Canada Association of Tourism Employees

four Essential Capabilities Of An Participating eLearning Program

Make your eLearning efforts more successful

Learning is a never-ending process and one of the most amazing ways we as humans can find joy through growth. During the school years, the ability to learn is most often assessed through tests. However, as we mature and assume specific roles within organizations, assessment is only part of a very large puzzle that indicates the ultimate goal of most learning initiatives: behavior change, said Jeffrey Maguire, CEO of Pulse.

Pulse is a specially designed platform for social learning, communication and collaboration. I had the opportunity to sit down with Maguire and discuss the use of engagement platforms to train company employees.

Formal eLearning can be an effective and practical opportunity to promote new concepts and ideas while helping to create a community and build effective and engaged teams. Maguire views similar presentations, platforms, and group learning experiences as an ongoing process, a learning experience that is identifiable and measurable, based on engagement, changed behavior and new skills.

Watching a video on a new topic has value, but does not guarantee that the viewer will take action as a result. Likewise, taking a test or quiz does not ensure that key ideas and suggested practices are learned. It also does not guarantee that the benefits will either be worthwhile for individual participants or for the company sponsor.

The truth is, a lot of online learning without participation and motivation is ineffective in the long run.

So what does it take to turn a Learning Management System (LMS) into something more than a system that manages learning? Let’s look at 4 features that will take an eLearning platform to the next level.

1. Gives the results you want

I often refer to what I refer to as the “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” or BHAG, which drives all attempts at content development for a learning environment. You should set goals for yourself and know your primary goal and endgame.

Then – and this is important – these well-defined goals need to be formulated and communicated to all those involved, your design team, the trainers and the participants.

Maguire adds that it is important to look at what you are trying to create from a behavioral perspective and determine what you want the result to be from your audience when they experience the learning. It is valuable to take a more holistic view of the capabilities of your platform.

Yes, you will learn, but what else can your audience expect? What other skills are required to transform learning from a single, distinctive event into learning as an ongoing process?

Once you have the results, you should make sure that the system you are using has everything it needs to support those results.

2. Inspired, committed and motivated

Traditional LMS platforms sometimes lack the components necessary to get real engagement and excitement. The learning or training material is important, but how you present it is much more critical.

If content is delivered in a one size fits all and offers little to no variety, the chances are that there will be little to no engagement other than the participants who prevail at the end of the training.

How do you inspire your employees to incorporate new strategies into their sales techniques? How do you generate more engagement and investment in training? How do you motivate your team to perform more effectively and consistently?

I previously discussed ten ways to best encourage audience engagement and addressed some of the shortcomings of eLearning platforms. Some systems have neither a community dimension nor gamification functions. These features are vital to your team building endeavors.

These two functions alone offer more than just learning. They are amazing tools that encourage engagement and motivation.

Maguire agrees and goes back to the results desired and a holistic approach. An LMS provides and manages your workout, but you may need more functionality. Some of these could be:

  • Participant feedback and communication with colleagues section
  • Ability to upload videos to show that they have learned the training material
  • Tips and instructions area
  • Integrated options for live learning or live video collaboration
  • Behavior change measures built into the KPIs

He adds that if you’re trying to put a team on a behavioral path to do something radically different, you need to think about how to build the right engagement platform for your company to get the team across the finish line .

If you take a holistic view, you won’t end up with multiple different systems. A learning system over here, a discussion platform over there, and a dropbox here for sharing videos. The right system offers a variety of ways to inspire, engage, and motivate your audience.

3. Delivers remarkable content

Everyone loves a good story, and great storytellers tell the best. Storytelling requires knowledge of the audience; Otherwise, the punch line or message will fall flat.

Our earliest communication was writing on cave walls, Maguire puts in, and we’ve been telling stories ever since. However, this is often the missing element in content delivered through an LMS.

He explains that there is no right length for quality content. It just has to be brief; it has to say what is important in order to hear as efficiently as possible.

For example, nobody goes into the sequel to their favorite movie and says, “I hope this is over in 46 minutes.” He adds that if he watches something that will make his life easier, better, more money, or more value to the world, he is in no rush.

At the same time, 30 seconds is too long if the content is awful.

Think of your training content as a way to tell your story, told by someone who is passionate about the topic. Maguire believes that motivating a team-based environment is often lacking in content.

Sometimes including content in some systems can seem almost an afterthought. An instructional designer is hired, given a pile of subject matter sheets, and asked to create content that they are not passionate about. No passion for a subject requires a tedious process of transferring information onto a screen, and it shows.

Still, someone with a real passion for the subject, product or service can create something remarkable.

Content is a projection of the individual who creates it and is often presented in the format that best suits their learning style. It is important to incorporate different learning styles into your content and program development.

I’ve previously written about engineers creating content about the engineering wonders that created them. Other engineers will most likely understand the jargon used, but the customer purchasing the technology will most likely not.

According to Maguire, that’s why you need this combination. You need the engineers there who innovate and change the world, and then you need the people who are passionate storytellers to tell the story.

Someone creatively writes the story down while the inventor invents. They are not the same person.

When designing your eLearning program, package the content and information so that your target audience can use it. Try to stay away from the belief, “If we build it, they will come.” Chances are they won’t volunteer to take your workout just because you built it. There has to be something in it for you, your team or your company.

4. Measures Impact

It is imperative to demonstrate the impact of the value you have created in your eLearning program. According to Maguire, the record of completions does not count. it is the result. If you don’t continuously track the results and measure the impact against your goals, turn your wheels.

Has sales improved? Is your customer care better? Is the team more productive? These are the desirable effects of a training module, live event, or promotion. Looking at the results is one way of measuring value.

Maguire suggests that you track backwards with clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). If you are in the process of delivering new training of any kind, resist the temptation to introduce it as a finished product first. Instead, think of it as a work in progress and run tests along the way.

He suggests training a certain percentage of your participants in the first month and then analyzing the results. If training falls short in some areas, revise and reconsider.

Change the presentation or develop more realistic goals. Find a new presenter or content expert who speaks differently or with more authority on the subject. Shake up your teams and use new stories to better engage your audience.

From start to finish and beyond

Real learning is about much more than blocking time from attending a training session. It means engaging with the result and demonstrating through future actions and achievements that something significant has changed as a result.

We believe corporate management needs to be thoroughly involved in the messaging itself and the learning environment. Those who show passion in a subject are inspiring. Find and nurture this passion for any training module or learning opportunity.

Audience engagement will increase and the results will be transformative.

Corporate eLearning offers several opportunities for motivation and commitment. Success is not measured by the correct answers to a final test, but by passionate commitment and commitment, productive work outside of the learning environment, better customer service, increased sales, the ability to generate enthusiasm, and understanding and usefulness.

If the content is good, your audience will stay engaged. When your communication is effective, participants learn. When real learning takes place, the results are evident and measurable. Test results are not required, but performance tracking is critical.

There are numerous aspects to the process. Although the specifics differ dramatically depending on the target group, the principles are always the same.

There is no doubt that as you develop your approach, you will find additional strategies and ideas that will work for your company and your situation. Please let us know which other design elements and system functions worked best in your eLearning environment.

IntelĀ® Retail Edge Program

We’re a branded promotion and e-learning program for retail salespeople designed to encourage engagement during major sales seasons. To date, over 500,000 employees at large electronic retailers have completed over 20 million training modules.

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