elements may seem insignificant, but they make the course easily accessible for the learners. Besides, easy-to-understand language and breaking up the modules into small chapters make it easy to learn the concepts and retain the same in their brains for a long time.
8. Evaluate the course’s effectiveness
Simply creating an e-learning course isn’t sufficient. Evaluating the course’s effectiveness is the next thing to consider after developing the learning/training program. Tests, quizzes, and gauging trainee or learner’s response or behavior are some of the easy and quick evaluation methods. Create a reliable feedback mechanism or an assessment plan for evaluating the results attained through e-learning.
Custom e-learning development is a tricky process. It requires flawless instructional design as it’s reliant on curriculum development. Hence, a smart design approach is crucial for developing a customized e-learning program.
The considerations mentioned above will help in creating the right solutions and practices. Plus, they’ll help elevate the worth and value of the learning program and offer a productive and engaging learning experience to the trainees/learners.