Elearning has had sustained growth over the past 10 years at the expense of traditional learning. In fact, the market is expected to rise to nearly $50 billion by 2015. As such, theres a huge opportunity for you to make a successful transition to online training if you act decisively and quickly.
A successful transition hasnt been the case in other industries though. There are lessons to be learned from the large players who werent as successful.
In 1991, Kodak had become interested in a technology developed by Royal LePage and MPR Tel-tec that transmitted digital pictures quickly over telephone lines. At the time, no other company, or person on the planet could so in less than one minute. Kodak’s interest stemmed from what they had been experimenting in digital photography for years; having developed the worlds first digital camera prototype in 1975.
After meeting and seeing a demonstration of the technology, Kodak executives left impressed and interested. However, they waited too long to act on it and subsequently missed a crucial opportunity to transition their business model well before their competition.
The rest is history. Kodaks market share of traditional film sales peaked at 90% and 85% for camera sales for the US in 1976. However, because they failed to jump on this opportunity, they havent made a profit since 2004 and have lurched from one bankruptcy to another.
But what does this have to do with elearning?
How YOU Can Thrive With Elearning
There are important lessons that people can learn from Kodak. Most importantly, the world is transitioning to digital from a variety of mediums including learning. Making the successful leap from traditional training to elearning is much easier if youre aware of the steps involved.
There are three steps you need to take:
First determine the knowledge you want to impart to your learners. Create an Instructional Design document to help you divide your knowledge into learning objects. The learning objects are a collection of content items that contain your instructional objective, a knowledge component, and the best learning strategy to realize the objective. In other words, what you want to teach and the best way to teach it. The subsequent storyboard document is informed by the Instructional Design document and allows you to get your ideas in place before you move forward to the design itself.
Creating a compelling yet useful design is the next step in online course development. The design for the course is informed by the instructional design and storyboard documents. As a caveat, make sure the course authoring tool you’re using has advanced capabilities but also an easy learning curve so you can hit the ground running. A capable course authoring tool will allow you to not only create beautiful courses but also to draw in learners and engage them through rich role-playing courses.
Once youve built your course, it needs a place where your learners can access it and for you to track their progress. A learning management system (LMS) will be able to do this. However, in order for your courses to be able to transfer vital information like learner attendance and scores back and forth with the LMS, they need to be able to speak the same language. The SCORM standard is a common language that both the course authoring tool and LMS speak. Before you invest in either, you need to make sure that they are able to communicate with each other. With a careful learning management system comparison, youll be able to find this feature as well as many others that suits your business needs.
The patterns at Kodak were telling but avoidable. In the world of training, the move from the traditional model to online training will be an easy one if done correctly. The online training market is growing by leaps and bounds. Theres a huge opportunity for you to excel within it. You just need the tools, the strategy, and the desire to thrive.