Busting The Biggest eLearning Myths
eLearning has been steadily growing as a critical component of good corporate culture. It’s invaluable in its ability to improve multiple ways in which your organization functions. It’s also a critical tool for improving employee longevity and value. But despite the plethora of benefits that eLearning presents, too many companies don’t see its value.
In many instances, organizations are skeptical of eLearning from the get-go, and thus fail to see all the ways in which it’s benefitting the team. Or perhaps they’ve heard or read something that suggests eLearning isn’t quite as effective as everyone says it is. But eLearning isn’t just a trend, it’s here to stay. It’s important that organizations thoroughly understand the value of a good learning management system. To explain the true nature of eLearning, let’s examine some myths surrounding it and why they are exactly that… myths.
eLearning Doesn’t Stick
A large portion of those working in the contemporary workforce has grown up with traditional education methods. While technology has taken over almost every aspect of our lives today, this hasn’t always been the case. There are still plenty of people being exposed to learning management systems who grew up almost entirely devoid of modern technology.
With contemporary learning, you read through textbooks and take notes, listen to lecturers, and watch PowerPoint presentations. Of course, these methods used to work for most people, and in many cases have been successful. However, times are changing, and the presence of technology has modified the ways in which we are learning today. This is particularly true for younger generations like Millennials and Generation Z, who will soon make up the vast majority of America’s workforce.
A lot of workers have the belief that eLearning just doesn’t stick the way traditional teaching and training methods do. But that belief is largely due to a resistance to change and unfamiliarity with technology and eLearning as a whole. Additionally, many older learners have been exposed to subpar learning management systems that didn’t do them any favors. This only lends itself to the belief that eLearning doesn’t really stick.
The truth is eLearning still required a lot of the same learning techniques that more conventional methods relied upon for good retention. eLearning will not be retained if retrieval exercises, practice, and application are not applied. If these practices are followed, eLearning is actually much more likely to stick than traditional learning is. The key difference is that eLearning has been shown to be vastly more engaging, so despite the fact that practice and quizzes are still required, it’s much more likely that learners will stay engaged and actually enjoy the process.
eLearning Is a Drain on Company Resources
Just as subpar learning management systems have left a bad taste in many learner’s mouths, eLearning that is substandard won’t stick. That being said, high-quality eLearning will, just as ineffective eLearning wastes company resources, but effective eLearning will result in a great return on investment. Leaders of companies are often skeptical of learning management systems and whether or not they’re worth the big monetary investment they require. It’s no secret, setting up a high-quality learning management system is pricey.
There are two key issues here. If you deliver eLearning that’s not up to scratch, your results will be poor, and ultimately you won’t see any improvements and the LMS will be a waste of company resources. Secondly, not many learning professionals think about how they can evaluate their activities based on their return on investment. Many are reluctant to dive into the eLearning world because it seems like something outside their scope of expertise. The key is, those in charge of eLearning must take the initiative to figure out how to calculate realistic return on investment figures to demonstrate the value of your organization’s LMS to company leadership if you expect your efforts to be recognized and valued.
It Can’t Really Engage Your Employees
It’s far more common than you might think for people to believe that eLearning doesn’t actually do a great job of engaging employees. This is a problematic belief, particularly if it’s a belief held by upper-level leadership.
eLearning’s surprisingly low completion rates have been widely discussed in the media. A dilemma like this is interesting to explore. Despite rapid growth in online learning, online completion rates of eLearning courses seem to be dropping. This isn’t in line with what we know to be true about eLearning. There are myriads of evidence to suggest that, when used correctly, eLearning is the most engaging training method. So, why is it that we’re seeing dropping rates of course completion?
The first thing that needs to be noted is that those low completion rates are due to people signing up for courses that they really don’t need or aren’t interested in to begin with. This significantly skews the numbers, because people signing up for courses, in general, is very different from the number of learners within an organization who are completing training modules. If we were to instead study the completion rates within an organization with a well-implemented, high-quality LMS, the results would be very different.
Secondly, a few people may mistake discontent with an organization’s learning management system for discontent with eLearning. If a poor learning management system is implemented, it’s really no surprise that completion rates are low and satisfaction in the system is lacking. The quality of eLearning provided to your company is probably more a determinant of eLearning engagement than a complete lack of it.
Overall, organizations that have introduced a high-quality learning management system with excellent content and a good user experience see their investment pay off in dividends. Learning management systems that are implemented with care, consideration, and the needs of the organizations and its employees in mind are engaging, and they significantly improve training, performance, and return on investment. While each of these myths is founded in truth, they simply don’t apply to a good, high-quality learning management system.