Educational organizations can leverage cloud-based eLearning solutions like learning management systems and virtual classroom software to enable learners to acquire knowledge and skill remotely. They can further integrate teacher-led learning and self-paced learning by choosing the right eLearning solutions. Also, learners have the option to access the eLearning solutions using desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
The COVID-19 pandemic made it essential for many schools, colleges, and universities to adopt e-learning in a short amount of time. That is why; the global eLearning market registered a growth of 36.3% in 2020 due to COVID-19 lockdowns and shutdowns. But many market analysts believe that eLearning or online learning may not be a sustainable solution in developing countries like India.
No educational institution can digitize learning or training successfully without overcoming a variety of elearning implementation challenges. Likewise, an educational organization can make digitize learning sustainable without implementing eLearning properly. You must remember that eLearning implementation is a multistep process. You must focus on the key steps in eLearning implementation to accomplish preset goals and get a higher ROI.
Identifying 9 Fundamental and Essential Steps in Elearning Implementation
1) Define Elearning Goals
An organization can achieve a variety of goals by adopting and leveraging elearning. For instance, educational institutions implement elearning strategies to switch from conventional classrooms to virtual classrooms. But enterprises from various industries adopt elearning to boost learning and development (L&D). They implement a variety of online training programs to train, reskill, and upskill employees from across departments. That is why; you must customize the implementation strategy by defining your object’s elearning goals clearly. The predefined elearning goals will help you to plan multiple elearning programs.
2) Evaluate Elearning Readiness
No organization can implement eLearning successfully without investing adequate resources. In addition to creating a robust online learning environment, you need to combine the required technologies, human resources, and content. You must assess your organization’s eLearning readiness to determine the funds and resources required to implement eLearning. You can evaluate your organization’s eLearning readiness by focusing on many critical aspects – technology, budget, human resources, environment, and content. Also, you should measure both social and psychological readiness.
3) Identify the Activities/Tasks to Automate
The new-age eLearning solutions enable you to automate many learning and administrative activities. They further enable teachers or trainers to focus only on personalizing the learning experience and keeping students engaged and motivated. But you cannot automate eLearning implementation end-to-end. Hence, you must identify the activities and tasks that can be automated efficiently and accurately. While comparing the activities or tasks to the automated, most organizations choose routine activities like attendance, assessment, and grading. Likewise, they digitize paper-based content to provide learners with access to multi-format digital content.
4) Choose the Right Elearning Software Solutions
No educational institution or business can implement eLearning successfully without choosing the right elearning solution – LMS, virtual classroom software, online examination software, and digital libraries. You can easily eliminate the need to build and maintain an onsite IT infrastructure by opting for cloud-based elearning solutions. But you must remember that elearning solutions differ from each other in many aspects – accessibility, customizability, features, usability, and security. You must compare the elearning solutions using a variety of parameters according to your predefined elearning goals. At the same time, it is also important to form a partnership with a reputable, reliable, and credible edtech company.
5) Create Multi-Format Digital Content
Elearning solutions enable learners to understand concepts and acquire knowledge in a variety of ways – reading ebooks, watching videos, and listening to audiobooks. Your organization can make elearning successful and sustainable only by making students access a wide variety of digital content – documents, presentations, ebooks, infographics, videos, audiobooks, and podcasts. Your organization can create multi-format elearning material using content authoring tools. Also, you enable learners to access a wide range of digital content by integrating the elearning solutions with digital libraries.
6) Overcome Elearning Implementation Challenges
The elearning implementation challenges differ across developing and developed countries. For instance, the major challenges in elearning implementation in India are improving access to mobile devices and the internet, improving internet speed, and modernizing teacher training programs. On the other hand, educational institutions in developed countries explore ways to boost knowledge retention by keeping students interested, engaged, and motivated. That is why; identifying and overcoming various challenges or barriers is one of the key steps in elearning implementation.
7) Outsource Various Activities and Tasks
Instead of accelerating elearning implementation, you must focus on implementing elearning in multiple phases. The phase-wise implementation will help you to test various steps in elearning implementation along with curtailing additional costs. Also, you must overcome challenges related to skills and resources by outsourcing specific activities. For instance, your employees will need additional time to create digital content using the content authoring tools included in the LMS. Hence, you can eliminate the need to create digital content by outsourcing content creation or investing in ready-to-use digital libraries.
8) Define Metrics for Elearning Measurement
You cannot achieve the desired goals by only implementing elearning properly. Along with implementing elearning properly, you must measure the performance of elearning strategies using the right parameters. You can easily measure the performance of an elearning strategy using commonly used training metrics like learning experience, learner activity, learner engagement, knowledge improvement, and training program effectiveness. The new-generation LMSs make it easier for you to measure and monitor the performance of online courses and training programs by generating reports based on real-time learner data.
9) Plan Marketing and Promotional Campaigns
You need not run marketing and promotional campaigns while implementing elearning for a school, college, or university. But you must convey important information about the online courses to the target audience if your organization generates revenue through online courses and training programs. Most edtech companies and startups these days run both organic and paid digital marketing campaigns on search engines and social media. But you can make the marketing campaigns effective in making most learners sign up only by generating and nurturing leads using targeted content.
Elearning implementation is a multistep process. Your educational institution can digitize learning only by following these essential steps in elearning implementation. But you must remember that elearning trends change from time to time. In addition to updating elearning solutions regularly, your elearning implementation strategy must focus on adopting new trends in elearning and overcoming emerging challenges proactively.