How to get started with an e-learning system
We talk a lot about why you should be using e-learning or online training but we don’t go into as much detail on how to set up an e-learning system successfully. If you’ve never used an online training system before, taking that first step might feel a bit overwhelming.
Here’s a checklist of the things you need to consider and the steps you need to take before you commit to an online training program.
Establish your training needs
This will inform all your other decisions so you need to be really thorough here. Consider the needs of people at every level of your organisation, from admin staff to healthcare professionals.
You could create a survey for staff to fill in, asking what areas or specific skills/ knowledge they want help with. You can also look at performance reviews to see where there are gaps, and consider any recent breaches or accidents that have revealed risks. It’s especially important in healthcare to consider continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for your health professionals. Ask key stakeholders, such as health and safety officers and human resources managers for their input too.
Decide what your highest priorities are – consider compliance needs, risk mitigation and CPD – and design your learning management system (LMS) and training implementation around that; after that you can implement your more routine e-learning programs.
In our experience, organisations that come to us with a clear vision and a good understanding of the outcome they want to achieve usually implement an LMS quicker and are less likely to need to make changes as they go. To help you achieve a crystal-clear plan, you’ll also want to consider what features you’ll need to successfully integrate your online training into your organisation. For example, you may need to look at integrations so the Intuto reporting data can be fed back to other software programs; you may also want to consider how you’ll incorporate external content such as webinars, which are an important element of CPD.
Choose the right LMS provider
Give yourself enough time to find the right provider for your needs. Don’t be afraid to interview them to ensure they’re a good fit for your organisation. Ask the platform provider if they have worked with similar organisations before and whether they can provide case studies or testimonials. If you’re a healthcare provider, it’s important to know that your LMS is appropriate and your provider understands the issues and priorities of your industry.
Find out whether they’re able to provide or support the features and integrations you need. What’s their customer service like? Try calling and emailing to see what the response time is like and how good they are at resolving queries. Find out if they can offer a demonstration or a trial period before you commit.
Do a real-world trial
Some e-learning platforms will offer you a complimentary trial period that will allow you to get a feel for the UX and the suitability for your needs. If possible, create a short course and have members of various teams use it and give feedback. Is it easy for them to log in, navigate and complete? Does it work well on desktops, laptops and mobile? Can it handle a high volume of users?
In real-world situations, you’ll need to adjust your e-learning and training programs as systems, policies or processes change. You’ll want to be sure you can do some basic course authoring in-house so that you’re not stuck waiting on your provider to create or edit courses for you. On the flipside, you’ll need them to do the more complex builds and upgrades, so make sure they’re able to do that as fast as you need to deploy it.
Check costs, and T&Cs
What will this learning management system cost you? Look beyond the dollar figure and consider other elements: Is it a monthly subscription, an upfront cost or charged per build? How much of a commitment do you need to make? What kind of ROI are you likely to get? How much will you be saving by switching from your current training program? Will you need to pay for any external content? We usually recommend that customers start on a higher plan (to get all the support you need for the initial set up of all your systems) and you can downgrade over time.
Create your rough template
When you’re drafting your online training program, there’s plenty to think about beyond just the scope of the content. Consider branding, language, course introductions, what your pass rates will be, how many attempts you’ll allow, what elements could or should be interactive, how much reporting you want. Set these decisions as a kind of style guide so when other departments or levels need to do future builds they can copy the template and build courses quickly and efficiently.
Work with your onboarding manager to finalise your training plan implementation and timeframes. Make sure you seek feedback often and be open to tweaking your program as needed.
If you want to talk through plans for an online training program for your organisation, get in touch today to find out how Intuto can help.