Elearning is a valid and increasingly utilised practice that can help a business train its staff in a cost effective and engaging manner.
However not every business is the same and each has different intentions and needs when it comes to implementing it as a teaching method.
For those businesses that have training requirements which don’t fit into an easy category, off the shelf elearning may not be appropriate. To ensure that a business gets the best possible elearning platform implemented it can opt for a custom or bespoke model.
A bespoke service is designed specifically for a given company with its individual needs in mind. It’s tailored and tweaked for a business and most importantly, for its audience. Simply put, this practice is about getting training practices exactly right for the learners within a tailored business context.
Perhaps the best reason to adopt a custom platform to deliver lessons and training is the fact that if done correctly it’ll feel exactly right to the learners. The learning model is created just for them and it should show through the branding and tone of voice – highlight the fact that you know your employees well (and what they want) and it’ll pay off with a much better trained workforce.
Ensure that you’ve designed the whole experience in a manner that will help you to get the desired results. Let’s consider some reasons and applications for a custom elearning platform in a bit more detail.
Focus on what matters
It’s all about your staff and their needs as anything that you implement will only work if it helps your employees. Be clear about what you want to get out of the process and set some goals early in the planning process.
Ensure that you know your staff, their approach to learning, and make sure that the platform is reflective of your brand and its philosophy. It’s also worthwhile considering branding the platform so that employees are aware that it’s something that the company has invested in. Psychologically, staff see this as an investment into them so they get a sense of satisfaction that they are valued and this leads to a more productive workforce.
Remember that bespoke elearning can take any form that’s conducive to meeting your business’ needs. Because a course of this type is designed exclusively for your business it must be reflective of your company culture and your learners approach.
What it could include
Elearning doesn’t have to be a dry experience and in fact it can be the complete opposite if implemented well. There are plenty of options and approaches that can be considered, such as infographics, innovative scenarios, new interactions, and learning games (see gamification in elearning). A good elearning provider will work with you and assess your requirements and in turn will discover the best approach to meet your business needs.
The other consideration is the fact that bespoke elearning only covers the subject areas that your business needs. This means that it’ll be a streamlined process and one that avoids unnecessary training, wasted time, and misspent resources.
If your business is considering a tailored platform it’s worth noting that most elearning providers will use your house style to keep the tone familiar and relatable to your business and its philosophy. A bespoke platform can be delivered in a number of ways too – from online options, CD, USB stick, to mobile portable possibilities.
Reasons for bespoke elearning
A business that adopts elearning practices can train its staff in any subject that it deems necessary. It can provide better information on a product or process that its staff needs to learn. Elearning is a tool that doesn’t expire (although it might need updating) and learners can revisit and reconsider lessons whenever it suits them. Another benefit is that it's designed specifically for a particular audience and therefore all the content is highly relevant and can engage better with staff.
Bespoke elearning is also great for those businesses with very specific needs. Any company that has learning needs not covered by off the shelf, generic materials should consider implementing a tailored online learning platform.
The end product
If your business opts for bespoke elearning as a process it will end up (ideally) with a perfectly tailored course that suits and supports your training requirements. It will also fit into your budgetary plans, your timescale, and provide a valid training model for your employees.
The course can be implemented within a Learning Management System (LMS), meaning that the process of delivering the course to your employees is much simpler. It’s worth remembering too that any new elearning platform must have responsive design to reach those employees that use smartphones or other portable internet enabled devices.
Once you’ve implemented your new custom elearning model within your business infrastructure, ensure that you set goals for your staff to reach. This provides them with a sense of progress but it also provides your business with a way to monitor the success of its new learning platform.
Bespoke elearning is designed for you and your business’ needs. Ensure that you understand exactly what you want out of it before you start considering implementing it within your business. Know your culture and meet your employees half way – you’ll see a marked increase in results and employee engagement and satisfaction.
Author: Kate Pasterfield, Creative Director at Sponge.