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Overcoming the Barriers to Digital Learning

Posted By: Colin McEwan

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There can be a number of challenges to overcome on the road to digital learning success. I have worked with many organisations over the years and while each is unique there are common themes in the challenges faced. So what are the typical challenges and how can these be overcome?

Fear of the Unknown

If your organisation is adopting digital learning for the first time there may be resistance due to fear of the unknown. Fear can be a big barrier to getting agreement for a project or could mean that the scope is restricted.

Having the right information is a way to overcome this fear. Do some research, learn about potential solutions and find examples of how organisations in your sector are benefiting from eLearning.

A good digital learning partner can provide you with the information you need to move through this process. To get the most from this relationship it’s important that you are honest in what you don’t know.

Making Strategy a Reality

Your organisation may have no digital learning strategy or have a strategy but be struggling to translate it into achievable tactics. It can be a daunting task to come up with the ‘what’ and the details of the ‘how.’

I have supported many organisations to help them establish their overall learning strategy and then develop this into an actionable plan. This is often achieved by running workshops with relevant stakeholders to establish objectives for learning and discuss potential learning approaches.

What’s Our Investment?

Another potential barrier to eLearning success is uncertainty on required investment, both time and budget.

To establish the resource requirements you will need a clear view on your learning objectives, the quantity of content involved and how it’s going to be collated or developed. Armed with this knowledge your eLearning partner can guide you through the time and budget required.

At eCom we assess what is needed to make the content work in digital learning and who should be responsible for this. We advise on the design and interactivities to help you achieve the learning objectives. Then clearly set out the cost options and help you establish the right investment for your organisation.

Dated Technology

Technology concerns are common in many organisations embarking on a new digital learning project. Is the current technology infrastructure able to support our learning needs?  Can legacy systems be adapted to meet new objectives?  What are the resources implications of updating our technology?

You should discuss your technical challenges with your supplier so that the learning solution is developed with full knowledge of the IT infrastructure. At eCom we work with clients to review existing infrastructure such as learning platforms, browsers and devices and make recommendations for technology improvements.

Measuring Value

With the strategy, technology and investment in place, you might think all is sorted. However, one of the key challenges which is often overlooked, is how to measure value.  It is critical for the success of this project, and for the buy-in to future projects, to demonstrate the impact on learners and the wider business.

I have found over the years that this is much easier to build-in at the start than try to address later.  The measures will vary depending on your objectives but your digital learning partner should advise you on the different ways of measuring effectiveness and how to design the learning so the right checks and data collection is in place.

Addressing any of these challenges could seem overwhelming which is why a strategic relationship with a strong digital learning supplier can be vital to success.  At eCom we develop partnerships with our clients based on in-depth understanding of their challenges.  It’s our job to help you identify the what, the why and the how, and working with us brings an expert resource to your learning and development team.

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