Do I need to speak with an e-learning consultant?

5 August 2022 by Catalyst

In the world of e-learning making the most of your learning management system (LMS) seems like an obvious starting point. But a lot of organisations get stuck in the starting blocks and find it difficult to make decisions on some key areas.

How do you bounce around your initial ideas and formulate a plan for roll-out? One approach is to work with an e-learning consultant – having their in-depth technical knowledge and LMS application experiences with various clients, puts you in a better position to address your key problems and goals and to make better decisions faster.

As you start with an outcome in mind for your e-learning course, activity or curriculum, you may not always know how to get there. But even before you map out your implementation journey, there are numerous key things to consider such as:

  • Whether you should create a new course or update an existing one?
  • How will you know that learners viewed the content properly?
  • In which order should the activities be completed and how can you monitor it?
  • Should some learners’ access be restricted in any way?
  • Should you apply an Organisational Policy to the LMS you are using and how?

These are just some of the common things to be considered. There are usually numerous others which can be picked up on by an experienced e-learning consultant based on your specific scenario and current set up.

Below are some tips on the above five points:

Should I create a new course in my LMS or update an existing one?

To answer this question you must analyse the impact of the proposed change. Will the fundamental goal of the course change with the content change? If yes, you may consider creating a new course or at least make it a follow on from, or a prerequisite to, another course.

How will I know that learners viewed the content properly?

“To complete an activity” may mean many different things such as to view the video until the end, read the content provided, etc. What if, however, someone started viewing the video, got distracted, paused it, walked away to make a cuppa or simply skimmed through it only briefly, having many other items on their to do list for that day?

Most learning management systems have activity completion settings that require learners to “tick the box” once the desired action is taken but it’s hard to tell whether the desired level of learner engagement has happened.

While an in-built AI eye-tracking system would be a dream, until that’s available, incorporating short quizzes after slideshows, videos and units within a course, is a good way to measure the level of learner engagement. If they didn’t absorb the content properly, they are unlikely to answer even some of the simplest questions and so will be prompted to repeat the unit.

In which order should the activities be completed and how I monitor it?

Using a feature such as Program allows you to provide a learning pathway, specifying the order of courses. This can also be done with enrolment restrictions that prevent access to a course unit until a prerequisite course is completed.

At the course level, you can use access restrictions or availability restrictions.

The options you have really depends on the learning management system you are using.

Should some learners’ access be restricted in any way?

This is a common requirement and many organisations want to provide different access to different learners, potentially from different clients. One way to do this is to set the method of enrolment to a course requiring a specific “pass code”. Alternatively, you can allow or restrict access for preset audiences, groups or members in your organisational structure. In addition, you might consider multi-tenancy and having different sub-portals for your clients.

Should I apply our Organisational Policy to the LMS I am using and how?

Know the policy before you create the course to ensure you build-in your ‘best practice process’ from the start. Outline any challenges and address them respectively. Here’s a good reference point: 10 areas to consider in an LMS use policy.

In Summary:

Laying out your current situation and your vision is the best place to start when designing a new e-course. Getting an e-learning consultant involved in the initial phases helps ensure you don’t miss out on opportunities and get the most out of your learning management system and courses. Having an e-learning consultant involved will also help you avoid common pitfalls which only someone who works with LMS day to day will be able to point out.

As they work across the broad range of e-learning activities, methodologies and technologies, e-learning consultants can help you achieve your goals while reducing the risk of costly mistakes. A fresh perspective on your project from someone outside your field can also be extremely valuable.

If you are looking for some input on your next e-learning project chat to our team today!