We may have heard the infamous Bill Gates mantra: “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure” and while it might sound like a cliché coming from a multi-billionaire it still reigns true in all aspects of business. Despite rave reviews which hold eLearning in the highest esteem, we can still never be certain that it will work, nor that it will be well-received. There are, however, certain situations in which e-Learning is more likely to fail than triumph. Take a glimpse at the following scenarios and how slip-ups may be avoided, to achieve LMS success.
Why e-Learning Fails
- Poor content
No matter how good the technology used to deliver specific learning is, all is lost if the learning content is no good from the get-go. It is essential for materials to be complete, accurate and relevant for e-Learning to work at all, hence the importance of content curation; meaningful content organised around a specific theme to spark intrigue and feed knowledge.
It’s unfortunate that e-Learning often falls flat because technology is employed as a facade to fix poorly thought-out content. Ironically, attempts to mask the content and present it on a bed of roses, ensures its low quality is completely transparent. The fact that, unlike face-to-face learning, there is much less human support or guidance, which means its instructions and design are absolutely necessary to get right, for it to be delivered successfully from the very first course.
- Bad documentation, tools, and processes
Offering e-learning to compensate for badly design tools and processes or as a cover-up for unassertive management is a common phenomenon found in the workplace and a prominent reason why e-Learning fails at the first hurdle. A training programme on how to deal with ‘difficult’ colleagues is all well and good, but how about sanctioning disciplinarians if they’re just downright disastrous team players? E-Learning should not be used in place of simple duties.
- An unwillingness to learn
It is not the fault of the workforce that they have no desire to learn, but more the lack of a company learning culture in general. This is down to an absence of motivating factors and incentives which often kick staff into gear and spur a hunger for knowledge and professional growth. It’s true e-Learning could somewhat help a technologically savvy organisation, but without a learning culture deeply ingrained as well, it’s full force will not be felt.
Tips to Prevent LMS Failure
Luckily once scenarios for uneffective e-Learning have been identified, solutions for preventing LMS failure can be preventatively employed:
- As mentioned above, careful content curation is the way forward to ensure materials are up to scratch and employees are getting the most out of their training rather than being forced to digest incorrect information which is of little interest if not downright counter-productive.
- Fixing the root cause of the problems, either through redesigning documentation and other processes, before rolling out an e-Learning course.
- Bring in incentives which will motivate employees to reach their goals through training. You can use complete records of their usage and behaviour to decipher how to continually improve the course and further tailor it to meet learners’ needs.