Deciding to digitize your traditionally formatted training is a big deal. The first considerations that you make when converting to e-learning will likely be focused on the cost, time, and technology required to make the shift. However, you should prepare to also shift your teaching online. Previous instructor-led training must now be set up to be delivered without a facilitator. This post will help you identify the changes that you will have to make when moving your teaching online, explain why those changes are important, and give you a few ideas on how to make them.
Why Is It Important to Convert to E-learning?
E-learning is becoming more and more common. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, e-learning has become a standard training option and almost an expectation when it comes to professional education. To keep your business relevant, you should strongly consider converting to e-learning, as the benefits are numerous.
For one thing, e-learning is more efficient than in-person learning for training providers and professionals alike. The biggest investment required is made up front, when converting to e-learning, as the content must be carefully considered and re-designed to fit the online environment. However, once your training is ready, you can push it live and easily return to it to make quick updates as necessary.
For learners, e-learning is efficient because they can complete coursework at their own pace, repeat and review lessons as necessary, and access the content that they need at any time, anywhere. E-learning enables busy professionals to continue meeting their work demands without having to take a large amount of time out of their day to travel to another location to complete training and certifications.
Instructor-led training (ILT) is effective but time consuming and costly. Converting your ILT to e-learning means you have the opportunity to reach a wider audience, increasing your potential earnings and decreasing your overhead, since paying for travel (and instructor fees, hotel rooms, printing costs, etc.) is no longer necessary. Your online training can go anywhere with just the click of a mouse!
E-learning is naturally positioned for growth. For example, instead of being restricted to twenty seats in a classroom or having to hire more facilitators, you can offer your training to as many people as possible. Scalability is essential for successful training, and it is a natural part of e-learning.
Moreover, while it is human nature to make mistakes, e-learning in general has the potential to decrease human error. If your online training content does have mistakes, these can easily be fixed. Also, eliminating the need for trainers means every learner will have the same learning experience. Consistency is one of the hallmarks of effective training.
A common argument against online learning is the loss of the relationships created in a classroom environment. While such connection cannot be replaced, if it is a significant part of the learning experience for your particular course offering, it can be supplemented with video instruction and by adding or building a community of online learners in cohorts or something similar.
Where Are You Coming From?
When converting to e-learning, think about your training as it is now. What is important to preserve? What can you take with you? Consider your materials. While you can take most of them with you, it may not be necessary to do so. For instance, you may have content in a leader guide that is necessary for learners to have, but you don’t need to put the entire guide online.
Identify the most crucial aspects of your materials, and retain those in one way or another when you design them for e-learning. Activities that require hands-on interaction with others will need to be adjusted, but handouts can be recreated as PDFs, lectures can be made into videos, and learner support can be shifted to specific hours with an administrator via online chat or another comparable method of communication. Use your skills as an educator to transform and repurpose and convert your content.
Where Are You Heading?
What parts of your training can you leave behind? One of the most basic e-learning principles is that the less material there is on the screen, the better it is. Learners are unlikely to read and understand large blocks of text, so find ways to “chunk” your material into smaller sections so it can easily be digested.
Things to leave behind when you convert your training to e-learning include the following:
- Lengthy assessments
- Lengthy on-screen text
- Lacking visuals
- Bulky learner guides, leader guides, reference booklets, and handouts
- While all of these can be converted to e-learning, materials that are exceptionally long and dry should be reconfigured for an online environment. Depending on how complex and crucial such materials are, you may consider creating interactive versions of them or simply making them into PDFs available to learners for download.
- Paper materials
It is possible to take most of your ILT content with you online, but you will have to invest time and attention into recreating it for digital learning.
E-learning is not a passing trend—its availability, accessibility, efficiency, and effectiveness are keeping it from going anywhere. Due to e-learning’s great benefits and wide acceptance, converting your ILT is crucial to your success as a training provider. Evaluate your current materials and redesign them for an online platform. Leave your lengthy papers and travel costs behind, shift your educator mindset, and move your in-person learning to the internet!
Here at Firmwater, we don’t just sell an LMS for training providers. We partner with our clients, giving them the tools and insights they need to implement the best practices in e-learning course development, growth, and delivery. We care too much about our customers’ businesses to have them wade through forums and chatbots for help.
Ready to use an LMS that’s designed for the way YOU work, with a team dedicated to YOUR needs? Book a no-obligation consultation directly with our team today!