I recently took part in the Associations Network #AskAssns hour on Twitter, which this month focused on CPD. One of the questions asked was what an organisation should consider when looking to implement an online CPD or e-learning programme and I thought this would lend itself to a blog post.

So here are my top three things you should consider:

1. The learners’ needs

The learner needs to be at the centre of everything you do CPD-wise and not just when thinking online CPD. Think about what they want to achieve and be aware that this might not be the same as what the expert wants to tell them! Don’t let your organisation be side-tracked by internal objectives or even the objectives of the supplier.

This might require focus groups initially with your learners to fully understand their wants and needs.

2. Make it active

Make them think! It has been proven that engagement is key to retaining information (think back to your own school days) so in order to make them think you need to get them to do something and then provide them with the space and encouragement to reflect on what they’ve learnt.

Engagement comes not just from making people do something but also from varying the ways in which you present information. Be creative in your solution – use video, images and allow social sharing. Sharing is another important way of engaging learners; people like to know what others have said as well as what the experts say so make it easy for learners to share between each other. Encourage debate and discussion across the group.

3. Don't let the technology take the foreground

First and foremost e-learning is about the learning NOT the technology; don’t get side-tracked by complex technical deployments that will distract from the core purpose.

When you’re looking at what e-learning platform to adopt ask yourself:

  • Is it flexible? Does it enable the peer sharing and interaction mentioned above?
  • Is it robust and reliable? Find some case studies or clients who are using the system presently
  • What are your competitors using? What are the pros and cons of their systems?
Once you’ve chosen the technology forget about it and focus on developing the right e-learning experience to meet your objectives. The perfect e-learning system facilitates the learning rather than distracting from it.

If you are thinking of adopting e-learning why not talk to us? Call me on 020 7582 3309 or you can reach me on Jacqui.nelson@nelsoncroom.co.uk