Global Learning & Development with eLearning
I recently recorded a video about eLearning, which received about 1,500 views in a short period of time. This is very motivating and thanks to everyone who watched it, sent me a comment, a like, or reached out to talk about digital learning!
I was excited to share this video because based on our experience knowledge sharing and knowledge management is a challenge for a lot of teams and organizations. This is what brought eLearning to life to help learners, organizations, and L&D professionals.
The goal of this article is to give you a high-level overview of eLearning and look at the various building blocks and content options to consider when building a global digital learning program.
Let’s get started and look at the What? Why? How? and Who? of eLearning.
What is eLearning?
The purpose of eLearning is to turn your organization’s internal learning materials and your experts’ tacit knowledge into engaging digital learning content for sales enablement, training, onboarding, and performance support.
For learners, eLearning is about making learning engaging, practical, and relevant to their job to boost performance, help skill development, and career advancement.
For organizations, eLearning is about digitally capturing and distributing organizational knowledge and standardizing training to make sure every employee can go through the exact same training process and training experience regardless of where they are located globally, in their home or normal offices.
For L&D professionals, it's all about reaching training goals and using a proven eLearning implementation process by Lighthouse doing the “heavy-lifting” when it comes to transforming their organization's existing core learning content or tacit knowledge of their experts into digital learning content.
Why Do Companies Build eLearning Academies?
In our projects by far, the number one objective for building eLearning Academies is to help train sales teams and sales managers globally, so they can learn about the organization’s products and technologies and in turn, better serve customers and increase sales.
Secondly, organizations want to make sure, that when key experts leave the organization or retire their knowledge does not leave with them or get lost. In other words, our clients want to make sure that the tacit knowledge and experience of their experts is being captured and passed on to new employees in the form of digital training.
And the third reason for building eLearning Academies is to reduce per learning training costs by creating scalable digital learning content based on your organization’s own products, processes and technologies so you can use this for sales enablement, onboarding, training, and performance support with thousands of learners globally.
Who Our Clients Are?
While eLearning can be useful for any industry as they are fully customized around your organization's own learning content, many of our clients are engineering and industrial organizations that want to build and distribute digital training content around their own vision, mission, products, technologies, and processes.
A number of these organizations have experienced fast organic growth and/or completed a number of acquisitions. Therefore, they are now looking to standardize and digitalize their training portfolio to reach their employees/learners wherever they might be around the globe, in their regular or home offices.
How Does Lighthouse Implement eLearning Projects?
In our implementation process we go through 4 key milestones:
Let's, take a look, at each of these in a bit more detail.
We start with the Concept. In this kick-off phase, we take a close look at the organization’s learning objectives and try to really understand who our learners are. The aim of this phase is to design a learning journey and create learning content that is most practical given organizational training and business objectives and the reality of the learners’ everyday work life.
In the second phase, we look at which platform would best serve as the centerpiece for all the learning content that we are about to create. This platform is typically either a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Learning Journey Platform (LJP). In this phase, we help our clients with the selection and implementation of a new platform, or we integrate with an LMS they already have.
A Learning Management System (LMS) is used for delivering learning content, as well as administering learning interactions and gathering analytics about the learners’ progress. An LMS gives learners access to all kinds of learning contents, such as e-learning, video-based courses, documents, presentations, etc. In addition, an LMS lets HR / L&D professionals administer both digital and face2face learning interactions and track their learners’ progress and activity, along with testing them through quizzes and tests.
A Learning Journey Platform(LJP) is a one-stop, one-click digital platform for face2face and digital Learning Journey modules that makes learning content available to participants at all times. LJPs are best for medium-length (3-18-month) L&D programs, where an LMS is not available and a full LMS implementation is out of scope, while a digital platform would increase the learner experience. The benefit of an LJP is that it offers a seamless end-user experience, where no sign-up or login is required. Lighthouse’s LJP works on both desktop, tablet, and mobile devices and both the learning content and visual design are fully customizable to your organization’s corporate identity.
Once we have the platform in place, we move on to content development and content curation. Here we have a couple of content formats:
3D Product Models
Let's, now, take a quick look at each of these four content formats:
E-learning is one of the main learning content formats that we use and we usually come across 3 main scenarios here:
We transform our clients’ internal core learning materials, such as existing product-related PowerPoint presentations and documents, into engaging e-learning content with on-screen text, audio narration, videos, quizzes, and a variety of engaging learning interactions.
