The 5 minute guide to rapid elearning for busy L&D people
9th March 2016
There’s never been more pressure to transform workplace elearning and deliver business results.
But having identified the changes you want to make, it can be frustrating when it takes months rather than weeks to get a new project off the ground.
Whether you work with external specialists all the time, or are using them because your in-house team is overloaded, we’ve got some tips to help you realise your goals.
This five minute guide to rapid elearning is aimed at helping you get the best quality and value in the quickest possible time.
So what is rapid elearning?
It means different things to different people, but for the purposes of this guide it is all about getting things done swiftly to a high standard.
The aim is to use smart design, processes and technology to create effective elearning content quickly.
It is about being clever without compromising on the creativity.
Key tips to save time (and money)
Speak to learners first
Start with the people that matter most and make sure you find out what their challenges are, what is most relevant to their role and what technology suits them best.
Changes will slow down the process, but by being crystal clear about the needs of your core audience the project is more likely to proceed smoothly and quickly.
Woo your subject matter experts
A rapid project can succeed or fail depending on the buy-in from your subject matter experts (SMEs).
To get things done quickly, you may need them to break into their busy schedules, so you need to keep them on your side.
Elearning Industry has a whole guide on working with subject matter experts which includes useful ideas if you are encountering difficulties.
But your SMEs are more likely to bend over backwards if they can see the value and relevance of the project. Stressing the business benefits, and the particular gains for their particular department, should help ease the process.
Microlearning may suit your needs if you can distil your project down into a few key messages. It may also be more suitable for certain learners, particularly if they prefer to use mobiles, or if they generally don’t have much time to fit training into their day.
A typical microlearning module will take around 5 to 10 minutes to complete, with some organisations using even shorter learning content of just a couple of minutes.
It does take thought and creativity to produce effective microlearning content, so you may not save time at the design stage. But shorter content should cut down on the development time, compared to standard elearning.
Do a pilot
You have a brilliant idea that could be a game-changer for your organisation.
But getting a full scale project off the ground will take many months and you want to start making an impact as soon as possible.
One possibility is to opt for a pilot project that you can get off the ground quickly before rolling it out more widely.
A pilot also allows you to collect hard data before committing to a larger investment and identifying teething problems.
Case Study: People Management magazine looks at how Royal Mail went from concept to delivery in just 12 weeks on an interactive video elearning pilot project.
Prep your assets
Gathering together visual assets and learning resources before launching a project will help you save time and meet deadlines.
Think about what images and graphics you have available, any video footage you would like to include and whether you have supporting aids or workbooks.
Factor in reviews and testing
Don’t let your rapid elearning fall at the final hurdle.
A sloppy approach to reviewing and testing can undermine all the progress you’ve made in getting your project ready in record time.
Be clear on who will review the elearning and give people deadlines for making changes. Agree in advance how testing will be carried out and for how long.
Finally, a good project manager is worth their weight in gold if you are trying to get your get your elearning project delivered quickly.
They can help iron out hitches and keep all the various elearning balls in the air (and still have time to train for a half marathon before work!)
Don’t be afraid to ask what experience your project manager has in delivering rapid projects.
Here are just some of the super-talented project managers at Sponge.
(Truth: Nyk does train for half marathons before arriving at the office.)