You may be positive that an e-learning program is perfect for your organization, but when it comes to delivering that message to decision-makers, focus on the "why" rather than the "what."
Why? Benefits make more sense than features. It might be great that your learning management system has blogs, easy to follow forums and granular tracking and analysis. But most people what to know how that program will solve their problems.
Here are some great examples of some of the biggest features and benefits of e-learning to prime your next discussion:
Instead of … "E-learning is self-paced."
Try: "We can save $20,000 per year by eliminating monthly in-person training sessions."
Why it's better: Explain what happens when you allow people to take an e-learning program as needed. In practical terms, it might mean that you can save on trainer costs, you don't have to buy training materials, you no longer need to block out a certain amount of time for instructor-led training. Figuring out how much money that will save will help you make your case.
Instead of … "Online training multiple learning styles."
Try: "Retention is improved because information is presented in various formats."
Why it's better: In this case, it makes sense to strike the jargon about learning styles and explain the outcome. If you're trying to give your staff a new skill set for their jobs, it's critically important they remember it. That's much more important to your organization than pedagogical jargon.
Instead of … "It's computer-based."
Try: "It's good for the environment. A study University found that the production and provision of the distance learning courses consumed nearly 90% less energy and produced 85% fewer CO2 emissions than conventional campus-based university courses."
Why it's better: Back up your claim with facts. The fact that it's computer-based training isn't much use, but if you find a study, like the one here from Britain’s Open University, can give you the credibility and research that helps explain why it's important. Eventually, your discussions will be broken down into key features and if they'll work with your organization. In the beginning, however, it helps to think about what kind of effect a new e-learning program will have and why.
[Image: Flickr user opensourceway]