Organizations today are transforming their learning and development programs to the eLearning domain. But, choosing the most suitable e-learning method still continues to be a challenge. That being said, did you know that choosing the right eLearning program depends on numerous factors? Some of these are proper need analysis, task analysis, target audience analysis, topic analysis, and evaluation methods. Choosing the right delivery method for eLearning directly impacts the effectiveness of the course and cost-benefit to organizations. So, are you ready to evaluate them on the basis of the aforementioned factors and pick the most suitable one for yourself? If yes, read on to find out more about it!
Choosing the right eLearning methods
Lately, the instructional design model called the ADDIE model is being used for choosing the right eLearning method. It has five phases which are: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. The most important of all is the Analysis phase as it plays an important role in training delivery and performing all kinds of analyses like need, topic, task, and training evaluation.
Learning content types
There are different types of content focused on e-learning and these are totally based on the need analysis and type of learners. These include:
- Learner-centered content– The one which is specific to learners’ needs, roles, and responsibilities in professional life.
- Engaging content– The one which is created in a creative manner to develop an engaging and motivating learner experience.
- Interactive content– The one which promotes frequent learner interaction; situation based learning is a good example of it.
- Personalization– Self-paced courses that are customizable and reflect learners’ needs.
The learning pyramid
Designing learning content also depends on the type of eLearning methods chosen in the analysis phase. Have a look at the learning pyramid diagram:
The learning pyramid above is a perfect demonstration that helps you choose the most appropriate eLearning method for your business. The first four levels that is, lecture, reading, audiovisual and demonstration are the passive learning methods. In contrast, the bottom three levels, i.e. discussion group, practice, and teaching others are participatory or active learning methods. Refer to this pyramid in your analysis phase when choosing the right eLearning methods.
What is synchronous and asynchronous learning?
Most types of e-learning models today can be developed easily with the latest tools available. However, you must always keep in mind the needs of your target audience and your business objectives. In addition, also keep in mind the different technologies available which would play a role in helping learners access the course. Most of the e-learning methods today are synchronous and asynchronous in nature which depends on the learners’ needs and business objectives.
Chat, video, audio conferencing, live webcasting, application sharing, polling, and virtual classrooms are all examples of synchronous learning. This implies that anything taking place in real-time is a part of it. Users are confined to a particular location to avail training like that in case of sales training or even to get hands-on the top IT training solutions, and others alike.
Unlike synchronous learning, asynchronous learning events are time-independent. A self-paced online course is an example of it alongside emails and discussion forums where online learning is not bound by time and takes place depending on the need of the learner. Mostly instructional designers today prefer to choose learning methods from this mode of learning. And, the different areas where you can choose learning methods based on your requirements are self-study, video/audiotape, computer-based training, web-based training, blended e-learning, mobile learning, social learning, simulation, and game-based training.
When choosing the most appropriate e-learning method for your business, do keep in mind the need analysis of the organization and nature of the audience, their requirements, and collaboration methods. This will not only make the course development process streamlined and effective but also provide a good e-learning experience to your audience.