HR Management & Compliance, Learning & Development

E-Learning 101–Basic Things Professionals Need to Know (Part 1)

E-learning has grown over 900% in the past 16 years due to advances in technology and has increased the revenue of over 42% of the organizations that have adopted it.1
There’s no question that organizations are adopting e-learning practices, methods, and technology in droves and that they’re reaping real benefits from it. But do they or you know the basics regarding e-learning?
If you currently have an e-learning strategy or are considering revamping one, here are some basic things you’ll need to know.

E-Learning Technology Options

Learning Management System (LMS)

This is currently the most popular technology option for e-learning. An LMS is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of educational courses or training programs. Modern LMS systems are typically accessed in the cloud and hosted by a third-party vendor, and can be accessed via a Web browser or a mobile app.

Cloud-Based Platforms and Mobile Apps

Google Drive is often used by organizations to store training materials and files. In addition, some organizations will use project-based cloud platforms like Trello or Asana to administer training. There are also cloud-based webcasting platforms that some organizations use to broadcast courses and training content. And many trainees access cloud-based training content on their mobile devices and through mobile apps.

Virtual Reality Equipment

Organizations are beginning to use virtual reality headsets and controllers to administer simulation-based training sessions.

E-Learning Terms

Here are some popular e-learning terms and phrases you’ll want to become acquainted with before you develop your e-learning courses.

  • Adaptive Learning
  • Asynchronous Learning
  • Authoring Tool
  • Blended Learning
  • Chatbot
  • Curation
  • Gamification
  • Learning Analytics
  • Learning Data
  • Learning Record Store (LRS)
  • Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)
  • Machine Learning
  • Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
  • Mobile Learning (also referred to as mLearning)
  • Microlearning
  • Open Source
  • SCORM
  • Social Learning
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Synchronous Learning
  • User-Generated Content
  • xAPI (Experience Application Programming Interface/Tin Can)

Common Challenges to Overcome

Gaining Executive Buy-In

When implementing e-learning for an organization, gaining executive buy-in is critical for its success. If executives don’t support your e-learning initiatives, no one else inside your organization will, either. To overcome this hurdle, collect as much data and information as you can when presenting e-learning options and programs to executive leadership.

Assuring Technology Adoption

Getting others to adopt new learning technology you want to implement for your programs can be a major challenge. Be sure to come up with a strategy for how you’ll encourage others to adopt new learning technologies and methods.

Selecting the Right Tools and Technology

If you select e-learning tools and technology that your employees won’t or can’t use, or that you can’t develop, implement, and support properly, your organization will lose money and hours of productivity.

Creating Great Content

Finding the perfect in-house staff or contractors to create content may be painless, but deciding what type of content to create and share, as well as what medium should be used to distribute it, could prove to be more challenging. Selecting the appropriate tools, curating content, and reviewing learning analytics can help with overcoming this challenge.
[Part 2 of this article will appear in tomorrow’s Advisor.]

  1. eLogic Learning. “15 E-Learning Trends and Statistics to Know For 2017,” https://elogiclearning.com/15-elearning-trends-and-statistics-to-know-for-2017/. Accessed 1/29/2018.