Professional dilemmas

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How can my organisation help motivate e-learners when they are often
learning in a solitary environment and not benefiting from the enthusiasm of
face-to-face learning?

Successful e-learning is often most effective when blended with face-to-face
training and development – providing the different types of learning have been
skilfully integrated.

Even learners on standalone e-learning programmes will benefit from a
face-to-face launch event. The best e-learning is often highly collaborative
and arranging for learners to meet at the beginning and part way through
encourages discussion and collaboration online. It also enables learners to
meet e-coaches and ask questions. Try to bring them together face-to-face at
the end to evaluate the success of the programme, too.

Of course, it is not always possible to arrange face-to-face events, and
even if you can, there is the challenge of how to motivate e-learners who may
feel isolated.

First of all, ensure the e-learning meets the learning needs of each
individual. If it doesn’t, learners are unlikely to fully engage with it. We
have supported research into e-learning motivation that suggests there are
three categories of learner: goal-oriented, activity-oriented and
learning-oriented learners.

Your e-learning programme should be designed to meet the needs of all three
groups. Each group will remain motivated if their needs are met, if the
material is relevant and if they are well coached.

It also helps if the organisation designates dedicated learning time so that
learners are not always logging on to their e-learning programme at the end of
a working day – this can be particularly demotivating.

We have found that most e-learners are excited by the opportunity to
collaborate with others, sometimes from outside their firm. We recommend you
have the collaboration tools to facilitate this and e-coaches who are skilled
and proactive enough to encourage it. In this way you can use e-learning as a
powerful and integrated mode of learning, as part of your wider development

Response from Simon Hayward, chief executive of Academee,

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