How to Launch an eLearning Project — 7 Steps to Success

Step 1. Define the Learning Objective

  • Train at a time that is convenient for our learners
  • Provide a depository where they could refer back to the training
  • Record and track training records
  • Manage the comings and goings of a dynamic training audience
  • Add new training quickly and easily
  • Communicate to our learners through the training system”

Step 2. Choose the Right Training Tools

  • learning management system (LMS)
  • eLearning course authoring tool

Learning Management System (LMS)

  • Create a knowledge base. Your e-courses, assessments, videos, and other learning materials are stored in one place. This is a much more reliable and convenient way of storing content than using flash drives. Employees can enter the portal and review the material at any time.
  • Train your staff remotely. You can assign a course to a particular employee, department, or the whole staff with a couple of clicks.
  • Monitor the quality of the training. An LMS collects detailed statistics on each content item, user, and group. You’ll always know exactly how your employees are learning and evaluate their progress.
  • Keep in touch with students. An internal chat or forum is a place where employees can exchange their ideas and share their opinions on which materials were especially useful, what to improve, and what topics to cover.

eLearning Course Authoring Tool

Step 3. Produce a Budget and Action Plan

  • Project goals from a business perspective. For example, reduce face-to-face training by 40%, shorten the time for new hire onboarding from 30 to 20 working days, and so on.
  • The benefit to the company — how much money it will save or earn. For instance, let’s say a company called Sweet Life is about to introduce a new chocolate bar, and now you need to tell 3,000 sales representatives. Face-to-face training will take you two months and x dollars. To train your employees with eLearning, you’ll need only five days and y dollars. How much is x? It all depends on how much money you were already spending on transportation, accommodations, office space, and other logistics.
  • Necessary resources: an LMS, an authoring tool, computers for employees at affiliates, and a course developer.
  • The project budget: implementing eLearning will cost you y dollars.
  • When to expect the result: the project will be launched in n days.

Step 4. Prepare the Learning Content

Step 5. Run a Pilot eLearning Project

Step 6. Motivate and Support Employees to Access eLearning

  • “Make access easy. Nothing is more frustrating than not knowing where to go and how to access a class that you need or want. Keep sign-on as simple as possible, including password resets when needed.
  • Offer variety. In addition to the classes that employees have to take, host or offer classes focused on other topics your employees are interested in.
  • Keep the class short, if you can. Learning “nuggets” help students retain content and motivate them to watch again when they need to. Drudging through a 90-minute class again looking for information you need is frustrating and, most of the time, isn’t going to happen.
  • Draw your staff in quickly. Use strong openings and provide valuable information early on in a dynamic way.
  • Keep employees interested. Use multimedia methods such as video and audio. This sets the tone that it’s not just another boring, required class they have to take.
  • Provide recognition and feedback. Most people love to be recognized. Know what you can do with your learning technology to recognize people creatively. Depending on the class, instructor feedback to students or discussion between students can expand and clarify learning.
  • Share success stories. How did your employees use what they learned to help them both professionally and personally? In one example, a company offered weight loss classes and an employee lost over 100 pounds. The person was recognized later in the company newsletter as someone who benefited from what was offered.
  • Use humor. Humor can be very beneficial to make people laugh and motivate them to keep watching. It is often followed by conversing positively with others about their experience, which helps create interest among other employees. The key is to use proper and appropriate humor so you’re not insulting anyone. Be sure to get approvals and consensus with your leadership on any humor you’re using.”

Step 7. Evaluate eLearning Effectiveness

  • Collect feedback from your employees
  • Compare the achievements of learners who attend face-to-face classes with those who study online
  • Assess your employees’ knowledge regularly
  • Keep track of the learning process and monitor how your employees’ work performance improves

Key Factors of Successful eLearning Implementation

  1. Timeline. Did you finish the project by the deadline or did you need extra time to complete it?
  2. Scope. Did you complete each step within the allotted timeframe? Did you manage to get all the necessary software, prepare learning materials, and run a pilot project?
  3. Budget. Did you project all expenses accurately in the beginning? Was the project completed at or under budget?
  4. Employee engagement. Does your staff feel engaged in training and ready to invest their time in eLearning or do they resist or even refuse to take courses?
  5. Goals. Did you achieve your first training goals? For example, do your sales reps now know the product line inside out or have you reduced the time for onboarding new hires as intended?

Best Practices for Implementing eLearning

  • Selling the “why” behind your eLearning means thinking through the core purpose of your program, not just for the business, but for the employees themselves. They must have a clear and simple answer to “what’s in it for me?” Will your eLearning help them grow in their careers? Will it help move them closer to a promotion? Before you begin designing the rest of your communications and launch plan, be very clear about the “why” for employees. This “raison d’être” should be one simple sentence that is clearly understood by all.
  • Creating a compelling communications plan is another way to ensure the success of your eLearning launch. Start by mapping out the full scope of your launch, from initial contact to conclusion. Your plan should involve multiple touchpoints, with goals to move employees from awareness to completion. It helps to have an internal group of change and training champions to help get the rest of the company on board. This group could comprise managers or leaders who can help promote and spread the word about the new eLearning program. Employees are much more likely to take part if it’s suggested by their manager or company leader. Your communications plan should also include engaging materials such as launch videos, practical worksheets, or pre-training initiatives in order to generate support.
  • Before you announce your program, be very thoughtful about the first impression your program will transmit. First impressions are incredibly powerful for moving people from awareness to participation. You don’t want to waste this golden opportunity to engage and inspire employees to learn more about your eLearning project. One tip for positive first impressions is to use beautiful, modern designs in your communications. Then make the first step simple and easy. Use a big bold button for registration. Make the sign-up form only require two clicks. Brainstorm some ways to simplify the first step to reduce digital friction. Start with the small wins from the beginning and your eLearning adoption rates will soar.”

Takeaways

  • Before you start eLearning, define the direction: where and why you’re flying.
  • The construction of your eLearning vehicle (an LMS and a course authoring tool) depends on the goals and objectives of the stellar campaign.
  • A detailed action plan will help you “sell” the idea to your senior management and get a budget for the trajectory.
  • A dry run will let you identify any errors and debug your eLearning rocket.
  • For an expedition to succeed, it must solve a real business task.
  • The success of your launch and eLearning “journey” depends heavily on how engaged and motivated your crew is.
  • Check the course frequently: collect feedback from employees, assess their knowledge regularly, and compare training results with business performance.

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