Need an e-learning check-up?

Jeanette Swain

Jeanette has worked in education and training for over 20 years as an environmental educator, e-learning leader and in quality and compliance. She specialises in helping clients to maximise system integration, change management, reporting, learning analytics and the learner’s user experience. Jeanette has recently joined the talented team of Accredited Consultants at eWorks, a group of experts offering specialist advice across the e-learning spectrum. Here Jeanette reminds us that we all need an e-learning check-up from time to time, and that this process offers a simple first step towards change and improvement.

Is it time to question the status quo?

Perhaps you have been running a learning management system (LMS) in your organisation for some time, but have you questioned the status quo? We’re all busy – it’s easy to get stuck in the habit of rushing to get work done, without taking time to reflect on where we’re at, how we got there, and whether it’s where we want and need to be. Is the present way of working smart, scalable, sustainable? Some of the questions you may need to ask about your existing e-learning practices and processes can be difficult through existing eyes. Working in e-learning across several organisations has provided me with insight into the many approaches that are taken when it comes to online delivery. Are you taking advantage of the latest developments in this constantly evolving (aka exciting!) area?

Status Quo cartoonCredits: Status Quo by Mimi and Eunice

An e-learning check-up can help you consider new options

An e-learning check-up doesn’t need to be time consuming or laborious. It is simply about asking a few questions – then answering them honestly – any gaps, holes or issues will soon become clear. Where you don’t have the answers, it’s time to get some expert advice. A few questions that you might like to consider include:

1. What is your user experience like?

How consistent are your courses? When teachers are developers there are countless approaches to course development. Does this confuse your learners? What are the organisational strategies you can use to ensure consistency of user experience?

2. How sustainable are your courses?

Are your e-learning stars individuals with passion? What would happen if they move on? Are you utilising the skills of these staff in mentoring and coaching others? What are your continuity and professional development strategies?

3. How scalable are your e-learning processes?

The uptake of e-learning has been growing over time, but are processes such as course development, course requests, backups and storage falling on individuals? What about content? Is it accessible to other staff, do you know what and where your e-learning assets are? Can the existing processes be scaled up to meet demand?

4. Are your organisation’s compliance requirements built into your learning programs?

Is this transparent or a hybrid paper/digital solution. Are you able to easily extract compliance data? What changes could you put in place to make the LMS part of your compliance solutions

5. Is the LMS part of your business systems?

What other business systems does your LMS talk to? Is there duplication of effort across multiple systems? How can these systems or their data outputs and inputs be integrated to increase efficiency and reduce costs?

6. Is it time for a stocktake?

What is actually going on behind the numbers? Is it time for a stocktake? How do you delete old material without losing valuable assets? Are your assets accessible to all staff across your organisation?

7. What analytics and reporting tools are you using?

Are you collecting relevant data? There may be a lot of courses on your LMS, but how are they being used? Is the data you are obtaining informing your practice? How should it be? 

So how did you go? 

Answers to these questions will vary depending upon your organisation, your staff and your learners. Perhaps you need a hand answering them or figuring out what to do next? That’s okay. Or maybe a pair of eyes outside of your business or organisation would help? Continuing with the status quo might be the easy way for now, but the longevity of any organisational business system comes from ensuring that it can meet the long term aims of the organisation and embrace change in the field.

Contact Jeanette for a chat about any or all of this.