Most institutes, businesses, and organizations are looking to eLearning as a way of enhancing the learning of their students or giving added training to their employees at work. Irrespective of where you want to incorporate eLearning techniques, you first need to evaluate whether you, your organization, and its people are ready for eLearning. The three main areas to consider for readiness of eLearning are as under.
1) The Organization: Assessing the readiness of an organization for implementing eLearning is essential to ensure the success of the eLearning program. Here are the things that any organization needs to consider before implementing eLearning methods.
Hardware: You need to ensure that your organization is ready with all the required hardware pertaining to eLearning. Do you have the necessary computers in place? If not, how much will it cost to build the infrastructure? The infrastructure, in terms of available hardware, is the first basic need for any eLearning program, without which you cannot be ready for eLearning.
Software: You need to have the necessary software to be fully ready for eLearning. This includes learning management systems and course content. Are you going to pick a course off-the-shelf, or are you going to have software especially created for your unique needs. The latter is not an easy job by any means, without which you cannot consider yourself ready for eLearning.
Organizational Culture: The culture and environment within your organization should be conducive to eLearning and should be willing to accept eLearning programs. Are the managers in your organization willing to support eLearning? Are the actual ‘students’ willing to take eLearning courses? All this has to be assessed before you can be ready for eLearning.
Outlining Goals: Before introducing eLearning into your organization, you need to ensure that all your goals and targets are well defined. Why do you want to start eLearning? Will the proposed eLearning initiative meet all your strategic goals and aims of the organization? Without determining the above, you cannot be ready for eLearning.
2) The Tutors and eTrainers: The second aspect to consider while assessing readiness for eLearning, are the tutors and eTrainers. These are the people who will administer your program as well as help the learners to understand the program. The tutors will guide your learners initially, and after the initial process, will provide support and coaching if required by the learners in the course of learning. You need to ensure that:
You have the necessary tutors within your organization, who have the skills and expertise to administer and control the eLearning process.
The designated tutors are willing to give their time and energy into organizing and managing your eLearning programs.
If you do not have any such person in your team, are you willing and able to hire professional eTrainers to help you out?
All these questions need to be addressed and a competent tutor has to be appointed, before you can be ready for eLearning.
3) The Learners: Any eLearning program is only going to be as effective as the willingness of the participants to learn. You need to profile the needs of the learner before starting any eLearning program.
Are the learners ready for eLearning?
Is the program in accordance with the skills of the prospective learners?
Will the e-course content hold the interest of the learners?
You need to evaluate all this, and more, to determine the readiness of your learners. Only by thoroughly assessing all the above three areas of your organization, and making sure that each component is ready for eLearning, will you be able to make a success of your eLearning initiative and not have to end up spending a fortune in re-doing your eLearning plan.
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