Best Approaches and Methodologies for e-Learning Implementation
September 29, 2015
Choosing the best delivery methods directly impact cost benefits and effectiveness for the organizations.
Selecting the best approach and e-Learning programs depends on numerous determinants, such as topic analysis, proper needs analysis, task analysis, target audience analysis and evaluation methods.
Advantages of e-Learning
E-Learning delivers myriad solutions that enable learning and improve performance.
It offers effective instructional methods, such as combining collaboration activities with self-paced study, practicing with associated feedback, using simulation and games, and personalizing learning paths based on learners’ needs.
It covers an extensive group by engaging those who are unable to attend traditional on-site classroom training due to:
- Living in a remote area with no access to a facility
- Schedules that do not allow them to attend courses with fixed schedules
- Requiring a translator for real-time communication
Choosing the right delivery methods can directly impact the effectiveness and cost benefits for the organizations.
Two approaches to e-Learning are instructor-led and self-paced.
Instructor-led e-Learning courses offer various levels of support from instructors and collaboration between learners while self-paced learners are completely independent. Frequently, e-Learning courses combine both approaches.
- Instructor-led and facilitated e-Learning. This model blends content elements into a course that is scheduled and led online by an instructor. Learners and instructors utilize communication tools such as chat, discussion forums, emails, whiteboards, polls, application sharing and audio and video conferencing to work together. Content for individual study can be blended with instructor’s lectures, collaborative activities among learners and individual assignments.
- Self-paced e-Learning. Web-based training can combine supplemental resources and assessments. Learners define personal learning paths based on their individual needs. Content is developed based on learning objectives and is delivered using different media elements, such as text, video, graphics and audio.
The most cost-effective application of e-learning may be to complement conventional training to reach as many learners as possible.
Methodology for Designing an e-Learning Course
A course goal provides an initial definition of the content and focuses on the course design. Content analysis is likely the most critical component in the instructional planning process.
In fact, it is crucial to define detailed course content to achieve that goal and is a requirement for generating specific learning objectives and the curriculum framework. Steps include:
- Defining instructional methods and delivery strategy
- Identifying and organizing course content
- Analyzing target audience
- Defining learning objectives
- Creating interactive content
Participants’ motivation and course effectiveness depend on a broad mixture of factors, including:
- Relevance of the content and course objectives for meeting the existing needs
- Whether the learning activities offered are engaging, inspiring and well-matched to participants
- Course duration, timing and number of hours invested
- Whether the learning platform and functions are clear and understandable
Establishing learning objectives defines expectations of the results from learners.
Cost-efficient training systems such as e-Learning can help companies meet training challenges in the age of globalization.
E-Learning courses could be accessed anytime anywhere which reduces expenses normally incurred on instructional costs while training employees on-site.
New trends in e-Learning design and development include multi-device compatibility, just-in-time learning, rapid rollout, conversion of legacy courses and personalized training.