5 Habits It’s Time to Break

If you want to make money with eLearning


Anytime-anywhere eLearning has become a must as workforces face the rapid pace of change within their industries. But not just any digital content will do. Making bank means five die hard habits have to break.

Habit 1: Expecting a live course will be the same experience delivered online.

It won’t. Because it was designed for the in-person learning experience.

Effective online learning is designed for the mode of delivery. And learners know it. Video presentations are directed to them. Interactions are crafted with digital conventions in mind. Grab-and-go content contributes to a micro-curriculum, suggesting the next step. Courses are as easy to access on a mobile device as a desktop without degrading the experience. Content is timely, relevant, solves a problem, and is immediately applicable. Impact is the new gold standard.

Instead of using your LMS as a repository of hour-long session videos, create meaningful online experiences.

Habit 2: Allowing Webinars to be info-dumping grounds.

It’s well meaning to think that we should deliver as much information as we can fit in an hour so our attendees get their time/money’s worth. But it’s not good learning.

Webinar technology was originally conceived as a way to carry on a robust conversation. The revolutionary bit was many people could join from wherever they are while still being in the same digital room together sharing the same screen images. Unfortunately, webinar presentations have devolved into a one-way firehose of content sprayed across our helpless audiences. It’s not the technology that dictates this. It’s how we’ve become accustomed to using it.

Instead, consider using Webinars to facilitate learning. Encourage speakers to expand beyond poll questions, pare down content, step off the podium and facilitate a robust conversation about the topic at hand. Stream video, screen share, facilitate breakout discussions, extend learning from another event, craft a space where attendees are an integral part what’s happening.

Habit 3: Assuming live and online courses are one-and-done events that have nothing to do with each other.

Learning is a process, not an event. Which means our event approach to continuing education is ineffective. It’s not how brains work.

Research has shown that what happens before and after the formal period of instruction is as important, if not more important, that what happens in the course itself. (The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning, Pollock, et. al.)

When learners are primed, they’re ready to engage. When learners are supported after a course in the context of practice (where the real learning happens), the impact is manifest. While our conferences can’t really follow learners back to their desk, online learning extensions can. Wonder Twins Activate! Form of behavior change! Shape of virtual learning, eLearning, micro, mobile or a power packed combination along a continued learning pathway!

Instead of investing in one-and-done events, deliver your content through all your learning channels purposefully all year long. Embrace BDA learning design: Before, During, and After training for the greatest outcome.

Habit 4: Spaghetti toss pricing.

There is no one right answer to: “How much should we charge for webinars?” In fact, asking someone else about how much you should charge for your programs is only minimally helpful.

First things first, you must understand your market. Specifically, you must identify who you intend the program for so that you can research what the market will bear and how competitors are structuring similar offerings. Price from a position of strength by doing the research (or hiring someone to do it for you). Allow data to inform how you position your pricing and discounting to meet your financial goals.

Put the spaghetti down. Do the market research. Note digital content pricing trends. Find the best structure for your target audience.

Habit 5: Skimming corners by NOT hiring an Instructional Designer.

Not ok. And I imagine this is in large part why organizations have sunk so deep into the ruts of the habits mentioned above – because they don’t have a learning designer to inform them otherwise.

Instructional Designers transform information into learning experiences. They bring a specialized expertise mapping objectives to learning methods to assessing outcomes. There is a science behind this work. Expecting your subject experts or LMS workflows to do the heavy lifting for you just isn’t fair. You’re only going to get one, maybe two shots to impress your prospective learners with what you’re offering online. Ensure they return for more by employing the best practices of adult learning design.

Important Note: My recommendations here have nothing to do with the hottest tech, latest trend, or flashy gimmick. Selling eLearning is about people and problems. Consider how your learners want to interact with you digitally. Consider how they can be the focal point of every learning experience you design. Consider how you can insert your content into the places of their greatest need over a duration of time. Consider offering them content designed for how brains learn priced for its value.

Break these five habits and your learners will know you mean business! Solve their problems with the unique capabilities on demand learning affords and they will be back for more. And more.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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