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How can you check that your potential e-learning provider makes the grade and delivers the training your employees need to help you achieve your business goals? Here’s how.

What E-learning Providers should Do

1. Understand Your Business.
E-learning providers should know your organisation inside out. The best should prove they’re up to any challenge with experience across a range of industry sectors. Check that previous customers enjoyed business, productivity, and performance changes in the time frame required. What was their experience regarding costs, attitudes and positive and negative changes?
2. Adopt Customer Service Approach.
There’s service – and there’s service. Ask yourself if potential provider actively listen, anticipate needs, have explicit quality assurance processes and skilled staff to deliver learning aligned to business goals. Will they go the extra mile to help you turn training into performance?
3. Offer Multi-dimensional E-learning.
Comprehensive e-learning as well as m-learning and a selection of downloadables, blogs, games, forums, Twitter and Facebook deliver the on-demand, collaborative and scaffolded training employees’ demanding roles now require. Look for a company that embeds this richness of training and provides it along with the expert mentors that nudge employees through the subject intricacies.

4. Provide Assessment Options:
Self-assessment and self-help structures should be built in to the programme so workers can differentiate and personalise their own learning in order to translate this into improved Key Performance Indicators for business.

What to Communicate to the Potential E-learning Provider

1. Establish the Parameters of the Proposal:
Don’t expect training companies to guess your needs. Ask for documentation that specifies implementation timeline and assistance offered. Supply an outline, specific dates for starting and finishing the e-learning project, the format you want, quantify and qualify needs and specify how you will evaluate proposals.

2. Clarify Roles and Responsibilities:
Get IT to talk to providers about software, hardware, infrastructure and everything else necessary for the e-learning course to deliver. Is senior management on board? If not get their input on course and company choice at the start to prevent delays. Remember, PRINCE2 is a great way to project-manage an e-learning project!

3. Know your Way around E-learning:
Market and technical knowledge of e-learning gives you leverage and a handle on the options and what your competitors are doing. Skilled people in your company should assess the e-learning which is fast becoming a core competency for Human Resources and Learning and Development departments. Finally, don’t forget to try the training!

4. Discuss Employee Profiles:

Make employee performance and learning profiles available so training companies can explain which aspects of their programme will help workers personalise the learning to meet their needs. Find out how employee career ambitions and your business aims can be forwarded through further training.

Useful links:

  • E-learning is now an integral part of training for Australian businesses and the vocational education and training sector as a 2010 benchmarking survey demonstrates.
  • If you’re in any doubt about the importance of first-class project management training then you might this KPMG NZ survey very revealing.
  • Looking for resources and downloads? There’s a plethora of them on the ILX Downloads page.
  • Made the case for e-learning? Got to talk money? Try these handy hints on demonstrating ROI on training.
  • The Office of Government Commerce website offers a serious and authoritative view on PRINCE2 while the APMG tells you where to find accredited training. Aiming to advance the science of project management is the Association for Project Management.

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