eLearning is deemed to be the future of education. It has a proven track record of boosting knowledge retention of employees by a fat percentage as compared to any other learning methodology. However, there are still a number of organizations that say that eLearning doesn’t work for them, because their employees cannot apply the skills they learn through eLearning in the real world. This problem, nonetheless, has less to do with eLearning and more with how it is designed and delivered. eLearning is not some magic bullet that automatically solves all problems. It is a learning methodology like any other which, if not designed and executed properly, will not yield results. “But where are we going wrong?”, one might ask. This article will discuss 5 reasons why your employees are unable to apply eLearning in the real world.
- The Courses Aren’t Practical
This tends to happen a lot. Organizations tend to focus on theory and leave out what the employees really need to learn – the practical aspect. For example, employees don’t just want to know the dangers of faulty machinery, they want to know what to do in case of faulty machinery. While one just improves their memory and helps them stay safe, the other helps them troubleshoot a problem altogether. When you don’t provide employees with knowledge they can apply in their real world, you shouldn’t be surprised when they can’t.
- The Courses Lack Demonstration
It is really hard to explain someone to do a thing if you’re just using text. In fact, sometimes its hard even if you use images along with text. For example, let’s talk about a procedure in the healthcare industry. Unless and until a learner knows it step-by-step, it can be really hard to apply in real life. Videos are important in eLearning because they allow learners to view and understand how a certain thing is done, the closest they can to a live demonstration. You can also use animations, but make sure everything is demonstrated step-by-step.
- The Courses Are Not Detailed Enough
A lot of times when eLearning courses are designed to tell employees what they should or shouldn’t do, they are not designed to tell them why they should or shouldn’t do those things. Details are important when you’re trying to educate your employees into performing better, but a lot of corporate eLearning courses are just there for the sake of having an employee development program. If organizations need employees to apply learned knowledge in the real world, they need to make sure that eLearning courses arm employees with every little detail of the skill they’re supposed to imbibe.
- The eLearning Content Isn’t Chunked Properly
Another reason why employees fail to apply eLearning knowledge in the real world is improper chunking of the content. When eLearning content isn’t chunked properly, it confuses the learners, and when they’re confused, they do not understand it properly. Employees need to fully comprehend the topic at hand for them to be able to apply it. A great way to chunk content which is extremely popular these days is microlearning. Microlearning, or bite-sized learning isn’t just a popular method of chunking content, it breaks course content down into easily digestible modules which employees can complete within 5-7 minutes. Using microlearning ensures that the content is presented in a way that’s easy for employees to understand, and that they can take courses whenever convenient, as they’re relatively quite short.
- The Course Doesn’t Have Variety
Employees at a corporate organization have loads of workload to attend to, and while some of them may enjoy learning, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t add to that workload. When learning is a load, it isn’t retained, and when it isn’t retained, it isn’t applied when the time comes to do so. In order to make employees stop seeing eLearning courses as a load, you need to give them variety. What kind of variety, you ask? Don’t just give them one type of eLearning course. Give them gamified courses sometimes, other times a video-based eLearning course, while at other times give them simulations, as and when the course content allows.
If an eLearning course doesn’t lead to employees applying learned knowledge, you need to assess your eLearning situation. eLearning, like everything else, needs timely assessments as well as trial and error to be perfected. If it doesn’t work, mold it the right way until it does.