E-learning has revolutionised training over the recent past. No more so than within the larger Corporates and also the public sector. As early adopters of this new technology, with the global downtown being a catalyst, businesses have leveraged online learning technologies to save money in their training budget, whilst enhancing the learning experience for their staff. It’s given learners greater flexibility to learn and given them a new dimension for learning. Is it time for more SMEs to reap those same rewards?
In 2012, 74% of organisations reported that they use e-learning. It is particularly common in the public sector and more common in larger organisations at all levels. These larger corporate organisations are clearly seeing the benefits of this approach in their learning solutions, however, only 56% of Small or Medium (SME) companies have adopted this blended approach, so how could they?
Learn to build their own
It is widely accepted that elearning build can be longer than traditional face to face training. As with all things, the old adage ‘time is money’ applies to this situation too. So when buying in expertise to design and build elearning, some SMEs may find the cost prohibitive. The alternative is to become the expert. To be trained in how to design and build elearning for themselves. This way their investment builds longevity and self sufficiency into the approach and allows for flexibility when doing new or adapted training design.
Sell your expertise
As elearning has developed, so has the marketplace to sell it. This avenue could present a passive income stream for SMEs. Their specialist knowledge may be useful outside of their own business. Building an elearning module that could be used by other sectors then opens their knowledge up to a Global marketplace that perhaps otherwise wouldn’t have been considered.
Use what they’ve got
It may be useful for SMEs to adapt existing training material into short refresher learning as a first step into this learning mode, thereby enhancing the training they already deliver via traditional methods. It is proven that in order for learning to embed, it needs to be reinforced and elearning is a very timely and flexible way for learners to access learning and to keep their learning up to date.
Adapt existing courses for a more blended approach
It is rare for elearning to fully replace a face to face course in its’ entirety. No business, regardless of size, has 100% elearning. Businesses could make a step change in their training program by translating only part of their course into elearning and adapting the remaining training material to reflect those elements that have been moved online.
Big business has already reaped the rewards of taking their learning online, perhaps now it’s time for the SMEs
Michelle Holmes is a Director of New Chapter Learning. A company that help people who Plan, Design and Deliver Training with all aspects of training procurement, project management design and innovative delivery solutions. Why not check out their profile on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter