Positive Thinking: How To Change Attitudes About E-Learning

Don't let negative thinking about e-learning derail your project. Use these strategies to change your employee's attitudes. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"784","attributes":{"class":"media-image alignnone size-medium wp-image-2429","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"300","height":"196","alt":"rainbow"}}]] Do your employees and trainers have a dark outlook toward your e-learning project? Not to worry. Your online training plans need not be a disaster. In fact, the online training you provide to naysayers can become one of your best benefits if you follow these simple strategies.

Provide extra support.

Fear is often the seed of negative feelings. And technology, warranted or not, is often the seed of fear. Many people worry about technology: will they be able to log in? Will they understand how to use the course? Will they fall behind and not be able to catch up? Provide extra support, comfort and guidance when you start a new online training program. By making sure your learners understand that they'll receive just as much help as they need, you'll quiet many of their fears. New technology also seems scarier in concept than in reality. You can soothe apprehension by providing an orientation to learners, either a pre-recorded version or in an in-person session. (For an extra boost, read Tech Support Survival Guide.)

Provide blended learning.

Many people resist online training because there's a lot to like about in-person training. They like seeing the instructor in person. They look forward to the opportunity to network with colleagues they rarely see. They like the tea and cookies. But launching a new online training project doesn't mean you have to abandon your in-person training. You can marry the two by providing blended learning. Many programs, especially longer ones, often include in-person elements, such as a live kickoff session or a conclusion together to practice new skills. Read more about what it takes to launch a blended learning project.

Reinforce in the workplace.

The best hopes you have of employees retaining what they learn is to reinforce learning in the workplace. Another benefit of reinforcing new skills right away is that other employees will see the effects of the training. That could be enough to institute an attitude shift.

Make it usable.

Not all online training programs were created equal. Some are, simply put, horrid. Many people have a bad attitude about e-learning because they've had a bad experience with it before. They're too long, they're boring, they don't relate to an employee's job, the technology is awkward. You can, and should, address each of these issues in turn. By aligning your material to your organizational goals, it will relate to each learner. By using good, dependable system, you'll limit technology problems. By hiring the right curriculum developers to create engaging content, you'll have courses that people want to take. Read 7 Resources That Will Improve Your Training Program's Accessibility.

Make benefits clear.

Employees rarely jump at any extra work simply because. They want to know what's in it for them, so tell them. Make sure they know what the benefits of the training are and why they should be taking the course. Benefits can be anything from new skills in the job ("You can receive this new equipment if you learn to use it") or tangible items, like certificate of completion or a recognition plaque. Even the smallest reward can make learners feel like they've received something worthwhile from their course.

Free Case Study

How AHEC of Southeastern Massachusetts Successfully Shifted to Online Training

Read about how this health education organization increased their capacity to train learners with e-learning.

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