Digital Learning: the questions to ask before starting out
In France, the Digital Learning market, which was valued at 200 million euros in 2017, is growing by 15 percent a year. This success is well deserved, as Digital Learning has multiple advantages: the effectiveness and appeal of digital training, flexibility, variety of formats, adaptability to all topics, and more. These all benefit both employees and companies. But be aware, although Digital Learning is a wonderful tool, it is still a tool: for a company digital training project to live up to its potential, it must be well prepared. And for this, a few questions are essential…
What is the purpose of the training?
When starting an e-learning project, the company can pursue very different goals: training staff on a new regulation, supporting business line development, rolling out new equipment, presenting a new product to sales representatives or supporting the company’s digital transformation. Digital Learning can meet all these challenges. But the format and the teaching method adopted will depend directly on the topic and the training goals. “From the initial project phases, the multimedia educational engineer helps the company express its actual needs, find the most relevant formats, etc. Every project must be designed collaboratively and goals must be defined first,” explains Vincent Gaillard, Multimedia Educational Engineer at ITycom.
What is the learner profile?
Just like the goals, the learner profile must be taken into account upstream, to adapt the content of the course… and its format!
Therefore, content will be developed based on the target audience’s knowledge. The digital habits of future learners are also taken into account to define an intuitive and attractive interface: the user experience (UX) and the user interface (UI) will be directly linked to the users’ ‘Digital Maturity’.
But other criteria are important, such as the average age of learners. “In a Gamification process, for example, we adapt content to the target audience’s cultural references. The state of mind, humour and cultural references change. For example, we will appeal both to millennials and older employees with references that are suitable for each generation,” specifies Vincent Gaillard.
What is the training context?
Why this course? Is it required due to a regulatory or security emergency? Does it support the company’s strategy or respond to a request from the teams? Will it be received with pleasure or hostility?
“My role is to ensure that each learner enjoys taking the course, irrespective of the context. This is the technical side of the business and a constant challenge,” says Vincent Gaillard, enthusiastically. Depending on the context, the training will use the playful aspect of Gamification or Serious Games, or instead, more ‘academic’ formats for skills validation or certification. The e-Learning programme duration and materials will also vary between short modules on mobiles or long sessions on the computer.
What resources are available?
Is the course for passing on skills that are documented in the company or does it bring new knowledge? The source of the content influences both the course and its deployment. Skills can be passed on by tutoring, when the acquisition of new knowledge must involve Top Management. “Once again, we collaborate with clients to determine the principles and mechanisms behind the training”, explains Vincent Gaillard. “Even when the skills exist in the company and the trainers have an e-Learning platform (LMS: Learning Management System), the expertise of an educational engineering professional remains essential”.