How to avoid wasting your money on eLearning

Sadly, buyers of eLearning are often disappointed by the results – and much of the time, the problem is not what you might expect.

When making a buying decision, training managers quite rightly pay attention to the qualities of the lesson material – ease of use, appropriateness of content, interactivity and so on. A boring “page-turning” style of presentation will obviously fail to motivate learners.

However people often fail to ask themselves a more basic question. “How will I get our staff to get around to using the course?”

Sadly, inspection of learner records shows that in some cases more than 80% of learners assigned to a course roster will never log on.

This should not be a great surprise when we think about the variations in intrinsic motivation among the learner group. Some people will immediately recognize the importance of the topic, and will make the effort. However for others, the learning assignment will be just one more task which can always be postponed to a time when they are “less busy” – and in the modern workplace, there will always be more pressing immediate priorities.

What can be done to improve take-up of eLearning?

  1. One obvious step – explain the importance and the relevance of the topic. So for the Incoterms rules, how choice of the correct rule will reduce costs and avoid exposure to unnecessary risks

  2. Ideally, link the course into your HR process – make the training part of the employee’s development plan, with completion noted on their records

  3. Offer a tangible reward for completion – and this need not cost anything! Even a certificate of completion can have surprising motivational value

  4. Let the learners know that their activity (or inactivity) is being noticed! The Mantissa learning management system includes an automated reminder system – with a few clicks of a mouse, nagging emails can be sent out to all those who have not started yet, or who have not yet finish – (see picture on the right)

By following these steps, it is possible to achieve compliance rates of 85-90% or more, even with very large numbers of learners

The training need

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