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Five questions you should ask your eLearning provider

April 20, 2016 Susan Dumas

5 questions for elearning providers

 

This blog is about preparing to work with an eLearning provider and how to start eLearning projects with success in mind. Like all business transactions, thinking through what you want is a great place to start. We have crafted our Content development services based on typical eLearning challenges our clients have.

For those who are new to eLearning

Due diligence is important in any business transaction, but it is especially important when considering eLearning. Your eLearning provider is someone you need to build a strong long-term relationship with. The best eLearning providers become a trusted partner, an extension of your business and someone you can rely on - just as much as you rely on your internal staff. Great eLearning providers work hard to constantly add-value to your business.

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We meet many clients who are just starting out on their eLearning journey. Their push to implement eLearning usually happens because of a sizeable business shift – company growth, a new product, a new direction, the need to save money quickly etc.

So the first thing we’d say to you is – don’t panic! If you are new to eLearning, slow down; take time to think through exactly what you need. Don’t rush into buying a cheap (or expensive) LMS with a bundle of content that you don’t know what to do with. Think about your business strategy first and then the learning strategy that needs to support this business strategy.

 

What do you want eLearning to do for you specifically?

  We hear these frequently from clients:

“We think it is time we had eLearning as most other companies have it,”

“We need to get this information out to staff really quickly and we think eLearning will do it for us.”

 

We encourage clients to think more strategically in terms of key business goals, such as:

  1.  Increase employee engagement by providing access to world-class eLearning content
  2.  Lower attrition rates by supporting staff to take charge of their own careers
  3.  Improve staff performance through targeted provision of key learning topics
  4.  Increase your competitiveness by providing training for your customers
  5.  Provide a set of tools that will embed key company values such as innovation or creativity

 

So you need to save money on training – that’s fine, but how do you make sure that the eLearning you supplement or replace it with will serve you and your staff? How do you know if that same training, delivered through eLearning, will help with engagement, performance or attrition?

 

All of these are great conversations to have with your eLearning provider!

 

Even if you are not new to eLearning, you might need a boost. What is your eLearning content or LMS utilisation, for example? What do your staff think about your eLearning setup? Would your staff miss anything if they did not access your LMS? Have you addressed any modern learning techniques such as self-service learning, social learning, just-in-time learning or user generated content? Good questions to ask, if you haven’t already thought of doing this.


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The five eLearning provider questions

So whether you are an eLearning newbie or need a quick boost, here are our top 5 questions that you should ask of your eLearning provider:

  1. We are interested in eLearning to help us modernise our training, but we are not sure specifically what it will do for our business; can you help to explain that?
  2. What success have you had in the past with similar businesses like ours?
  3. We see this as a marathon, not a sprint and we know we are on a journey. Can you help us to define the journey? What will you do to help at each stage?
  4. We have read about modern learning techniques and strategies, how can you help us with this?
  5. Can we talk to any clients that you have previously worked with?

 

You’ll probably realise by now that ‘eLearning provider’ is not the right term for an organisation who will help you to answer these questions. Be wary if an eLearning provider struggles to answer them, or says things like:

  • We'll take this bundle of content and digitise it - staff will love not having to sit in a classroom and it will save you lots of money on travel
  • You just need an eLearning course and we can do that for you in a few weeks
  • Buy our LMS that will do everything you need – it is all very easy!

 

What is important is to find a strategic business partner. Investing in eLearning, learning technologies and eLearning content is costly both in terms of hard cash and your time. You want someone who has ‘skin in the game’, and has the scars and success to show their worth to you and your business.

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We are here to listen and to help

We work with many organisations to help define their eLearning strategy.  We'd love to hear from you - what challenges have you had with providers or eLearning business partners?  If you are just getting started with eLearning, or need help with eLearning content development, we're here to help. Take a look at Percipio - our state-of-the-art intelligent learning platform. And if compliance training is a challenge for you, our Compliance solutions offer something just that little bit different, and better!

 

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