By E. Brown

I was reminded of this just the other day while presenting to a client: Had they assessed their readiness to commit to online learning or had they derived a fanciful idea to move to e-Learning without counting the cost?

If you’re considering putting your content online for learning and training, I suggest you do a little homework and become familiar with what it will take to get there. Migrating to online learning is a journey, not a single event. Based on what your business and training goals are, you need to put together a plan or ask someone to help you put together a plan.

For instance, if you desired to build a house, what would you do? You would not buy a truckload of lumber and expect to have a house built in 2 weeks. No — first you would need a plan. During this phase of the project you must ask and answer a lot of questions that allow you to assess your readiness to build. It is much the same with online learning.

Here are some guiding questions to ask of yourself and your team as you get started:

Is your leadership willing to explore this innovative approach? You will need the support of your organization’s leaders to obtain the funding, technology, staffing, and other resources necessary to begin and maintain any new approach to education.

Is your competition already taking advantage of this new option on the corporate training menu? Although most new ideas take time to gain wide acceptance, some –online learning, for example–take off like a rocket. If your organization hasn’t yet made the leap, you may not be alone, but you soon will be.

Is your workforce ready to buy in? A Readiness Assessment may be the way to find out. This usually covers audience expectations, technology requirements, policies and processes, change management, and end-user support.

Is your workforce prepared to commit the time? The amount of development time will depend on your technology needs, the sophistication of your current training programs, the interest and comfort level of your leadership and workforce, and other factors.

Does your workforce have the literacy level and writing skills needed to contribute in a meaningful way to online dialog? Sure, cyberspace has pictures and sound, but it is primarily a world of written communication. Online learning for adults is mostly a matter of interaction via the written word, and online classes consist mostly of “living letters” written back and forth among students and facilitators. Is your workforce up to it?

Do you and your team have a rudimentary understanding of how online learning works? This is usually a basic introduction to the equipment and procedures involved in online education.

– Source: These particular sample questions came from FutureU

These are only a few of the questions to get you thinking. I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me for more information or visit TiER1 Performance.

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