You’ve already taken the first and most important step. You’ve decided to incorporate e-learning into your corporate culture. You’re excited to get started, but as with anything worth doing, it is worth doing right, and right from the get-go. The remaining steps that lead to the launch of your first, or new, online training program will dictate its success.
While there is a lot of information out there about how to efficiently engineer an e-learning platform (for those with the capability to do so) there is little to guide stakeholders, managers, and company heads with more practical steps to moving forward. As the industry’s first learning management system (LMS) provider “for the people”, Apprendo is here to offer a jargon-free assessment of what you need to do to ensure the successful launch of your LMS program.
5 Tips to Getting Your Business Started on a Successful Online Learning Program
1. Read Up on e-Learning and Subscribe to a Newsletter
Don’t begin your e-learning journey in the dark. While you don’t need to become an LMS expert to effectively introduce it into your organization, it helps to familiarize yourself with it. Don’t worry, you don’t have to head to your local library to find a copy of e-Learning for Dummies, nor do you have to download an eBook. Simply add Apprendo’s blog to your weekly reading list and subscribe to our newsletter. We write for you, not for LMS developers and engineers. That means you’ll receive tips on how to get the most out of your own online training program while keeping up to date on developments in the industry as they apply to your business.
2. Compile All of Your Relevant Content
The next step is to tap into your existing resources. Go back and gather all of the content that you have used (past and present) to educate staff and stakeholders on the business. We mean everything. Compile Word (or Pages) documents, PowerPoint (or Keynote) presentations, Excel (or Numbers) files, graphics, and video tutorials that you have on file. If you’ve used an LMS in the past pool that data together too. Once you have everything, comb through it to see what remains relevant and scrap the rest. You’ll be able to take what remains of your current knowledge base and apply it to the right LMS software platform (more on this below).
3. Define (or Redefine) Your Learning Goals
Don’t go into your e-learning program without clearly defined goals. It’s not just about delivering a bunch of information, but doing so in a logical succession that is relevant to your operations and how the information will be applied by the end-user/s. Anticipate how many users you will need. Don’t think about what is necessary today, but what you will need in six months or a year.
And while anticipation is key, you also need to be mindful not to get too caught up in the bells and whistles in order to launch in a timely manner. Make sure that incorporating any of those bells and whistles actually adds value and helps you achieve your objectives, otherwise, it can push back your launch date. Don’t worry, a flexible LMS (more on this in item #5 below) will allow you to incorporate new elements in the future.
4. Collaborate with Staff and Stakeholders Beforehand
You have a clear idea of what you think that trainees need to know, and how they need the information delivered. That doesn’t always align with what is true. As a business owner or manager, you may be too close to the process to understand the entire spectrum of what staff and stakeholders want to know.
It is a fact that today’s workforce wants more control over their own growth. Studies show that self-directed learning works for today’s younger and modern workforce. Columbia University states that adults succeed as self-directed learners when they could not if personal responsibility for learning decisions were not possible. Thus, in order to launch a successful e-learning program efficiently, you need to collaborate with end-users from the very beginning. Knowing that their input was integral in the program will get them excited to start using it. That will lead to quicker adoption and application.
5. Find a User-Friendly e-Learning Platform Subscription
You’ve brushed up on the concept of e-learning. You’ve compiled your training content, defined your goals, and collaborated with staff and stakeholders. You’re almost ready. That last step, is to secure a subscription with an online training platform that will allow you to start as effectively and efficiently as possible. This is not as easy as you may have been led to believe.
In the past (heck, still today) 99% of the e-learning programs out there forced you to make hard committal decisions from the get-go. They allowed little flexibility or room for unanticipated growth. Because of this, you may have had to have a developer piece together different e-learning elements. Avoid piecemeal solutions. It adds to time-lag and will delay the launch of your program.
What you need is a platform with customizable templates that will convert your content into deliverable online courses within minutes. This platform must also be multi-device compatible so that end-users need not wait until they are back in the office or sitting at an assigned station. In addition, you need a cloud-based solution that encourages ongoing collaboration (to continue with the theme of item #4), automatically manages updates and keeps the program current.
These quick-launch requirements can be found in their entirety through Apprendo’s e-learning platform. View our subscription plans to find a match that suits your unique needs. Our platforms are so user-friendly that together with our support, you can take the final step towards launching your e-learning program from the moment you conclude this article.