How to pick the right E-learning solution for your business needs

With various companies, non-profits, and educational institutions embracing eLearning, the importance of picking the right solution to fit specific business needs has become increasingly significant. There are numerous eLearning platforms, some more tailored towards different fields and use cases than others. In this article, we discuss the process of selecting the right eLearning solution for your organization.

Identifying Business Needs

Before we begin, we first must explain the three fields focused on and establish a consensus on their business needs and requirements. Organizations within these subsets are not restricted to the business needs we detail and may have other business requirements but will generally have most of the business needs we discuss below.

Based on an organization’s operating model, specific business needs for an eLearning solution will vary.

Companies AKA The Corporate Guys

These organizations provide a service or a product and typically utilize eLearning programs for employee and HR training. These firms focus a lot on the bottom line and assess how an eLearning solution can improve performance on the balance sheet. Typically, corporates want metrics and tracking data to evaluate employee training, progress, and assimilation. They want to ensure employees complete these training modules, so they require monitoring beneficiaries of the platform. Mid-tier to large-sized corporates (based on firm size and revenue generation) usually have a dedicated IT team or expert who would collaborate with the eLearning solution provider concerning discussions on data migration, API integration, and data exporting and manipulation.

Here are some of the things an eLearning solution should provide if your firm is in the corporate field:

  • API Integration: Corporates should look for eLearning solutions that can provide integration. This is essential because data transfer is seamless and is easily accessible to the firm for analysis and exporting.
  • Tracking: eLearning solution should provide features that allow the firm to monitor and measure employee usage.
  • Interactivity & Gamification: Platforms should have interactive elements such as audio, video, etc., and provide some form of gamification to keep users engaged.
  • Evaluation: eLearning solutions should have features to assess users on the content they have interacted with. This helps admins evaluate whether the content is understood and what to modify in learning material.
  • Metrics & Reporting: Firms need to pick a platform that provides various user metrics to generate relevant reports. This will aid in demonstrating the ROI on the platform and in cost-benefit analysis.
  • GDPR & Data Compliance: Platforms should be secure and comply with all data protection laws.

Training Institutions & Schools AKA The Learning Guys

Organizations such as these are looking for eLearning platforms that offer interactive features that facilitate teaching and learning. Schools want a solution that allows them to assess students and their progress in understanding learning material quickly. Their bottom line as an institution is to ensure that they produce top-notch graduates as this reflects positively on them and their teaching content. Learning is a huge factor for them, and they lookout for the best solutions that will facilitate the best learning experience for students. Schools want to track student grades and performance and seek platforms that provide scoring, evaluation, and feedback to students and instructors. Some training institutions may have a dedicated IT team, and they typically prioritize usability, gamification, and instructional design when picking eLearning solutions.

Educational institutions should look out for offerings like this from an eLearning platform:

  • Instructional Design: Institutions should select a platform that can provide instructional design. This helps structure content adequately for easy assimilation.
  • Easy-of-use: Firms should select solutions that are user-friendly and do not have a steep learning curve. Usability contributes to how easily users will utilize the application.
  • Evaluation: Schools constantly assess their students to determine whether trainees/students understand course content and have met their learning goals. Firms should select solutions that allow for easy evaluation and grading of beneficiaries.
  • Management & Administration: Institutions should pick a solution that provides a management dashboard; this helps streamline monitoring and tracking of students. A dashboard also provides a snapshot of how users are interacting with course content.

Non-Profits & Social Organizations AKA The Impact Guys

The moniker above summarizes what these organizations are looking for — Impact. For these firms, the amount of impact they can achieve represents their bottom line. As hard as it can be, quantifying impact is one of the ways eLearning platforms can assist; by providing a platform for measurement. Non-profits and social organizations are typically aligned towards aiding underprivileged or under-represented communities. These organizations are not centered on revenue generation and are usually funded by donations, crowdfunding, and display ROI by reporting on the impact they generate with the funding received.

Here are some of the things an eLearning solution should provide if you run a non-profit or social organization:

  • Impact Measurement & Tracking: As discussed above, Impact is like liquid gold for non-profits and social organizations. They should choose eLearning solutions that provide features that can aid in measuring impact. Examples of these features are usage tracking, evaluation, analytics, and data interpretation. Prioritize solutions that can provide easily exportable data for reporting and Impact assessment.
  • Surveys/Polls/Questionnaire: Non-profits should look for eLearning platforms with a survey or polling feature — Pre and post-surveys aid in assessing the success of these developmental programs after beneficiaries undertake a training program.
  • Reporting & Management: Social organizations should look for features that make reporting easy as impact and reporting go hand in hand. The eLearning platform should provide summarized high-level data that can be exported easily. Look out for the information recorded and ensure that key indicators of impact are documented to get the complete picture when generating reports.
  • Offline access: As NGOs typically work in underprivileged communities, some areas may have limited internet access or electricity. Organizations should look for eLearning platforms that allow beneficiaries to access and interact with content without consistent internet to ensure all beneficiaries are catered for.

Based on an organization’s operating model, specific business needs for an eLearning solution will vary. Some of these needs span all industries, whereas others are unique based on the organization’s market. We discussed some of these needs above and encourage institutions to select eLearning platforms that are a good fit and can help justify the financial investment. The bottom line is when you invest in a solution, you should envisage benefits, tangible or intangible.

Benefits could include:

  • Achieving a set of KPIs.
  • Improving the company’s balance sheet.
  • Enhancing impact for a target group.

Thanks for tuning in,

Chalkboard Education AKA The Solution Guys :)

About Chalkboard Education

Chalkboard Education provides mobile-based distance training solutions tailored for NGOs. Lightweight, offline-first, and complete with full analytics capabilities, Chalkboard Education is designed for rural and hard-to-reach community training. Currently used in 10+ countries in Africa and South America, Chalkboard Education is available worldwide.

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