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Just how much eLearning do I really need?

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We’re always looking for it. We’re always asking ourselves, “what’s the minimum amount of sleep I need to still be functional?” or “How little can I invest and still get the best results?” or “How long can I survive off of nothing but nutrient bars from the office kitchen?”  For good or for ill, we’re all trying to get the most we can out of as little as possible.  We’re all trying to stretch our seconds and our pennies to their breaking points.  And so, when it comes to eLearning, the question is often asked, “exactly how much of this do I really need?”

As with any such question, the easier answer is, “well it depends.”  But that’s not that helpful, so let’s see if we can’t offer a little more guidance on why you think you might not need so much, and what you’re actually getting.


 

“I don’t need eLearning.”

Ok, maybe you don’t.  Maybe you don’t want to upskill your employees.  Maybe you don’t want your teams working more effectively.  Maybe helping to instill good habits and important skills to help your business isn’t on your agenda.  But if any of those goals start to sound even a little bit like something that you think might be important to achieve, then there’s a place for eLearning in your team.

“Fine, I need some sort of eLearning, but how much eLearning do I really need?”

At the end of the day you need enough eLearning to achieve whatever your goal is.  If you’re working in an incredibly complex field and you want to minimize the amount of instructor lead training to a bare minimum, then that’s going to require a lot more eLearning than someone who has to just make sure that everyone is following the best practices when it comes to cybersecurity.  The first step is always to figure out what your goals are, and then figure out what has to be done to achieve those goals specifically.  There’s no one size fits all eLearning course, because every company and every team has different goals and a different style that need to be accommodated.

“I don’t need video”

Maybe video seems like a little too much.  Maybe you would rather just have some very simple animations or even still images like a powerpoint deck.  I would caution, that when you lose video you not only lose a significant avenue to win engagement and thereby boost retention from the user, but you also lose the human element which is absolutely necessary for learning “soft skills.”  If a key component of your training is situational awareness, or the ability to read someone’s body language, then this will be almost impossible to learn without video.  However, if the information is more technical video will always be helpful but may not be strictly necessary for what you are trying to achieve.  However, at bare minimum there needs to be some sort of human narration and introduction in order to have the requisite amount of engagement with the course, because if you’re just going to hand someone a slide deck, that’s not eLearning.

“I don’t need interactivity”

When was the last time you learned something without having a chance to practice it?  I hate to break it to you, but the answer is probably never.  Unless you have a photographic memory, it takes a couple of repetitions for anyone to remember anything, and the best way to help a learner through those repetitions is to give them a chance to apply the information.  The benefits of intelligent interactions are numerous, but the biggest is that it offers the learner a chance to connect an isolated piece of information to a wider context.  When we apply newly learned information we link it to other information we already know, and information which is embedded in this manner is much easier to remember and apply in the future.

“I don’t need it to be fun”

Really?  I would hope that this objection speaks for itself, but there are some very serious issues out there that may not seem like good places to have fun eLearning.  I would offer that there is a difference between “fun” and “funny”.  If you need to train your team on very important compliance training then yes, “funny” is not appropriate.  But just because a course is not “funny” does not mean it can’t be “fun.”  A fun eLearning course about serious subject matter won’t have your team rolling in the aisles nor will it make light of the subject matter.  But it will help to keep everyone interested and paying attention, which is really what you want.  Fun can be serious business when it has to be.  Just ask anyone who has competed at a high level sport for example.  Sure the experience is fun, but no one is laughing while it’s happening.  


 

At the end of the day eLearning is there to help you and your team achieve your goals.  And based on what those goals are, the eLearning style and methods we use will need to adjust.  If the situation requires it, we can use every tool in our toolbox to help you achieve your goals.  If some of those tools aren’t appropriate to the situation, or you just don’t want to use them then we’ll get the job done with other tools.