The Internet has forever changed our expectations for information retrieval; we have gotten used to accessing information at any time in short, targeted bits. Companies have adapted and changed their training programs for both consumers and employees in an effort to stay current and meet these on-demand expectations of their audiences. Adding eLearning to training suites is one way companies are adapting; it provides on-demand training to any location via the Internet.
According to the American Society for Training & Development, the top three areas companies use eLearning are IT (end user/desktop applications), regulatory/compliance issues and customer service.
Now, when a company delivers a piece of software to a customer or employee, it often comes with on-demand tutorials as part of the package. These eLearning modules are commonly five minutes or less and cover very specific aspects of the software, such as how to run a certain type of report.
eLearning is also being employed for compliance training and recertification. For example, financial services companies are utilizing eLearning to help train employees on legal and compliance guidelines; employees are better equipped to stay up-to-date with all the changing rules and ensure that the guidelines consistently are being applied.
There are several benefits and factors to consider when adding eLearning to your training options:
eLearning solutions make it possible to train today’s global and highly-distributed workforce and eliminate often-prohibitive travel costs. It is a standardized training method so you can be confident that the same message is being delivered each time, making training more consistent across the board. Generally, the same content can be presented through eLearning in half the time as classroom training, and learners are able to proceed at their own pace and can fit it in as schedules allow.
Content is perhaps the most important aspect of eLearning. An eLearning module doesn’t have to be flashy with lots of bells and whistles to be effective, but it does have to be relevant to the audience. eLearning works best when the subject matter is fact-based or process-oriented and it doesn’t require group discussion to be effective. It works well for straightforward hard skills, such as technical and administrative procedures that can be defined and measured.
While eLearning can cost more up front, it will cost less in the long run. The cost of this type of training can vary depending on the level of interactivity, the tool employed and the ability to reuse existing materials. Development costs for low-interactivity eLearning run between $8,000 and $12,000 for one hour of training, medium-interactivity modules run between $12,000 and $16,000 and high-interactivity modules run $16,000 to $80,000.
There are many eLearning tools for rapid development on the market today which allow users to quickly create eLearning courses, increasing productivity while decreasing the amount of time it takes to see valuable results. Perhaps the best known are Captivate and Presenter. Look for tools that are SCORM-compliant so that the eLearning application can be integrated into a learning management system which enables you to manage your training library and track completion, scores, etc.
Even more important than the tool you select is access to experienced resources to develop and code the training modules. Proper planning is critical to successful execution. Someone on your development team needs high-level planning expertise to ensure your training will be effective and cover all the important aspects of each topic. In addition, it is important to have someone experienced to code the applications using the chosen eLearning development tool in order to leverage its capabilities.
InfoPros can serve as an important resource to help develop your eLearning training solution. We have worked with many companies to develop process-oriented and compliance-based training programs. We can help you understand your audience, plan and develop highly effective eLearning applications.
For more information on selecting the right training method for your company, click here for a white paper.
At InfoPros, our team of professionals is experienced in developing and maintaining technical content across a variety of industries, from software and technology to consumer, industrial and medical. InfoPros can provide the skills and experience required to meet your specific needs, whether for a short-term project or a long-term engagement.