Resist the urge to build a comprehensive solution until you have proven the e-learning concept to upper management. Identify an obvious need that the pilot program can satisfy, such as sales training for account executives that spend most of their time away from the office. Then target that need and don't get sidetracked by ancillary goals. There will be time later, after the concept is proven, to explore tools that support and enhance the e-learning experience.
There are many ways to select the right e-learning vendors. The trick lies in matching up your specific requirements with the right feature set offered by each particular vendor. For example, if launching and tracking your e-learning pilot isn't important, avoid buying expensive programs with features you don't need.
Select people who are comfortable with new technologies as your first participants. Not only will those folks be more motivated to complete the program, but there's also a good chance they would become advocates for e-learning within the organization.
Be proactive--even aggressive--in promoting the pilot program. Don't depend on an e-mail to pilot users to get the word out. Where appropriate, use face-to-face meetings with the pilot users--and their managers--to emphasize the importance of the training. When you can't meet in the same location, use conference calls or Web meetings to spotlight the program.
A completion certificate has been shown to be a poor measurement of a program's success in many instances. Often, e-learning participants will get what they need from a program long before they reach the program's end. Perhaps success to your users means using a new software application or mastering a technique for handling conflict in the workplace. Carefully define the desired outcome and build an assessment that accurately reflects it.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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