The Skinny on Online Training and where to go to find out more...

Updated: January 01, 2012

Before you go down the road too far it is imperative that you ask yourself a few serious questions to get to heart of what it is you want to do with eLearning and how you intent to use it in your organization. The following questions are not exhaustive but should help you start to frame your objectives which will certainly help before you go shopping for an eLearning Partner - imperative to know what is and isn't in scope - that way it is easier to identify what you are looking far and also easier to recognize something that isn't a good fit. Some questions worth considering are:

  1. What type of training are you trying to deliver through eLearning, e.g., Technical Skills Training, Soft Skills Training, or both? Is it intended to be stand-alone or part of a broader blended workforce learning strategy?
  2. Who makes up your targeted audience now and who might it evolve into over time, e.g., full-time, part-time, hourly, salaried, exempt, non-exempt, Executives?
  3. Are you intending it to be more of a "read only" learning experience for end-users or are you anticipating that they be engaged in modular unit quizzes, and it so are you looking to be able to set threshold passing scores (and deny a "pass" to those that don't achieve the required score)?
  4. Many organizations find that on occasion they need to use more than one partner because the "off-the-shelf" curriculum that meets an entire organization's needs is often hard to find in just one eLearning provider).
  5. Do you appreciate the differences between them and as a buyer how they may affect your choice from a long-term perspective?
  6. Is your organization interested in/capable of being the content provider and having a partner "automate" the classroom learning through the Internet?
  7. Do you have multiple language requirements?
  8. Do you have a requirement to track and report eLearning In-Progress, Completed and individual Learning scores (where appropriate), e.g., Health & Safety.
  9. Can your eLearning provider provide you with multiple curricula which specifically address different segments of your workforce, e.g., all new Employees, new Managers, experienced Managers, HR, IT, Finance?
  10. Does your eLearning provider provide you with administrative privileges to ensure that you have optimal day-to-day autonomy without racking up major consulting bills for minor things? Does their proposal contain a business case? Does it include calculations for Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), Cost/Benefit and Return On Investment? Does their proposal contain a defensible business case?

There are many questions you could ask but in short this type of values reasoning is very helpful before you got to market searching for a provider, for those organizations that DON'T ask these questions, experience tells me that they will miss the mark.

A fundamental tenet we subscribe to is that all our eLearning end-users only need to know how to use any common web browser and create an attachment to an email… if they can do that, then they are technically competent to navigate our curriculum, courses and modules…. Any partner you enter into discussions with should be able to do the same.

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