I hope this month’s message finds you well rested after a great holiday season. Do you ever have a sense of relief when the holidays are over? I must admit that I am happy to be done with Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. I adored the time I got to spend with my family and friends and loved having time to relax and slow down, even for a minute, but I am happy to say good bye to the never ending food and drinks that come with holiday festivities. It always seems like my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I never consider that overindulged feeling you get during the holidays until the very end.
People have been asking me for my ideas or opinions on possible eLearning trends for
2011. While I am no prognosticator, one thing I am cautioning people about is really understanding what they need and hope to get out of an eLearning course before going out and committing to one provider or developer. Understanding your objectives and what you need to support eLearning technologies not only today but in the future, should be the first step you take when undertaking the deployment of corporate training with eLearning. Technology is changing so rapidly these days that locking into a long term commitment with one type of technology for your eLearning needs may be detrimental to future
growth and development.
A great example of considering the end result before committing to a full plate can be taken right from us at iPal. A few years ago I wanted to purchase a suite of learning activities that I felt would ultimately enhance our final eLearning product. After spending some time testing the program outputs and tools, we quickly realized the technology that we were about to commit to was already older than the programs we were currently using. The learning activities we were considering were not compatible with our current systems or platforms. Committing to the purchase of this learning program would ultimately set us back on the development of our own eLearning products. What a mistake we would have made.
Before setting out and committing to an eLearning developer or provider, ensure that the programs they are promising you, the programs you are going to develop will be compatible in the ever changing world of technology. Ensure that if you choose to upgrade your systems, add an authoring tool or LMS that the eLearning program or developer you choose can adapt and grow with your company’s needs and objectives.
Unfortunately I have heard from too many companies over the past few months that are currently terminating their relationship with their eLearning provider because the results were not there and the objectives were not met.
So here is my advice to you for 2011. Before hiring an eLearning vendor or purchasing a specific technology for your training and development needs, understand what you really want to accomplish. Know what your short and long term goals are for your training and development. Above all, try out the eLearning product you are considering for a month or two to ensure you are getting what you need today and in the future. Make the eLearning developer or vendor prove to you that they can create a course specifically for your needs
and that the functionality is really what you want. Consider your future ambitions and objectives. What do you want to achieve six months from now? How about a year from now?
eLearning is an affordable, cost effective, and efficient way to train your employees and develop your work force – if you have the right eLearning provider!
I wish you all success and prosperity in the New Year!
Keep moving forward!