In my current role I am looking at various eLearning options which means that me and others from relevant departments are also sampling a lot of eLearning courses! I do wish that some of the eLearning Provider would “get real” when it comes to supporting organisations through a purchasing decision.
Yes, my approach means that I am paying the publically advertised price for the courses before potentially approaching the providers to discuss pricing structures for bulk purchases. However, I think it’s an important to get a real sense of how the courses are delivered for a member of the public. I have found in the past that when a provider knows that you are interested in their product and they give you access to the materials and systems that support them you get an almost seamless experience. Well in most cases that is!
The following are the basic criteria I use or ask others to use when reviewing an eLearning course:
- Accessibility – how accessible are the learning materials? How many hoops do you have to just through to actually get to the learning materials? I am also looking at how the learners can find the information they need or want quickly and easily.
- Organisation – how well organised is the material? Does the course make good use of sections to break the materials down into pieces of learning that you can complete in short period of time. Also I look at whether the content follow a logical progression and doesn’t jump from one subject to another? Part of that also involves looking at how you can easily get to the information or material you need.
- Language – is the level of the language used appropriate to the intended audience?
- Layout/Aesthetics – is the material presented in a way which would engage the intended audience?
- Relevant Content – is the material that is presented likely to meet the learning needs of the intended audience?
- Completeness – is the material complete of itself or does it need additional inputs?
That’s the start point for my decision making. However, I then need to look at how the use of the programmes/courses align with our L&D Strategy; how they will be received by the intended audience and then quite possibly put together a Business Case for approval by a Board or Finance Committee.
So, eLearning Providers please do stop the whole “I can offer you a special bulk purchase but only for the next few days” approach. It’s tacky, it switches me off and it doesn’t work! I am making a strategic decision, I am looking at options and I need a consultative approach which might involve various departments (IT, Operations etc) and being pushed into a quick decision because you have a sales target to achieve means I probably will not help you achieve that target.