The 12 days of e-Learning….

by | Dec 10, 2013 | Articles

At Hanover Housing Association, for example, when faced with a cost prohibitive bill for bespoke e-Learning, the L&D team decided to equip themselves so they could create their own e-Learning instead. They saved themselves a massive £80,000 in the process – an amount which grows with each course they create. That’s an incredible achievement.

When faced with a similar conundrum, Addaction worked out that it was considerably more cost effective to create a new post for an in-house e-Learning designer, rather than have bespoke modules created for them. This also gives the charity the potential to use their specialist knowledge – in drug and alcohol awareness – to create e-Learning to market to an external audience, to raise much needed funds. What an amazing idea!

So who better to give e-Learning advice to others than the exceptional Velda Barnes, Head of L&D, Addaction and Andy Lancaster, L&D Manager, Hanover Housing Association? Both charities were well deserved winners of 2013 Charity Learning Awards. So here, in association with the Charity Learning Consortium, are their top tips for e-Learning success:
1.    Really get to grips with your course content: if you don’t fully understand the topic you’re presenting you can’t expect your learners to.

2.    Conceptually and intuitively understand how people learn: acknowledge that your learners have individual learning requirements.

3.    Listen to feedback and act on it: recognising and identifying your learners’ needs and concerns helps shape future developments and improve experiences.

4.    Remain on the lookout for inspiring design ideas: collect a variety of interesting colour palettes, illustrations and collages that can be compiled into a creative library to draw ideas from.

5.    Utilise online e-Learning resources including communities, forums and blogs to connect with others, share experiences and further understanding around e-Learning as a whole.

6.    Invest in team training – it has a cost but it is vital to gain understanding and creativity.

7.    Storyboarding is essential: time spent planning learning progression ‘wins time back’ when creating.

8.    Designing interactivity is vital for engaging eLearning. Pick up brilliant ideas by looking at e-courses created by others, such as Tom Kuhlmann.

9.    Graphic design skills are a key to e-design. Gain an understanding of design and layout. Establish effective graphic design principles from day one.

10.    Allocate sufficient time for staff and subject matter experts to test modules.

11.    Create an in-house branded template. Add slides of interactive activities on an on-going basis which can be re-worked for other courses.

12.    Establish subject matter experts to create the content and to monitor changes and ‘future proof’ courseware.

And here’s an extra tip to leave you with (well it is Christmas)…Manage organisational expectation and proactively manage when development time is offered to the business. Be aware that the demand resulting from your success may exceed capacity!
Author: Martin Baker, who is is the founder and CEO of the Charity Learning Consortium, a unique collaboration of UK third sector organisations which enables affordable, effective eLearning.

With thanks to Velda Barnes, Head of L&D, Addaction and Andy Lancaster, L&D Manager Hanover. Addaction scooped the award for ‘the Best e-Learning Programme’ while Hanover were the outstanding winners of the Award for ‘Amazing Use of Resources’ in the Charity Learning Awards 2013.

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