Last year I decided to offer leadership training to clients. But then I thought, "If I have to write one more slide deck and participant workbook, I'm gonna lose it!"
"And I've got to offer robust online learning as an option, but I know how long it takes to write a course in Storyline, and there's no way I can devote that time or afford to pay for it!"
To some extent, writing training is fun to do. But holy cow - doing this well is a LOT of work. In addition to an assortment of classroom trainings, I've even gone as far as to create a highly interactive training within Storyline. That 20-minute course took me approximately 120 hours to create. Creating truly quality training, and getting an ROI on it is often elusive (which is why so many consulting firms charge an arm and a leg for their custom trainings).
So, I set off to find a high quality, flexible, off-the-shelf option that could be extended to clients at an accessible price point. After combing the market, Vital Learning was the clear winner. Truly, it's the curricula I always imagined, but always felt frustrated not to be able to create.
When I shared my adoption of Vital Learning with fellow consultants at a breakfast, they gasped. "What do you mean you bought canned training? But you can't personalize it! It doesn't reflect your perspective and experience?" They gave me serious grief, and clearly saw me as a traitor for this move.
Online learning/eLearning/mobile learning continues to grow, fueled by workers often not based at a central office, increased interest in learning (especially for early career employees) and growing access to learning materials. In 2014, online learning with no live instructor increased by 2.6%, and an estimated 44% of companies were shopping for online learning in 2015.
Perhaps your company has shopped for online learning, or you have individually. There are certainly advantages to online training over classroom training. Assuming that it’s asynchronous (i.e., learners can access content at their leisure rather than have to convene at a specific time), it is highly flexible with regard to when and where learning sessions happen, and the pace.
Over the past several years as I authored an online learning course, and now have online learning programs in my portfolio (authored by others), I have become more aware what is found in quality online learning, and have scrutinized what I see available. Simply put,I can’t believe how much junk is out there. Just because it’s available online, doesn’t mean that it should be classified as “online learning.” If that were the case, then we could consider reading the online New York Times as “online learning.” (Note: there is an emerging classification of “informal learning,” and in that category, reading an article online about a topic related to work would count, but that still isn’t what can be fairly considered as “online learning.”)