Getting started with e-learning is not straight-forward, as many technological, financial and cultural issues have to come into play. Don’t make the mistake of looking at e-learning purely as a technology decision.
Where do I start?
You will usually need a clear rationale or business case to drive your organisation to consider new approaches. Your rationale is likely to be based around a specific “pain area” within your organisation, such as a new IT system roll-out, a merger or a more general need to cut costs. This business problem provides a clear agenda for getting e-learning to work for your organisation in a targeted way.
Engage all key stakeholders
You should look to involve key stakeholders within your organisation such as senior executives, the IT department, HR and Training as early as possible. Getting management buy-in is a key factor in the success of your e-learning initiative.
Define your business requirements
Before looking at different systems you must do your homework in terms of your particular business objective, what your learning programme needs to achieve and what you want the technology to be able to do. This definition of your “business rules” will form the framework of your workplan and your evaluation of suppliers.
- The target audience for the learning programme (roles, demographics and locations)
- Definition of specific and unique programme requirements
- Administration requirements (management of content and users)
- Assessment requirements (What skills/competencies will you need to test?)
- Reporting requirement (Completions, performance, costs)
- IT infrastructure audit
- People you will need (Internal consultants, project managers, tutors, mentors)
Build a business case
At the early stages you will need to put together a high-level business case to identify the costs and potential return on investment of the e-learning project when compared to alternative approaches. This will need internal research looking at current training costs and estimated staffing