The Rush to eLearning
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning has become more important than ever. Every day, new offers appear in my Inbox. “We can help you convert all your instructor-led training into eLearning. We can do it faster and cheaper than anyone else.” Well, Mastech Digital could do that too, but we will not. In the rush to convert ILT to eLearning, I think often good design and effectiveness sometimes get left by the wayside. Throughout my career, I have probably converted hundreds of hours of instructor-led training into eLearning. It is not as simple as importing the instructor’s PowerPoint slides into an eLearning authoring tool. It requires forethought and attention to good design principles.
After all, the goal is to have the learner get as much out of the eLearning course as they would from an instructor-led course. This requires some careful design work to allow learners to reinforce the content in a way that might have been accomplished with a group discussion or in-class exercises in an instructor-led environment. Getting learners to apply the learning content is the real key. You cannot just throw content at them and follow it up with a few multiple-choice questions. You need to design activities that will get learning to apply what they learned realistically.
If you were hiring someone to help intentionally build self-paced eLearning instead of madly rushing to convert content, you would probably insist on some elements that typically make eLearning more effective and engaging. For example, research shows that eLearning programs that tell a story are much more impactful than programs that just present content. Most people are naturally competitive, and research also shows that eLearning is more engaging (i.e. more likely to be completed instead of abandoned) when you can include some game-like elements. You should not have to settle for less just because you’re in a hurry.
Furthermore, there is no legitimate cookie-cutter solution for converting instructor-led content to eLearning. In many ways, your content and your learners are unique to your organization, and they present different design considerations.
Mastech Digital could assist you with a mad rush to convert content to eLearning, but we would rather not. We would rather help you find the best way to get your content to your learners in a way that makes the most sense and provides the most effective path to learning. Converting instructor-led content directly into eLearning may not be the best approach for you.
We will explore that a little more in my next blog post.