“If you are putting in place a digital e-learning program, the place to start is not Digital.”
Interesting starting point on e-learning trends and futures in the midst of the Digital Revolution from Kirstie Greany, Academy Director at Elucidat.
Surprising is the message coming from the major influencers in corporate e-learning. Here’s what 10 industry experts, including psychologists, researchers, freelancers, and training managers from around the world, put at the heart of a successful training program.
What is recommended for those who want to implement a successful e-learning project in the midst of the Digital Era?
This was the first of three questions posed to the 10 experts as part of this year’s Learning Technologies 2018 conference in London. We gathered and divided their insights and advice into 6 macro areas, to make you well-educated on what are the key parameters of your next successful e-learning project. Digital has abruptly changed the parameters of training: don’t stop learning if you want to make learning really happen. Here are our insights for your strategy for success.
1. Set goals and proceed in order
The importance of having defined goals from the beginning is the first message from our experts: without a clear sustainable course of action, you will not lay a good foundation for the overall success of the project.
“Analyze the problem before proposing a solution, period. Only 55% of us do that. ” – Laura Overton: CEO and founder, Towards Maturity
“If you are starting a digital learning project, the starting point is not digital. The place to start is, “Who is my target audience?”, “What do they need?”, “What is the problem they are facing, what is the solution?” Be skillful and honest readers of your analysis: usually, it is a business problem.”- Jo Cook: Editor of Training Journal
What if you don’t? Well, David Perring, research director at Fosway Group, says simply:
“If you don’t fully know your goals, it’s possible you’ll accomplish a good project, but you won’t make a difference.”
2. Don’t act like a…moth
As tempting as it is to fly “into the light” like a moth, you need to turn around and always focus on the problem, on your need. Direct your ideas toward the solution or technology you want to try and focus, first of all, on what needs to be solved.
“Don’t let technology guide you. Chasing the ‘light’ may provide appreciable results, but it may not necessarily be functional to what you are actually trying to achieve. Think about it.” – Stephen Walsh, JamPan and AndersPink Director
“Everyone is looking for a silver bullet-the latest and greatest innovation that will inevitably undermine the previous one. Often, however, it is the basics that generate the most difficulty. What is the core of your business? How can you facilitate its learning and exploration? What generates the solution you propose in the soul of your user?” – Fiona Quigley: Digital Learning Innovator, Logicearth
3. Dig deep to find your golden key
Finding the source of the problem or gap that learning and development aims to overcome is as important as finding the right solution. However, it is not always easy to identify. At least not in the absence of some in-depth analysis:
“Is my problem performance? A behavior, a competence, a skill, a knowledge? And what is the context? Who and how is involved? These, the questions you need to ask yourself well before you even think about proposing the solution. ” – Laura Overton, CEO of Towards Maturity
Such detailed analysis is often pushed aside, but it is actually crucial to the success of a training program. Our free guide has as its central purpose precisely to capture the needs of the audience. It wants to provide support to all those who need to successfully implement a training project. We concretely wish to assist in the pursuit of goals, step by step. The creation of clear profiles and well-done audience segmentation is crucial, to this end. You certainly won’t be the only one focusing on users, on the Net…You need to bring real, concrete and tangible added value into the user’s life, whether they are training or simply trying to fulfill a need.
4. “Travel” with your Learners on the education machine
Not surprisingly, Stella Collins, specialist, psychologist and author, always kept students in mind when we asked her some questions: in fact, she advises all trainers in digital to put together as many details as possible about how people learn. How do they do it? By what metrics?
“Find out how people learn before you design your e-learning project in digital. Work with the learner, not the technology. ” – Stella Collins, Creative Director of Stellar Learning and author of “Neuroscience for Learning and Development“
As a learning psychologist, Stella knows what it takes to make the notions learned take deep root in learners’ souls, virtuously transforming into long-term behaviors and habits. Whether you are an expert in learning psychology or not, there is still an age-old trap that people fall into:
“Too often, people focus on content while leaving outright what the learner needs in terms of tools.” – Sam Taylor: Head of Digital Development, Hitachi Rail Europe
Sam Taylor, Digital Development Manager and Designer, also seems to argue the point in no uncertain terms. His pivotal point is “Think of the student, not the source material.”
5. Take small, smart and specific steps
Dr. Ben Betts, of HT2 Labs Technological Learning Innovators, encourages people to break away from strict norms, but…
“Try something for the first time. Push the boundaries of what is currently possible in your company and make your project a value-add and impactful to your business–reduce the time it takes to bring the necessary skills to your Team, but make that time of immense value. Be simple, but be effective.”- Dott. Ben
Think out of the box
6. Curating content does not always mean “creating it” ex novo
Content curation is a far cry from mere content production. Make sure you have done a profitable recap of what already exists on the Web and how it can be effectively repurposed, before you waste time and energy on content creation. You may find that what has already been produced is actually of immense value to your target audience…
The Revolution is Digital. Is your Education ready to ride the wave?
Try this @ home…