Second, if the client does not have core learning materials available, we sit down with their Subject Matter Experts to help them transform their tacit knowledge and experience into structured, standardized, and, most importantly, tangible learning content.
Both of the above scenarios relate to creating custom e-learning content and in certain cases, we are asked to curate off-the-shelf e-learning content using our library of thousands of ready-made courses.
Choosing the development of custom e-learning content provides our clients with highly interactive learning modules including audio and video materials, along with quizzes and tests based on their own internal learning content. All of these custom e-learning modules are developed in alignment with the client organization’s corporate identity and can be delivered in several languages.
On the other hand, choosing off-the-shelf e-learning content provides our clients with an extensive library of ready-made courses accessible to their learners right away. This is a cost-effective solution for more general training topics where creating a custom course is not necessarily required. During the implementation, process Lighthouse helps with content curation based on your training objectives using our library of over 24,000 interactive courses in multiple languages.
As many of you know, video is a great way to engage learners and make complex topics easy to understand. Microlearning videos are short, animated videos focusing on a specific learning objective. These videos can serve as a single learning interaction or be part of a larger Learning Journey.
These days video is one of the most popular ways how people learn and consume content, both on desktop and mobile devices. Videos help maintain higher retention of knowledge, they are engaging and build a narrative that is easy to follow. When L&D professionals decide to tell a story with their very own Microlearning Video they can grab learners’/employees’/customers' attention.
Here, Lighthouse takes care of the entire production process, including scriptwriting, animation, and voice-over narration to deliver custom full HD learning videos for our clients. In other words, we help our clients wow their learners, customers, and stakeholders from senior management. In addition, videos are fully customizable to fit your organization’s brand identity.
The creative process of developing a Microlearning Video consists out of 4 steps. In the first step, the client chooses their learning topic. Second, the Lighthouse team writes the video script. Next, the client gives feedback and approves the script after which the video development and animation begins. And last, but not least, the client can share their feedback about the video, and after all feedback has been implemented share the final Microlearning Video with their learners. In other words, there is minimal time investment required from the client side to develop these videos.
Performance Support is all about helping the learner with the on-the-job application of their newly acquired knowledge. To achieve this, we use a microlearning and performance support app that Lighthouse developed, called 7Bits, which lets learners review an outline and key best practices connected to a learning topic in a structured and step-by-step way.
Within the 7Bits app, learners will find step-by-step training outlines, checklists, best practices, workflows, and business processes that they can read / review in less than 5 minutes and immediately apply on the job. These steps are presented one by one to help the learner focus and process information.
7Bits is fully customizable and lets clients access their own standard operating procedures, checklists, training content, quality assurance manuals, and employee handbooks. In addition, the app is built around the 70:20:10 framework and the 80/20 rule to foster sustainable behavior change and beat the Forgetting Curve.
When using the 7Bits app, learners can quickly find the right "cheat sheet" related to their task at hand. Next, they flip through the step-by-step instructions and review short, well-structured best practices as they complete their task. This helps them boost productivity and complete complex tasks with fewer mistakes.
3D Product Models
Finally, in our overview of various content formats, we have the 3D product models. With this content format, we can model different products that our clients have so their learners are able to take a look at these products in 3 dimensions and really understand their key components, take them apart, put them together again to understand how they work in an experiential way.
Now let’s get back to our implementation process and the final, fourth milestone called ‘Communication’.
In the 'Communication' phase of our eLearning implementation process, we support our clients, in letting their learners/employees know about their new eLearning Academy. We use a camping-based communication method, that uses a number of different channels and we often create Microlearning Videos based on Learner Personas to help learners understand how the new eLearning can support their skill development and career advancement. This final implementation milestone is especially important for organizations with thousands or tens of thousands of learners and employees.
I hope this article was useful and helps you better understand how you can structure your organization’s next digital learning initiative, have an overview of what building blocks you need to consider, and what content options you have.
I enjoy working on these eLearning projects as I can see the incredible value, we can create for organizations by turning their internal learning materials into custom-made digital learning content that they can use to train their employees globally. I especially enjoy when we get to work with Subject Matter Experts and for the very first time transform their tacit knowledge and experience into tangible, structured learning content for training, on-boarding, and performance support.
This way, the knowledge and experience that was first limited to one person can be shared with thousands of people and benefit all of them. For me, that means empowering people, which is our motto at Lighthouse.
Let me know if you have any questions and what other areas of digital learning you would like to read about!