Dear Workforce How Do We Boost E-Learning Rates

By Staff Report

Oct. 1, 2004

Dear Befuddled:

Many organizations have a Field of Dreams approach to e-learning. They believe that if they build it, employees will come. The truth is that organizations face many obstacles that keep learners from accessing online learning. Some employees may have such a heavy workload that little time is available for training. Others may feel intimidated by the technology. Still others may resist changing to self-paced or synchronous online instruction, preferring traditional classroom-based training.

Below are some ways that organizations have increased the rate of user engagement in e-learning.

Give employees enough time and space for e-learning classes
Minimize distractions for learners as much as possible so they can concentrate on the training they need. There are several ways to do that, including:

  • Setting up a separate area for e-learning (e.g., computer lab).
  • Posting visual reminders that someone is “in class.”
  • Forwarding e-mails and calls.

Tie e-learning to consequences
Let learners know how important e-learning is by tying course usage or completion to performance reviews. You should:

  • Talk about training expectations during performance appraisals.
  • Make e-learning a prerequisite to classroom learning.
  • Require certifications.

Keep communicating
Don’t stop communicating with employees once you launch the curriculum. Keep people engaged long after the kickoff party by regularly informing them of new courses, certifications and services. Also, communicate in a variety of ways: e-mails, pamphlets, posters, and lunch-and-learn sessions, for example. In order to make the launch more than a one-day event, try these tactics:

  • Send regular e-mails.
  • Post notices on company bulletin boards.
  • Have regularly scheduled lunch-and-learn events.
  • Hold an annual learning fair.
  • Mention e-learning as a benefit of employment.

Reward completion
Some organizations provide reward points to employees who complete assigned training. These points can be redeemed at the company store or restaurant.

Make a module compulsory
Some people hesitate to accept change. That means they may resist e-learning without ever trying it. Develop or purchase a small, extremely engaging e-learning module and make it compulsory. Make the content fun, for example, by including instructional games, simulations, interesting assessments, etc. One of the benefits of good e-learning is that it can be addictive. Given a taste of good instructional design and presentation, your learners may be asking for more.

SOURCE: Brandon Hall, Ph.D., Lead Researcher, CEO,, Sunnyvale, California, Oct. 2, 2003.

LEARN MORE:Making E-Learning More Than “Pixie Dust.”

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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