Tips for a successful e-learning project

9 Steps To Make Your E-Learning Project Succeed

Imagine signing up for a professional development program and immediately discovering that the content falls way below your expectations. You can’t quite point to why it’s relevant to your career besides the fact that it’s mandatory. Inevitably, you lose interest after the second or third module and it becomes a dreaded part of your week until it’s finally over.

Unfortunately, this is a common case for training programs that’s been accentuated by online formats. Managers and directors carry the weight of advocating for a move to hybrid or fully remote programs — and then presenting the positive results to support their initiative.

On this blog, we’re covering 10 must-have strategies to prevent the most common pitfalls of online training and boost the success of your e-learning projects.

Make Your E-learning Projects Successful With These 9 Strategies

1. Link training to performance reviews

Whether your staff needs the training to fill specific requirements (like certifications) or you’re offering the program as an extra, everyone involved needs to understand how the training is linked to the job. This is essential for you to earn their interest.

One way to do this is including course performance in the review cycle, giving feedback about participation, and showing how the professional development program can A) address the areas of improvement or B) strengthen the skills to support the employee’s growth trajectory.

2. Make managers accountable

Think back to the example at the beginning of this blog. How would you feel if, upon starting your new e-learning project, you realized that program managers are barely carrying their weight through its duration? Half-heartedly leading the program? Doing the bare minimum for its completion?

Half the battle when it comes to online learning depends on those administrating it. It’s hard enough for those who are used to in-person work and study to engage with a computer without the difficulty of an unengaged manager.

It’s the program manager’s responsibility to foster engagement and participation. To encourage participants and set the tone for the program. Luckily, there’s a lot that e-learning managers can do to improve participation and make professional development interesting.

A Practical Guide to Remote Training: A Toolkit by Talance

Gain the tools you need to feel confident developing a remote training program for your health organization or transitioning from in-person to virtual learning with your staff.

3. Provide accreditation

A program with no official certification or accreditation may be a hard sell for your staff. So if your program is not officially certified, it’s worth investing the resources to provide some sort of accreditation that rewards participants for successfully completing it.

You could even consider creating special recognitions for outstanding participants as a way to encourage their hard work.

4. Set time limits

Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to complete a project before its due date regardless of when it was assigned? Most people, if left unchecked, will leave tasks for later. Usually up until they absolutely need to get done. On the other hand, if there’s no cutoff time, the task is likely to be postponed indefinitely.

This is so common there’s a formal term for it: Parkinson’s Law explains it as, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Clear time limits are crucial to prevent participants from endlessly procrastinating on course materials. At the beginning of the e-learning project, share a timeline that includes every module, evaluation, assignment, and even things like office hours or time to collaborate. Then, enforce it. This way, learners will be held accountable and feel compelled to work through the course in real time rather than leaving everything for the final week.

5. Track performance

As much as you want participants to benefit from your e-learning project, you may find that some of them simply do the bare minimum to consider the course completed. For example, this could happen if they’re auditing the course or if there’s no performance evaluation.

To prevent lackluster engagement and bare-minimum efforts, conduct evaluations and track performance in a way that has a real impact. This doesn’t mean you’ll humiliate those who do poorly, but perhaps consider rewarding those who excel. 

6. Ensure content is relevant

A lack of engagement during online training is often the symptom of a larger issue. For example, if the content displayed in the course is irrelevant to your staff’s job — or if it doesn’t correspond with their experience —, participants will lose interest quickly.

The only way to counter this issue is by ensuring that the course content is highly relevant and can be directly linked with the job(s) the staff is doing or will do. Furthermore, you want a course curriculum that stimulates learners by presenting a challenge, but not a big enough challenge that they feel defeated. It’s a hard balance to find, but tools like a needs assessment are a good place to start.

7. Create a social dimension to e-learning

One of the biggest hurdles for online training is the lack of social interaction and real-time engagement with peers. Thankfully, the switch to remote environments has provided most employers with the tools to make collaboration easier than ever before. Software like Zoom, Slack, and Google Chat have proven valuable in keeping teams connected regardless of location.

Plus, most learning management systems (aka LMSs) also include some type of tool for communication, like forums or chat features. For example, at Talance, our LMS includes tools designed to provide learners with the opportunity to engage with each other and the instructor. Contact us to learn more about custom or of-the-shelf online training for your staff.

8. Launch a communications campaign

Just as important as the quality of your course is the way you sell it. Get your staff on board to learn by promoting the e-learning project before its launch. An easy way to spark some excitement is by sharing regular updates and showing excitement yourself. 

9. Tell them it’s important!

Finally, don’t try to play it cool when it comes to the training program. Clearly communicate its value and how beneficial it will be for each participant and for the company as a whole. Tie its success to measurable goals to make its importance tangible and get priceless buy-in.