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Adrian Sallis

Oct 21, 2022

Evaluating E-learning Courses: Ensuring Learning Objectives Are Met


Did you know that nearly half of Australian adults engage in work-related online learning? It's no secret that online courses can be one of the most convenient ways to brush up on skills and learning topics.

However it needs to achieve your organisation's goals. While evaluating e-learning success might seem daunting at first, in this article we present a few tips to help ensure your e-learning is achieving your goals. 

Is the Learner Satisfied?

This is one of the most important factors to consider.

The level of satisfaction will help you determine if the learner enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to others. You can measure satisfaction through a survey or poll at the end of the course. You can also look at the time spent on the course and completion rates.

However, "satisfaction" is a bit of an ambiguous term here. Whether or not they enjoyed the course on a personal level, they should find the course material useful and relevant.

They should also have no issues navigating or operating the software that they use for the online course. Even the best learning content could become worthless if it is not accessible to the learners.

You should also ensure that the course is not overly demanding of the user. To clarify, it should be structured in a way that keeps the user motivated to continue.

The best structure for a course is one that maintains a manageable pace and feels rewarding.

Did the User Learn What You Intended Them To?

Interestingly, this is a factor that is often overlooked.

Some course providers prioritise satisfaction over actionable results. However, in company compliance and certified professional development (CPD) it's important to measure whether or not the learner understands the material and met the objectives that were set out at the beginning of the course. Did they take away what you wanted them to from the training?

One way you can achieve this is by giving users a pre-course assessment before they begin the course.

This can be in the form of a quiz or mini-assessment. Then, you can give them a post-course quiz after they've completed the course.

This will allow you to gauge how much they've improved. Comprehensive final assessments are also a popular option for measuring e-learning success. As the name suggests, you should cover all of the introduced topics and thoroughly assess whether or not the user understands them.

Are They Able to Apply the Skills That They Learned?

It's one thing to pass a quiz or studiously work through all the course material but in some cases translating this knowledge into real-world scenarios is quite different.

In other words, do they know how to apply what they learned? This is where you have to get creative.

For example, if the course was about sales techniques, you could roleplay a sales call with the learner. This would give you a good idea of whether or not they were able to implement what they learned. Alternatively, you could give them a real-world problem and see if they can provide a solution. Some Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Intuto notify course administrators once a learner has completed the online component so that an invigilated, in person, assessment can be made prior to the training being completed.  

Any knowledge that can't be applied is virtually useless. So, your course should always include some sort of assessment of the learner's ability to bring the information they learned into a real-world professional environment.

Did the Course Meet your Organisation's Objectives?

Finally, you need to ensure that the course met your organisation's objectives.

After all, the primary goal of taking an online course should be to improve work performance. For example, if the course was about customer service techniques, you should see an improvement in the quality of customer service after team members have completed the training.

This can be difficult to measure in many situations.

You might need to wait a few months to see significant results. Alternatively, you could compare the performance of employees who have taken the course with those who have not.

Regardless of what you intend to measure, you should define indicators that will convey whether or not an employee has met the goals you established.

This is the only way that you can acquire the necessary data about the course's learning objectives.

What Are Common Issues With Professional e-Learning Courses?

One common issue is that the objectives are not aligned with your organisation's goals. As a result, the course might not have a significant impact on work performance. Another issue is that the course is too demanding or challenging for learners.

This could lead to low satisfaction rates and make it more difficult for users to complete the course. Furthermore, some courses might not be designed in a way that allows learners to effectively apply what they've learned.

Finally, e-learning courses might not be accessible to all learners due to technological barriers. This is something that the organisation should ensure they have taken care of before the course is made available.

e-Learning Evaluations Don't Have to Be Difficult

As you can see, there are many factors to consider during e-learning evaluations of an online course. By keeping the above information in mind, can ensure that your course goes a long way to meeting all of the necessary learning criteria.

From here, you can use this information to improve courses in the future. This will lead to greater results and increased leaners performance as time goes on.

Want to learn more about what we can do? Why not meet with us so we can discuss your goals and see how we can help you.

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